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History at Orchard Lea Junior School

At Orchard Lea Junior School, we aim to instil a love of history in all children by providing a memorable and varied curriculum that inspires and encourages a sense of curiosity and interest about our world. Children will develop a well-rounded knowledge and understanding of a range of historical periods, including  significant events in Britain’s past, and how and why people interpret the past in different ways. Children will learn about the concept of chronology, which underpins children's developing sense of period, as well as key concepts such as the process of change and causation.


Our intention is to improve every child’s cultural capital and their understanding of the world around them. It is important to us that the children not only grasp a good understanding of the complexity of other people’s lives, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups but also explore their own identity and challenges of their time.


We want our children to leave Orchard Lea Junior School as confident historians capable of supporting, evaluating and challenging their own and others’ views and respecting evidence from a range of sources, making critical use of it within their learning. We understand the importance of being able to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past by formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry. We develop the children’s ability to communicate these ideas confidently to a range of audiences.

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History at Orchard Lea Junior School is taught using a blocked curriculum approach to ensure coverage and progression in all historical skills. The History curriculum is set out in chronological order to allow children to refer to previous events in time.


Each history unit at our school follows a six-step enquiry and a discussion based approach to learning which begins with a hook to motivate pupils and scope the enquiry. We use a problem or key question for the children to explore across the topic and make predictions.


To develop their thinking, children collect information about specific historical periods in interesting and varied ways through collaborative work such as investigating historical vocabulary, freeze frame reconstructions and research projects. Workshops led by historians, visits to historical locations and historical artefacts are used to engage children in the topic. Children are able to apply their P4C skills through exposure to a range of historical stimuli and sharing of first thoughts.


Children make sense of the ideas and process the information by sorting and grouping sources of information. Children are taught how to draw their own conclusions and make their own meaning. In order to achieve this, we support children in linking ideas, prioritising ideas and recognising what is significant so that they are able to form an opinion. We share our perspectives and question our thinking at this point in the enquiry. Children also demonstrate their understanding through a range of activities such as role play, challenges and unpicking scenarios.


Their understanding is developed and refined by adding new evidence, perspectives or sources to the enquiry which challenges their thinking. Pupils are then encouraged to create a final product to demonstrate their understanding and thinking throughout the topic. The practical, varied and cross curricular activities are designed to be accessible to all learners, giving them the opportunity to be creative in the way that they share their thinking, for example creating board games to represent significant events, pop-up museums and designing stamps to represent important figures or legacies of historical period.

The wider curriculum is woven into the blocked History units so that children are able to make connections in their learning and it engages them fully. Children are provided with opportunities to discuss high quality texts, videos and images with a close link to the English curriculum.

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