At Ark Blacklands, we aim to inspire pupils’ curiosity about the history of the world in which they live. All children will leave us with a wide ranging and deep knowledge of the past; of places and people and significant events through time. Our curriculum ensures that children are equipped to ask perceptive questions, think critically, analyse evidence and weigh arguments.
Children’s discovery of the world around them and their awareness of the passage of time begins in the Early Years Foundation Stage, where children are provided with opportunities to talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members.
In Key Stages 1 and 2, our pupils will learn about Global History alongside that of the British Isles; how nations have changed; how empires have risen and fallen and the legacy they have left behind. We have mapped out the significant people and places of history to ensure the sharing of knowledge from around the world. In Key Stage 1, pupils continue to develop their awareness of the past. Our Year 1 children start with nationally significant events beyond living memory (Guy Fawkes and Remembrance Sunday), and then move to study changes over time inside the home (comparing old and modern houses in ‘Once Upon a Time’) and in transport use (examining how travelling by train has changed over time). In Year 2, our children deepen their understanding of chronology by studying changes beyond living memory through a unit on castles (‘Turrets and Tiaras’). Building on the history of homes in Year 1, we compare living standards between a 14th century castle and modern times. Furthermore, we develop our children’s ability to understand diversity in the past by identifying similarities and differences between ways of life in a 14th century castle. Finally, Year 2 further develop their chronological understanding through an in-depth study of the life of a significant person, Florence Nightingale.
In Key Stage 2, the history curriculum divides into two main strands, a study of Britain’s past and a series of studies about Civilizations from around the world. When studying British History, concepts are taught chronologically starting with ‘Settlers of the Stone, Bronze and Iron Age’ (Y3), then exploring the significance and impact of the invaders starting with the Romans (Y4), then the Anglo-Saxons (Y5) and finally the Vikings (Y5). When studying Civilizations from around the world, our curriculum starts in Ancient Greece (Y3), then delves into Ancient Egypt (Y4) and finally examines the Early Islamic Civilization (Y5). In Y6, pupils will expand their chronological knowledge to significant events beyond 1066 through a study of World War 2 and its impact on the lives of children. In addition, Y6 pupils will carry out a local history study linked to the Battle of Hastings, tracing how several aspects of national history are reflected in our locality.
Where appropriate, we use a cross-curricular approach to immerse children in the study of the historical period. The children’s understanding of the content is strengthened and extended in our reading and writing lessons.
Also, At Ark Blacklands we place great emphasis on the value of visits and visitors to enrich and enliven the curriculum. We want our pupils, particularly our vulnerable and disadvantaged children, to visit places of historic richness and beauty. These experiences make an invaluable contribution to raising our pupils’ cultural capital and broadening their horizons.
Alongside the rich knowledge taught in the units of study listed above, pupils will develop their skills of historical enquiry over time. These are the ongoing skills that are taught and retaught, and thus cannot be assigned to any single unit of study. They will be covered in all units of learning and can be found at the end of our curriculum document.