The purpose of the history curriculum

The purpose of the history curriculum is to help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world.

Students should be provided with both breadth and depth of understanding which becomes truly powerful when used to engage with the complex and diverse narratives which underpin the discipline of history. We also want to inspire pupils’ curiosities to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, and develop perspective and judgement on the past. Studying history will help students to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and their place within the modern world. Through moving through the curriculum, students should get better at the discipline of History.

The principles of the History curriculum

Here we explore the John Roan curriculum principles in the context of the history curriculum:

  • Entitlement: All pupils will study a broad range of content from the past 1000 years.  They will interact with a range of historical evidence and think about the value of that evidence in illuminating the past. Each enquiry will be underpinned by robust historical scholarship which encourages students to understand how and why interpretations of the past change over time.
  • Coherence:  Our curriculum is chronologically sequenced with a focus on period, place, and people. This develops a coherent framework around which students can build their historical knowledge. The sequence of the curriculum is carefully considered so that it deliberately builds on and develops conceptual and disciplinary knowledge across and within distinct units and years.
  • Mastery:  We want our pupils to be able to link new knowledge to previously taught content and understand the different ways they connect. Students are therefore required to regularly retrieve knowledge and apply it within different contexts as they move through the curriculum.
  • Adaptability: Teachers work within their specialisms to create strong and centralised resources which are delivered by the department, providing a high level of stretch and support to all students. At the John Roan School, we also embed the local History of London and Greenwich throughout the curriculum so that students can situate their understanding in local, national and global contexts.
  • Representation:  All pupils will encounter a curriculum in which they can see themselves within. Each unit of work is embedded within wider national and global contexts. Through exposure to historical scholarship, students encounter diverse narratives of the past which offer a range of diverse experiences.
  • Education with character: Through the curriculum, pupils are given opportunities to discuss and reflect on a range of historic issues. Within the school community, students are also provided with the opportunity to extend their learning through the remembrance and commemoration of significant events and individuals.

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