– ‘Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.’ Winston Churchill
At Fishtoft Academy we aim to create within our learners a keen interest in the past, which arouses both their curiosity and motivation to learn. This subject is particularly important to us due to the rich history in the immediate locality of the Academy.
Through our history teaching, we aim for our learners to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and the relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their generation. Over the course of their time with us, our learners will develop a broad range of knowledge about events and people from the past, their impact on today’s society, and will begin to understand the connections between local, regional, national and international history.
In line with the National Curriculum 2014, the History curriculum at Fishtoft Academy aims to ensure that all learners develop their skills in enquiry, analysis, evaluation and argument by ensuring our learners:
- Ask perceptive questions about the past
- Think critically
- Weigh evidence
- Sift arguments
- Develop perspective and judgement
- Compare and contrast different historical periods, noting connections and trends over time
- Developing their knowledge and use of historical vocabulary (to support their ability to write and talk as a historian)
- Have opportunities to address and devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity, difference and significance
- Apply their historical knowledge and vocabulary to create their own structured accounts and responses
- Have a clear knowledge of the chronology of key events and significant people
At Fishtoft Academy our History Curriculum is informed by and aligned with the National Curriculum (2014). Our teachers plan coherent sequences of learning using the Academy’s knowledge and progression ladders and the support materials relating to different periods of history produced by the Historical Association. We teach history through themed, cross-curricular topics as we have found that this enables our learners to make links with other subject areas, particularly geography. Our English teaching is also often linked to the history learning in order that our learners can develop a deeper understanding by applying and recalling their historical knowledge in a different context (further contextual learning).
We have taken the decision not to teach the historical periods in chronological order not only because the mixed-age group nature of our class structure does not lend itself to teaching periods in chronological order, but because we considered that the content of some of the historical events studied better suited to certain age groups (with regard to their developmental ability). However, whenever a new historical period is introduced, we take care to ensure our learners understand where the period being studied fits in relation to other aspects studied (Each unit of work has lessons on chronology within it). When teaching units, the staff also always ensure that they refer back to previous history units to support the children to make historical comparisons.
In line with our curriculum intent: ‘I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand’, our teachers being history to life for our learners through using historical artefacts; and providing experiences beyond the classroom, including fieldwork, external educational visits and workshops.
The understanding of chronology starts in EYFS with our learners being introduced to the concepts of time and change starting with developing their understanding of the terms: today, yesterday, tomorrow and then looking at how they themselves have changed since birth. Our learners will talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of their family members.
Through our cross-curricular units of work, we aim for our learners to be able to achieve the ELG for ‘Past and Present’ by the end of EYFS, demonstrating their ability to:
- Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society
- Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class
- Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.
Key components which will be covered in KS1 are:
- Developing learners’ knowledge and understanding of chronology
- Developing learners’ knowledge, skills and understanding of similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods in history
- Developing learners’ knowledge of historical vocabulary, including common words and phrases relating to the passing of time
- Developing learners’ knowledge in relation to how we find out about the past in a variety of ways
- Developing learners’ knowledge of changes within living memory as well as events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally, including the Battle of Hastings 1066 and The Great Fire of London.
- Developing learners’ knowledge of a diverse range of significant individuals from the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. These include Mary Anning, Amy Johnson, Helen Sharman, Captain James Cook & Matthew Flinders.
In KS2, we have selected specific historical periods to reflect both the needs of the Fishtoft Community and the rich historical resources in the locality.
- We study the Bronze Age as Flag Fen, (the only place in the UK where original Bronze Age remains can be seen in situ) is within close proximity of the Academy and Lincolnshire is a predominantly agricultural area and so the development of early-farming will assist our learners in understanding the shaping of their locality.
- We study the Romans as in Roman times, Lincoln was a Roman city equalling London in importance and the city played a strategic role in the Roman conquest of Britain
- We undertake a ‘Heritage Week’ every two years which has a focus on local history, the focus of which includes work related to the Pilgrim Fathers (Fishtoft being the site from which the initial sailing of the Pilgrim Fathers on their quest to find religious freedom took place) & sites of Historical interest in our nearest town: Boston, which was a significant port in the Medieval Period and in 1369 held the wool staple.
- We teach two post 1066 units of history because of their significance for the local area: The Battle of Britain (Woodhall Spa being the home of the Dam Busters and Lincolnshire playing a vital role in WW2 / aviation history) & The Victorians (Especially the railways, with Boston being an important trading port, supplying many of the great mills during the industrial revolution with raw materials).
- The Egyptians were selected for study of the achievements of the earliest civilisations, not only because our learners are particularly fascinated and interested in this period of history; yet also as it has direct links with our locality, with the Egyptians being great agriculturalists.
- The non-European society we have selected for study is the Mayan civilisation, also due to the strong links the Mayan civilisation had with farming and also as it complements the teaching of our MFL, which is Spanish.