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What is Our Learning Intent in History?

Our History curriculum draws upon prior learning, wherever the content is taught.

The structure is built around the principles of advancing cumulative knowledge, chronology, change through cause and consequence, as well as making connections within and throughout periods of time studied.  History is planned so that the retention of knowledge is much more than just ‘in the moment knowledge’. The curriculum is made more memorable through retrieval and spaced retrieval practice, word building and deliberate practice tasks.

This powerful interrelationship between structure and research-led practice is designed to increase substantive knowledge and accelerate learning within and between study modules. That means the foundational knowledge of the curriculum is positioned to ease the load on the working memory: new content is connected to prior learning. The effect of this cumulative model supports opportunities for children to associate and connect with significant periods of time, people, places and events.

At Springfield, we use the CUSP History curriculum which incorporates a range of modules that revisit, elaborate and sophisticate key concepts, events, people and places. A guiding principle of CUSP History is that pupils become ‘more expert’ with each study and grow an ever broadening and coherent mental timeline. This guards against superficial, disconnected and fragmented understanding of the past.

Specific and associated historical vocabulary is planned sequentially and cumulatively from Year 1 to Year 6. High frequency, multiple meaning words (Tier 2) are taught alongside and help make sense of subject-specific words (Tier 3). Each learning module in history has a vocabulary module with teacher guidance, tasks and resources. CUSP fulfils and goes well beyond the expectations of the National Curriculum as we believe there is no ceiling to what pupils can learn if the architecture and practice is founded on evidence-led principles.

What does this look like in our classrooms? (Implementation)
A clear progression of skills is implemented for pupils from Year 3 to Year 6. Skills, knowledge, concepts and vocabulary are continually revisited and are built upon to ensure that pupils make, or exceed, expected progress. Concepts and vocabulary are explicitly taught in context and built upon through each unit of work across the school. 

Thinking like a Historian- Pupils make more sense and have a deeper understanding of the substantive concepts and knowledge by using what they know through disciplinary knowledge. Teachers use ‘Thinking Hard Tasks’ to consolidate or elaborate pupil thinking. The implementation of our curriculum ensures balanced coverage of the  main themes outlined in the National Curriculum: 

  • Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms.
  • They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.
  • They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.
  • They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Within History sessions we aim to support pupils by:
*Promoting pupil voice 
*Displaying learning, skills and vocabulary, in the classroom, on our 'Loops of Learning' wall 
*Using an enquiry led approach; key questions and ancillary questions
*Providing a diverse and creative curriculum which addresses the needs of all
*Building aspiration through creating opportunities for children to have wider experiences; visits, trips

Vocabulary forms a key part of our curriculum. Therefore, subject specific Tier 2 and Tier 3 words are identified in each module. Supporting pupils in the acquisition of knowledge, through the use of key concepts, terms, and vocabulary, provides opportunities to build a shared and consistent understanding. Knowledge organisers and notes, displays, along with regular retrieval practice, will be used to support this approach. 

How do we support and assess all learners?
We strive to meet the needs of all pupils, whatever their ability or level of need. Children have the right to progress and reach their potential. By adapting our teaching, we support the needs of those children who have disabilities, English as an additional language or special gifts and talents.

We use the Insight Assessment Tracker to identify which pupils are making progress against the curriculum objectives and are able to meet the age expected standard for individual year groups.

Teachers use a range of creative ideas to challenge our most able pupils including tailored questioning. Learner groups, including EAL and Pupil Premium, are analysed through school data and relevant action is taken to ensure that all groups are catered for appropriately. For example, pre-teaching of vocabulary and key knowledge enables pupils to access learning in the classroom.