Curriculum Statement: History
Our curriculum is underpinned by our core values;
The intent of History at PVS is to enable students to make informed decisions and judgements in their life that is based on a knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Studying History allows students to challenge prejudice and ignorance and develop an appreciation of a multi-cultural society that we live in and their part to play in it.
Teaching focuses on exploring the issues that have a relevance to modern society and that promote thinking about how the decisions of individuals can have long term and significant consequences. By approaching History in this way, students are able to consider their decision now and later in life to become resilient and aspirational student who can effect change. This is also explored through aspects of local history, so that students understand not only national and global events but how their local world has been shaped through the past.
Secure developments and achievements…
Prepare students for “life beyond Pewsey Vale”
Promote active community involvement
Offering a transition lesson to introduce student’s basic skills, such as using sources and evidence. This is built upon at the beginning of Year 7 with introductory lessons so that students have a grounding in basic skills. These lessons concentrate on teaching students what History is and how historians study the past. In doing so students are challenged to think of the past not as just a list of dates and events but as a narrative that could be interpreted in many different ways.
Through nurture provision (Individual needs)
Lessons are differentiated so that all students are able to access learning and the curriculum. This is provided through modelling, scaffolding and differentiated resources. A big focus in History is written communication and for students to be able to express their views. This is encouraged through engagement with students in discussion work and talk for writing.
The history department offers trips that allow students to contextualise their learning and make it more meaningful. Currently two trips are offered to the battlefields in Year 9 and Berlin as part of the GCSE on the Cold War and Nazi Germany.
Through teaching, learning & assessment
In Key Stage three a broad and balanced curriculum is taught that explores History from the medieval period to modern times. This exposes students to a wide range of examples and events that cover different aspects of History but also allows students to explore more general historical processes and questions.
Throughout these years students develop the fundamental skills of causation, significance and source evaluation. Students are encouraged to think independently through the topics studied. Lessons are taught in an engaging and interactive way to promote a love of learning and for the subject. These form the foundation for studying History at GCSE.
At Key Stage 4 the curriculum follows the Edexcel exam board. The topics that are taught cover a wide chronological period and were selected as they are the most relevant to the students at Pewsey Vale.
Students are assessed regularly at the end of each unit of learning. This is followed up with in-depth feedback that allows students to understand how to improve and targets for their next assessments. In addition to end of unit assessments there are knowledge quizzes and tests to promote revision skills and independent learning.
Through promoting literacy
Each subject has a copy of the school’s literacy strategy both in the front of the student’s books and also as a learning mat on desks. This is given to support the accurate use of subject specific spelling and correct use of grammar and punctuation. The subject specific word listed on each document are Tier 2 and Tier 3 language. The aim of this document is to provide learners with a format that is familiar, but developed for the lesson they are in at the time. Classrooms display Tier 2 and Tier 3 language for the specific topics being taught. Spellings of key words are corrected when work is deep marked. A literacy target is given. Both are addressed during DIRT sessions where learners are asked to improve their work in a dedicated section of any given lesson. Students are encouraged to read aloud in lessons and to grapple with difficult texts.
Students are given a set of homework ‘menus’ and independent research projects, such as ‘spin the globe’ where students research another part of the world that is not included in the curriculum to give them an awareness of other world events. This is designed to promote independent learning and a love of the subject. It is also designed to introduce students into revision techniques and activities so that by the time they reach GCSE they know how to revise effectively for assessments.
The impact of the school’s curriculum is measured through several means: