As with our Geography teaching, we started with a topic based approach to the foundation subjects, but realised we could achieve deeper understanding and stronger retention through a subject based approach. We have worked across both schools to develop our own Big Life Curriculum Plans which form our customised History and Geography schemes of work. We fully cover the requirements of the National Curriculum in a programme which sets out the core knowledge for each unit and systematically builds core concepts from EYFS to the end of Year 6.

Each plan includes

  • Information on related content the children have covered in previous years and the content they will cover in future years (including the KS3 curriculum for Year 6)
  • A clear expectation of what children should know and, crucially, retain, by the end of the unit
  • A Talk Homework activity to engage families in their child’s learning
  • Suggested fiction and nonfiction texts to broaden and deepen children’s understanding
  • Enrichment activities to enhance the unit and draw on local resources (trips, visitors, practical activities etc.)
  • Teacher notes with guidance on common misconceptions or sensitive issues to look out for, guidance on teaching a balanced viewpoint and avoiding imposing personal views, and advice on adapting the unit to meet the needs of individual classes.
  • Links to our RRSA curriculum and the relevant Children’s Rights.

Our unique ChangeMakers programme runs throughout our curriculum and introduces children to individuals throughout history and alive today who are significant or have made a difference to the world. These range from the very famous (Amelia Earhart and Queen Elizabeth 1 in Year 1, Marie Curie and Jesse Owens in Year 2) to the less well known (Carol and Paddy Henderson, Trussel Trust founders, in Year 3, Barates the Syrian at Hadrian’s Wall in Year 4, Fatima al-Fihri, founder of the first university, in Year 5 and Alexine Tinne, 19th Century Desert Explorer in Year 6).

We use a wide range of sources to develop children’s historical understanding of their surrounding world, including visitors, trips, original sources artefacts and historical fiction and stories. Children start to build a firm grasp of concepts of time, present, past and future in the EYFS, then go onto  learn about events within and beyond living memory in KS1.  They progress to study the history of their local area before building their understanding of British History to 1066 in preparation for the KS3 curriculum. They go on to learn about advanced civilisations around the world including the ancient Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, early Islamic Civilisation and the Benin Empire.

We are particularly proud of our Manchester History units which give children a strong sense of local history while consolidating their chronological understanding and reinforcing their knowledge of British and World History.  These units cover the history of  Manchester and the North West from Lindow Man to the present day, including “Manchester, the Industrial Revolution and Slavery”,  “20th Century Manchester” , “Eyam and the Plague” and a consolidating Year 6 unit on “Immigration to Manchester through the ages”, which includes an overview of the Black and Asian presence in Manchester from the Syrian Romans to the Windrush generation, and gives children chance to reflect on how their own family history is part of the history of the city.