Margaret Wix Primary School
Excellence, Creativity, Individuality!
Intent – why are we teaching this?
At Margaret Wix, it is our intention to provide an inspiring history curriculum which stimulates all of our pupils in investigating questions about people and events in the past. We want this to enable them to better understand their lives today and to equip them with the necessary skills for life in multi-cultural Britain. With the support of Connected History, we aim to develop a wide range of critical thinking skills which enable children to distinguish between fact and subjectivity when it comes to making judgements about the past.
We hope to develop in our children a sense of curiosity and fascination about the past of Britain and the wider world. Our history curriculum is broad and balanced in terms of subject content. For example, we study British history from the Stone Age to the Norman invasion of 1066 as well as enquiries focusing on the achievements of ancient civilisations such as the Maya, the Shang Dynasty and Ancient Greece.
Our curriculum is varied and relevant. The children undertake a selection of historical enquiries that extend their knowledge and understanding beyond 1066. For example, they evaluate the significance of the Battle of Britain and the impact of the British Empire.
The Margaret Wix community is diverse and we understand the vital need for representation within our teaching. We ensure diversity across the curriculum: careful thought and planning has gone into selecting whose stories we tell and how they are told. Our curriculum has been re-examined and we have endeavoured to reduce the western bias. We strive to ensure that BAME pupils see themselves reflected in our curriculum, all year round. We call our personalised curriculum ‘The Wix Way’. In history, this includes learning about significant BAME individuals from throughout history. We focus on ancient civilisations, such as the Shang Dynasty, that relate to individuals within our school context. We have aimed to de-colonise our curriculum to ensure all are represented accurately, for example teaching about the British Empire as invading rather than exploring.
Implementation – how are we teaching this?
At Margaret Wix, learning is structured through big question led enquiries about relevant historical topics, places and themes. Through enquiry children build subject knowledge and understanding and become increasingly adept at critical thinking and using specialised vocabulary.
Learning is interactive and practical where possible. Children have the opportunity to work independently, in pairs and also in groups of different sizes both inside and outside the classroom. Whenever possible children are provided with historical evidence, such as photographs, paintings, artefacts, films and narratives to analyse. Children record their work in various ways, including concept mapping, annotated diagrams. PowerPoint, different writing genres and improvised drama. This is to ensure that knowledge becomes embedded so that children can build on what they know and understand.
Our curriculum recognises the importance of the local area with a number of investigations involving observation, recording, presentation, interpretation and the evaluation of significant people, places and events locally.
Impact – what is the effect on the pupils?
Children at Margaret Wix will demonstrate a positive attitude to learning and use and apply skills across the curriculum, making meaningful connection. The will have the confidence to demonstrate the knowledge they have retained over time and demonstrate a readiness for the next stage of their learning. Each half termly enquiry sets clear objectives and outcomes for the children in terms of knowledge and understanding and skills acquisition.
When assessing each child, evidence is drawn from wide range of sources, such as interaction with pupils during discussions and related questioning, practical activities such as model making and role play drama, the communication of field work data and writing in different genres. The outcomes of each enquiry inform the teacher's understanding of each child and help them to plan future learning accordingly.
At the end of each year we make a summative judgement about the achievement of each pupil against the subject learning goals for history in that year, deciding upon a 'best fit' judgement as to whether the pupil has achieved and embedded the expected learning goals, exceeded expectations or is still working towards the goals. This is used as the basis of reporting progress to parents.