At Overchurch Junior School, we want all of our children to be passionate about History, to be curious about the past and keen to understand how and why events occurred. They will learn to question why people interpret the past in different ways. We believe that high-quality history lessons encourage skills of critical thinking. Sifting through evidence and weighing up people’s opinions and arguments, allows pupils to develop perspective and judgement. The children gain knowledge of Britain’s past, and our place in the world, which helps them to understand the challenges of our own time, as well as what shapes our future. They learn how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. We explore how historical figures affect the course of events. We study ancient civilisations; looking at the achievements and mistakes made.
Our History curriculum aims to excite and is full of topics which foster awe and wonder, as well as developing knowledge and skills included in the National Curriculum. We provide opportunities to use and apply skills from other areas of the curriculum, including English, Maths, Geography and ICT. The History topics will help children to gain an understanding of the complexity of people’s lives and the process of change.
Some of the activities we use to motivate and inspire the children are:
- Do it like they used to – use the senses to discover the features of an era- live the culture of the day through drama and themed history days.
- We invite experts in to share their expertise and run workshops.
- Visits to local places of interest such as Port Sunlight; Liverpool Museum; Chester Museum, the wall and Roman ruins; the local area including learning about the history of St Mary’s Church, local schools and the surrounding area.
- Use timelines to revise prior learning and to set the period of study alongside other events.
- Start by asking questions (enquiry based learning) – investigate, think like a detective.
- Use ICT for research allowing pupils’ learning to be driven by their individual interests.
- Check evidence from a range of sources and weigh up evidence from different viewpoints.
- Link events and people- tell their story, become the character, any excuse to dress up for the day!
- Reflect on “How has this made my life/others’ lives/the world different?”
- Bring research alive by sharing. Communicate ideas and findings to a range of audiences including class museums, open afternoons, class debates, visits in the community, assemblies and allowing the children to research an area they are interested in and then, as experts, share their expertise with a group of children (‘Market Place’, ‘Jigsawing’ and ‘Mantle of the Expert’).