History at Prince Rock
Creating a sense of ‘Here and There’ and ‘Then and Now’, as well as 'Curiosity and Wonder' has provided the basis for the Prince Rock History curriculum to ensure that all children develop a secure understanding of the past. A clear vision that History forms a key part of our curriculum, ensuring that all of our children have the opportunity to find out about the world around them and explore their place within it.
A sense of rigour and clear structure means that the National Curriculum is set as the minimum expectation for all schools within the LAT. Going beyond this, at Prince Rock, we maximise the diverse history of Plymouth and our diverse experiences and cultures to bring about a sense of belonging. Ambitious substantive and disciplinary knowledge, a sense of chronology and the development of complex historical ideas are used create flow within the history curriculum. Local context is vitally important to give our children an idea of Plymouth and the South West’s role in local, national and world history. At Prince Rock, our aim is to incorporate the history of our immediate area to allow the children to see how important the local context is to the local community and the school (Binoculars). In contrast, on a global scale, many of our children speak English as an additional language and over 30 languages are spoken. As a result, we believe it is vital to explore, learn about and compare the history of different cultures around the world (Telescope), for example the Islamic Civilisation, and how this have shaped the world we live in today.
History within the EYFS curriculum at Prince Rock is covered through the Understanding the World curriculum. This allows the children in EYFS to develop a sense of time and understand how some things have changed. Through their environment, such as visual timelines, learning journeys, seasonal changes etc, children grasp the idea that things have already changed and are constantly changing; supporting their understanding of then and now. High-quality texts which further enhance and highlight changes. A continual emphasis of talk, development of language through play and adult interaction in provision also creates the building blocks for history in the future. Children draw on their relevant experiences of change (for example when they were a baby to now) and are exposed to learning about important events and people across the year.
Key Stage One
Children at KS1 develop an idea of their own lives as well as those close to them (Microscope). The curriculum allows this to be the focus for the youngest children, before moving onto topics that give them an early awareness of both life beyond Plymouth and beyond living memory (Binoculars). Complex historical ideas and concepts are introduced and explicitly taught and referred to whilst a sense of chronology and timelines are also being developed (e.g. The Great Fire of London).
Key Stage Two
As they move into KS2, the content and development of these key ideas progresses. British History is taught in a chronological order, whilst other key topics (Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt and Islamic Civilization) ensure that the children develop a clear knowledge of how other civilizations and nations have created key elements of today’s world (Telescope). Children continue to apply their knowledge of history to a range of historical concepts including exploring continuity, change and chronology, similarities and differences, causes and consequences, significance and evidence and interpretation. Complex ideas and recapped or newly introduced, linking previous learning.
Our aim is to develop clear knowledge and understanding of a wide range of historical contexts, ideas and progressive historical concepts and for our children to be able to use these to make links to the 21st century world that they live in today. At the same time, a whole school focus on improving oracy skills and frequent vocabulary development is very important in the teaching of History. This approach provides the opportunity for language development and ensures that disadvantaged groups, as well as SEND and EAL children, can access the History curriculum at Prince Rock.
Children really enjoy their history lessons at our school. They are able to articulate the knowledge acquired in history lessons. Our history curriculum provides the children with knowledge and skills that will support them in KS3. Through a range of enrichment opportunities such as visits to The Box and Morwellham Quay, we aims to enhance their knowledge, curiosity and enjoyment of history.
Children record their learning in their history books which is an ongoing resource to demonstrate their progress in this subject. Progression in history is supported through the use of techniques such as retrieval quizzes and hinge questions. These techniques, combined with responsive, adapted teaching which consider children's knowledge, understanding and misconceptions ensure that children understand and remember key knowledge. History is assessed through listening to children’s responses and contributions to discussions, low-stakes retrieval quizzes and evaluating their written work. The progression document and summative assessments will also support the age-related assessment given at the end of the year to parents/carers on reports. Assessment is formative and responsive. This is then used to inform any interventions and responses in following lessons.
Historical Curriculum Progression
Knowledge and Graphic Organisers
At Prince Rock, we use both knowledge and graphic organisers to support the children's ability to learn, understand and retrieve key knowledge. These will be shared with the children in every lesson and they will have copies of both which will support them with their learning.
Knowledge organisers are sent home to parents and carers so that they are able to support their child with their learning in school. The content and amount of information will be appropriate to the year group and age of the children.
Below are examples of each, taken from Year 6.
In Autumn 2023, year 5 children engage in a local study; The Victorians. Building on this learning, the children visited Morwellham Quay which transported them back into the Victorian era. The children were shown around Victorian cottages where they made comparisons between rich and poor houses and compared them to houses now. They also experienced what school and a classroom was like during this time. Finally, they experienced going on a mine train which was used for mining copper.
In the summer 2023, pupils and the the MP for history explained that they would like to increase the number of visits to The Box museum. As a result, the whole school organised visits to this local museum in Autumn 2023. The children have built on their prior learning in previous years. It was lovely to see their curiosity and sense of wonder ignite; they were excited and eager to know more about the past. The children discussed artefacts and what they had learnt. They also found out about our local history a lot more for example the development of the Dockyard in Plymouth which has heavily transformed Plymouth as we see it today. Ask your child all about their trip to The Box!
In October 2023, children across the school learnt more about Black History Month. Mrs Hanley delivered an assembly all about what Black History Month is, why we have it and the importance of celebrating the achievements of all individuals in history and today. Each year group learnt about a significant achievement of a black person from the past and considered the reasons the person wasn't celebrated at the time or why it was a significant moment in history. Children really enjoyed learning about different historical people including poets, athletes, presidents and more!
In the Spring 2022 term, children across the school took part in a 'Significant Local Individuals' Day'. The children explored and learnt about a significant person in history who had links to Plymouth or Cornwall. It was so wonderful to see the children building upon their knowledge of History by exploring someone new. Ask us about our learning!
The Box, Plymouth - Museum
The School Run