The intent of our History curriculum here at Etz Chaim is to deliver a high-quality history education and gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We aim to provide every child with the enquiry skills needed to help them research, ask and answer questions to succeed in all curriculum areas. Through our history topics our children are given the opportunity to develop their skills of historical enquiry.
We want our children to enjoy and love learning about History by gaining knowledge and skills, not just through experiences in the classroom, but also with the use of fieldwork and educational visits. History is taught in accordance with the National Curriculum, we also ensure that we study our Jewish Heritage and link these skills to the Parashiot and our history as a nation.
The National Curriculum divides History into five strands: chronology, history of the wider world, historical terminology and concepts, methods of enquiry and historical perspective.
Our focus across the year groups is to ensure that children understand history as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. In EYFS, children are given opportunities to develop their understanding of the world, talking about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. This is taught throughout both KS1 and 2, through sequencing events and placing moments of history in chronological order across a range of different topics. As a school, we focus on National events such as Remembrance Day and Black History Month celebrate and commemorate the fallen and the impact they have had on our lives today.
History of the Wider World
At Etz Chaim our intention is to not only focus on the history of the British Empire, but also understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world. Throughout Key Stage Two, each half term focuses on a different period of History. These range from the Iron Age to the Ancient Egyptian empire. By focusing on a different period in history the children are exposed to post non-European societies, their achievements and the expansion and dissolution of a range of different empires. we also give the children the opportunity to make comparison between these.
History Terminology and Key Concepts
With each topic comes new terminology that is available for the children to access, understand and apply to their learning. We display this terminology on display boards, wordmats and word banks around the classroom and within lesson plans to ensure the children are confident with applying them to written narratives, analyses and other forms of documentation.
At Etz Chaim we believe that history should be taught through a range of resources to help the children understand that a range of different forms of primary and secondary evidence can be used rigorously in different ways to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed. We do this by ensuring that we have a range of resources to aid teaching. For example, when teaching World War Two we have rationing books, gas masks, propaganda posters to help bring learning to life. We create themed days to help enhance learning and help children place themselves in the shoes of figures from the past. We also ensure that we look at both sides of every argument and moment in history to help children understand why these arguments and wars arose.
We aim to place growing knowledge into different contexts by combining our Jewish education to national and international historical moments. We place topics around the events of our Jewish calendar for example learning about the Ancient Egyptian Civilisation when learning about the story of Pesach.
The impact of our curriculum is progression. Each year chronology skills are developed further and into different contexts. The children develop a richer knowledge of history as they travel through the years of the school and terminology is built upon and extended further. The history skills we teach from Foundation stage are built upon and the simple terminology ‘past’ is extended to different period of history and different location. The children leave Etz Chaim with historical enquiry, skills and understanding that can be and are used transferred across the curriculum.
Please click here to see the curriculum coverage Year 1 of 2 year cycle
Please click here to see the curriculum coverage Year 2 of 2 year cycle