Wolvercote Primary School


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At Wolvercote, we aim to give our children the knowledge of significant events and people needed to place these in context on a timeline. We want children to develop this chronological understanding in an age- appropriate way, and their learning begins with their own ‘history’; our youngest children learn to identify the significant events and people in their own lives, and as they progress through the school we develop their understanding of how their own life events link with local, regional, national and international history. 

We encourage children to be curious in their learning about significant people. We aim to develop their appreciation of how the present is different from the past and that people celebrated for achievements in other times and places may have had different values and attitudes from our own.

Teaching & Learning

History at Wolvercote is taught through a Topic curriculum; our pupils access all areas of the History National Curriculum through themed topics of study. Every two terms a focus topic is used to provide a context within which pupils explore related areas of the History Curriculum. The topics we teach have been selected to enable meaningful and creative links to be made across curriculum areas and ensure that all areas of the History Curriculum can be covered. 

Within early years, aspects of history are taught through ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World’. Children explore these ideas through talking about special events in  their own lives and in the lives of those important to them.

Lessons in KS1 and KS2 are taught using a variety of teaching and learning styles in order to develop children's knowledge, skills and understanding. Our lessons develop children’s skills in asking questions, critical thinking and making judgements about historical periods. To support children in developing a broad range of historical enquiry skills, we also ensure that:

  • They have access to, and are able to handle artefacts
  • They go on visits to museums and places of interest
  • They have access to secondary sources such as books and photographs
  • They listen to and interact with stories from the past, including those of visitors
  • They undertake ‘fieldwork’ by interviewing family and older friends about changes in their own and other people’s lives
  • They use drama to act out historical events
  • They are shown, or use independently, a range of resources including video, non-fiction books and the internet
  • They are provided with opportunities to work independently or collaboratively, to ask as well as answer historical questions.
  • We emphasise the process of enquiry and develop the range of skills required to interpret primary and secondary source materials for evidence
  • They are taught to distinguish between historical facts and the interpretation of those facts
  • To understand that events have many causes and that explanations for these events may change, may not be agreed with, and is sometimes controversial

Equality of opportunity

Our topic-based curriculum is planned to ensure that alongside the teaching of key skills and knowledge, an appropriate range of diverse cultures, significant historical figures and viewpoints are represented. 

We use the positive experience of the topic context to make sure the knowledge and skills learned are both accessible and enjoyable for our children, as well as presenting learning and recording tasks with a range of formats.

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