History is all about people. The study of people of different types from different times and different places is the most important aspect of our work. History fires pupils’ curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Pupils consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, pupils develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. They see the diversity of human experience, and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society. What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values. In history, pupils find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions. To do this, they need to be able to research, sift through evidence, and argue for their point of view – skills that are highly prized in adult life.
The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:
- know and understand the history of these islands 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
- know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
- gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
- understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
- understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
History has always been held in high regard at Highfield St Matthew’s, with the school’s own rich history within the context of the local area driving its structure. Topics are informed by the National Curriculum and are sensitive to the children’s interests and the context of the local area and its history. The curriculum at Highfield St Matthew’s has been carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning, building upon existing skills covered in previous years in more depth, and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy. With God at the centre of our school, every child is valued. We prepare them to be a member of a class, school, and local community and also for their future role in modern Britain and as a global citizen.