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History - The Whiteoak Way

‘A People without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots’

Marcus Garvey (in Mary Myatt 2018 p. 174)

At the Whiteoak Academies, we believe that History inspires curiosity to know more about the past so that we can learn from our knowledge and understanding of the earliest times to the present day in order to shape a better future. Our enquiry approach to the History curriculum seeks to ensure that our historical projects are built to develop coherent knowledge and understanding of our past and then framed with a question to help create a clear chapter in the story of the world.

As a school, our own rich history, within the context of the local area, is a celebrated and inspiring characteristic of the curriculum. Indeed, our bespoke history curriculum is in part inspired by the immediate and wider local area thus enabling our children to develop a deeper understanding of the rich history of their locality.

As a family of schools, we recognise the power and importance of History to help children develop their own understanding of their place in the world and our shared identity and interconnectedness on a local, national and global level. Our curriculum is designed to be coherent and progressive building from the Early Years to Year 6, ensuring that our children gain an increasingly mature understanding of the global narrative as well as the depth of intimate local stories.

In order to help maintain and celebrate the integrity of the subject, we intend to provide an ambitious History curriculum which also seeks to teach children the skills required to by an excellent historian: how to research and gather information, develop their skills of enquiry and analysis as well as starting to question information gathered and its reliability. We also strongly believe that educational visits linked to historical study enhance and enthuse children’s learning by bringing to life classroom knowledge. Finally, it is our intent to build a History curriculum that ignites children’s enthusiasm and intrigue and helps to feed their love of learning, sense of fascination and wonder.

Lighthouse Schools Partnership - History Intent Statement

British Values and SMSC in History

To help ensure that children leave school prepared for life in modern Britain, the DfE issued guidance to all schools on improving the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of children through the promotion of fundamental British values.

Across our family of schools, we aim to develop a climate where the British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs are deeply embedded at every level and lived through our vivid vision, core values and curriculum.

As outlined in our aims and vivid vision, we seek to encourage our children to act with integrity and respect so that they embrace and celebrate diversity and understand our rich cultural history. Furthermore, we aim to empower our children to become humble, compassionate global citizens who learn how to live successful and happy lives where they are informed, courageous advocates of the things that matter to them. Underpinning this are the key concepts of being and belonging: being hopeful, considerate human beings who know they matter and that they can shape a positive future for themselves and others, understanding how they belong to their community, modern Britain and the world, recognising they can make a difference now.

At the Whiteoak Academies, History plays a vital role in helping us to deliver our vivid vision by supporting the personal development of children and promoting fundamental British values. Our History curriculum is crafted and designed to support and encourage our children to become global citizens who explore and investigate how Britain and the world have been shaped and changed by the cumulative actions of different groups and individuals in the past, both distant and near. Being a British primary school, much of what we teach focuses on the United Kingdom and teaches our children about their local history as well as UK wide significant historical periods, events and people that influenced the development of this nation. This helps to demonstrate and celebrate the diversity evident in modern Britain.

Through historical topics exploring life in the past such as the Romans, Vikings, Anglo Saxons, The Victorians (including ‘Empire’) and the Windrush generation our children start to learn about our rich and varied cultural past that makes us the diverse nation that we are today and establishes our place on the global historical map. Furthermore, our children also get the opportunity to explore other cultures away from the influence of the British Isles such as the Benin Kingdom, the Ancient Greeks and the Egyptians. This not only helps to distinguish Britain, but also helps to celebrate and recognise similarities and differences.

Indeed, through teaching historical skills such as evidence, interpretation, cause and consequence, similarities and differences children start to ask and answer ethical questions that help them to appreciate different viewpoints and recognise that as well as modern Britain, we are part of a wider historically connected global community.

Furthermore, as a family of schools, we recognise that history is not resigned to the distant past but that the making of history is seen every day in the news and this is also is incorporated into our curriculum and assemblies to help our children understand the complexities of the modern world and lessons that can be learned from the past mistakes. At the Whiteoak Academies, values are not assumed, instead through our History curriculum and whole curriculum offer, British values and SMSC are developed and formed together through exploration, debate and critical analysis and understanding. Indeed, through our History curriculum, our children are given the foundations to understand and appreciate diversity, fairness and justice, liberty, acceptance, tolerance and harmony as well as developing a respect and understanding of democracy and democratic processes.

Our pedagogical approach to the delivery of History at the Whiteoak Academies is designed to make a genuine impact on the spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding of our children; therefore, helping to promote British values and global citizenship. Through our History curriculum our children are nurtured and supported to understand their rights and role within society in order to help them shape a positive future for themselves and others in an increasingly complex and dynamic world.

History in the National Curriculum