Why do we teach History?

At Westcliff Primary Academy, we view History as a great deal more than learning facts.  We see it as an opportunity to develop skills of inquiry and questioning; to become open minded “historical detectives” and explore the past in an exciting way.  We offer our children the opportunity to explore links between different time periods and civilisations and build up a historical knowledge over their time at Westcliff. 

How do we deliver History in school? 

In the foundation stage, the children are learning about themselves and the world around them, and they begin to develop a sense of time and chronology through activities which involve looking how they have changed since they were a baby; the different seasons and why we wear different clothes at different times of the year and the cycle of celebrations throughout the year.

Throughout the rest of school history is taught in discrete lessons, and our key concepts or threads throughout are:

  • Location 

  • Beliefs 

  • Settlements

  • Conflict

  • Society

  • Culture and Pastimes

  • Food and Farming

  • Travel and Exploration (World History)

For example, children explore what food and farming techniques looked like during the Stone Age in lower Key Stage 2 in Autumn term, then find out and compare these techniques to those of the ancient Egyptians later in Spring term.  They will then use this knowledge to compare and contrast food and farming of the early Islamic civilisation in Years 5 and 6.

We also believe that it is vital for children to have opportunities to revisit and deepen their learning about different time periods and learning is most effective with spaced repetition. This means that our children develop their historical skills by introducing studies of a range of eras and time periods in Years 1, 3 and 5 and returning to these topics in the following school years (Years 2, 4 and 6) to develop and deepen their understanding.

During history lessons and WOW times children will explore civilisations and time periods through the observation of various sources, be it physical artefacts, primary and secondary resources and through research and discovery.  They will also be encouraged to explore the reliability and validity of these sources, and critically analyse the accounts of historical events. 

Within our exciting curriculum we also have ‘WOW’ (World of Westcliff) sessions. These cover historical skills and objectives, encouraging the children to both revisit and investigate additional events, people and eras.

We also believe that children learn best when what they learn is explicitly relevant to them.  With this in mind we have an overall aim to ensure our history curriculum reflects the history of our local area.  For example, in Years 1 and 2 children have the opportunity to find out about the history of the RNLI in Fleetwood and link this to research around Grace Darling.  In Years 5 and 6 our children explore the Victorian era and specifically the impact of this era on Blackpool. 

Below is a link to the History Curriculum Overview:

History Curriculum

Updated: 18/11/2021 370 KB