History at Portway Infant School
At Portway we want children to become motivated, curious learners, developing a love of finding out new things. We encourage children to be curious about their own lives and the world around them. Through the use of exciting History based topics children are given a deeper knowledge and understanding of the world they live in and the people and influences through time. Children become independent researchers who are able to question and find out information by themselves as well as communicating their findings to others. Each of our History topics link to many other areas of the curriculum which allows the children a breadth of learning across different subjects and the opportunity to apply their developing skills.
For young children it is important for them to see the relevance of History for them. In the Early Years Curriculum children begin by looking at the people in their own lives, who they are and how they relate to each other. A key skill for these children is ‘talk’ and we provide lots of opportunities to look, think and discuss.
We use our “Wow Moment Celebrations” and “Time to Talk” sessions to encourage the children to share their experiences, talk about their own lives and those of others around them as well as the significant milestones they have achieved and/or experienced. Our class timelines allow children to record memorable moments at school for each month of the year. The children choose something they have enjoyed doing at the end of the month and display a photograph on the timeline. Other topics such as ‘Bears’, ‘Birthdays’ and ‘Fairy Tales’ facilitate opportunities to embed some key historical vocabulary as well as knowing some similarities and differences between things in the past and now.
Our Year One topics including ‘Castles’, ‘Space and The Moon Landing’ and ‘Titanic’ allow opportunities to widen the children’s understanding and knowledge of events that happened in the past and to explore the passing of time. The children explore the reasons why things happened and the challenges that significant people took on. These topics often begin with an exciting hook to heighten children’s interest and curiosity. Trips to museums and visitors into school including an in school Planetarium experience consolidate this learning allowing for further investigation.
The children in Year 2 develop a deeper knowledge and understanding by building upon what they have learnt in previous years. On exploration of Scott’s journey to the Antarctic links are made to Neil Armstrong and his exploration of the unknown and just like lessons were learnt from the sinking of the Titanic children are encouraged to look at cause and consequence in exploring the events of the Great Fire of London. Children begin to see the importance of learning about events in history so that lessons can be learnt for life in current times. The children are given opportunities to look at primary and secondary sources of information and are taught to investigate fact and fiction when carrying out their learning.
History at Portway is not confined to specific history lessons as many opportunities are given to develop children’s knowledge through other times such as story times and guided reading sessions which use books linked to different historical events.