Time to put my history hat on!

Consultancy

It was time to draw on my experience of teaching across the humanities today; some bespoke CPD with a history stance. I had previously worked with the Geography Subject Leader at Lawrence View Primary and Nursery School in Eastwood, Nottingham (https://www.lawrenceviewprimary.co.uk/) and her colleague, with responsibility for history, approached me to see if I could spend some time looking at their whole school curriculum map and supporting with any necessary tweaks. It was proposed that the History Subject Leader had two sessions, a couple of weeks apart, which would enable her to consult with relevant colleagues and explore some of the suggested ideas, websites and resources inbetween. She could then come back with any questions or issues that she had, which we would aim to resolve, before tackling the next stage of their curriculum planning and development journey.

The school had an Ofsted inspection back in 2022, with a brief look at history. The comments were very positive, but the History Subject Leader wished to feel more confident in being able to justify what they were doing when. Her requests were to double-check coverage, sequencing and progression from EYFS to Year 6, identifying any gaps or suggestions for greater cohesion, and provide ideas for local history studies at KS1 and KS2. Whilst an enquiry approach to learning was evident, it was felt that some units could benefit from improved structuring; an over-arching question, supported by several ancillary questions.

We began by delving into the updated EYFS statutory framework and Development Matters documentation, focusing on the area of learning entitled ‘Understanding the World‘ (UtW) and the Early Learning Goal (ELG) ‘Past and present’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework–2 and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/development-matters–2). From here, we revisited the National Curriculum history programmes of study at Key Stages 1 and 2 (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5a7c2917e5274a1f5cc762cf/PRIMARY_national_curriculum_-_History.pdf). All aspects via local history studies were being covered and sequenced in a suitable manner to ensure progression. We discussed resources currently employed and I directed the History Subject Leader to additional, useful websites and materials. We thought about significant people and places within the local area that may act as a focus for a local history study and I gave her a number of possible leads to pursue for further information, potential visits and speakers.

Besides, I linked to Ofsted’s recent subject report for history, ‘Rich encounters with the past‘, highlighting the main findings and recommendations (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/subject-report-series-history). We also talked about current points of discussion, also features of Ofsted’s Education Inspection Framework (EIF) (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/education-inspection-framework), namely reading across the curriculum, subject-specific vocabulary, cultural capital and equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). Although such items were largely embedded within the whole school curriculum, the History Subject Leader did gain inspiration for promoting these aspects further following our chat. After the session, I went away and explored these facets too and e-mailed several links to the History Subject Leader thereafter.

Next time, we intend to look at each unit in turn, considering its structure, including the overriding enquiry question, ancillary questions, resourcing and assessment opportunities.

The History Subject Leader stated that she had found the morning to be insightful and productive. I think she now has plenty to digest and investigate before I see her in a fortnight’s time.

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