At Quest Primary we want our children to have a passion for the past, shown through an enthusiastic love of learning, with a sense of curiosity to investigate history. History is taught as a sequence of lessons across a number of weeks, and children have the opportunity to be curious, ask questions, engage with sources and draw their own conclusions and judgements based on their understanding and subsequent interpretation. By the time they leave Quest Primary for secondary school, our children have a strong knowledge and understanding of people and cultures, events and eras, from a range of historical periods and are able to make connections and comparisons between them. Children learn about key historical figures within their units of work and their importance or impact upon society at the time. Our knowledge organisers support the teaching sequences in classrooms. Learning in history is discrete, but children are encouraged to transfer their knowledge into their wider work, for example using their understanding of The Blitz in World War 2, to inform their writing in English.
We follow the National Curriculum Programme of Study for history at KS1 and KS2. The history curriculum is organised so that children study an aspect of British history (chronologically) in the autumn term of each year group, from Year 3 upwards, to ensure they can make connections and comparisons with historical periods that have already been studied. This also supports their understanding of chronology. In either the spring or summer term, each junior class then learns about an ancient civilisation or historical period (also chronologically), developing knowledge of concurrent civilisations and eras from around the world. In the infants, children start their history learning by thinking about changes within living memory by comparing the changes between transport in Croydon now and in the recent past. They then develop their knowledge of transport by learning about the role of air travel in Croydon now and in the past, considering significant places in their locality. Children then move geographically from the history of their immediate locality, to that of a bigger area, London, at a time beyond living memory by learning about the events leading to, during and after the Great Fire of London. They explore the local, national and international impacts of the fire and how these changed life for us today. Finally they learn about The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements by studying Sir Christopher Wren, whom they have encountered in their GFOL unit, and Sir George Gilbert Scott (after whom Quest Primary School was previously named.)Each period studied begins with an overarching enquiry question that the children will seek to answer during the sequence of learning.
We use the historical second-order concepts (taught throughout all units of study) of cause; consequence; change and continuity; similarity and difference; historical significance, sources and evidence; and historical interpretations, to incrementally build children’s knowledge and develop children’s understanding of these concepts across time. Further to this we have identified some of the concepts in history that we believe will further enhance children’s understanding and enjoyment of history. These are: invasion; law and order; settlements; conflict; progress and change; historical figures and religion and beliefs. Where these concepts arise in a teaching unit, children are encouraged to retrieve knowledge they have previously learned, to gradually build their understanding and be able to apply in different contexts, reason and make connections, strengthening their long-term memory.