Subject Leader – History
At Rawmarsh Community School, the History department believe that History provides students with an identity. It helps students to understand their place in the world. To understand how and why society and culture in the UK and wider world have been shaped into the world we live in today by events and people in the past. It also inspires students to ask questions about their shared past and encourages them to delve deeper through Historical Enquiry.
At Rawmarsh Community School we aim to send all young people, in to an ever changing world, able and qualified to play their full part in it. We believe that our History curriculum needs to show students models of good and responsible citizenship. Knowing our own history, or the history of our culture, is important because it helps us to know who we are while moulding the future. Being familiar with past events gives us the ability not only to learn from past mistakes but also from the successes. We believe that it is critical in making our students fully equipped, well rounded and aware citizens, for them to be aware of the events in the past that have shaped our world today.
We aim to inspire our students to dig deeper into the past, their past. We seek to encourage students to be curious about the world they live in- the World’s History, but also their local, and family history. We facilitate their curiosity of how our world has evolved over the last 3000 years and to help them to make the future world a better world for them and their descendants. We aim to help students take responsibility for their actions and make the right decisions for them and their future.
Our 5 year curriculum spans the last 3000 years from the Iron Age to the end of the Cold War. We teach the use of valuable, transferable skills through interesting and engaging topics. We allow students the time to consider world changing events to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. We aim to offer a range of enrichment activities from theatre trips to consolidate their learning, Archaeological digs to promote physical history and career opportunities to historical trips. We facilitate students in developing their skill of historical enquiry through lesson based ‘Big Questions’ and independent home learning tasks and enrichment activities.
How we intend to remove barriers
Pupils are given the opportunity to read widely through the Historical Fiction library available in each History classroom- reading is rewarded in assemblies and through parental contact home when 5 books have been read and reviewed. We encourage students to follow lines of historical enquiry with their reading choices that link to our curriculum. Students are also exposed to reading through source material for historical context, involving skim reading and contextualising with their historical knowledge. We include an element of reciprocal reading in the majority of lessons, helping students to become familiar with subject specific vocabulary and encouraging active reading amongst the students. The introduction of the History library has been very successful and a wide range of books has been made available to all pupils to support them in reading widely and often outside of the classroom and to read for pleasure.. Literacy misconceptions do not go unchallenged and work is regularly checked for literacy errors allowing pupils to grow in confidence within literacy and access the skills required to be a more able historian.
There is some data interpretation and data handling within History through the use of graphs and charts in historical sources. Chronology skills also involve basic numeracy skills.
The reading we do within History develops pupils oracy skills as the range of historical sources is vast and students are encouraged to discuss the sources and make inferences from them. Students are expected to present their findings verbally through presentations and flipped learning opportunities.
Students are given key vocabulary through the use of glossaries, key words in lessons as well as knowledge and vocab quizzes where appropriate to consolidate the correct use of words in the correct context. The reading we do within History develops pupils’ vocabulary skills as the range of historical sources is vast and students are encouraged to discuss the sources and make inferences from them using key vocabulary. Student’s knowledge and understanding of key terms are checked and reaffirmed through low stakes testing within knowledge tests.
How we develop skills for learning
Students are given opportunities to develop their skills for learning and each and every lesson. These skills are interleaved throughout year year and throughout the 5 year curriculum to aid recall and retention. Engaging starter activities help students to know more and remember more by challenging their ability to recall key the key concepts of prior learning.
Our aspiring Historians are challenged to recall, describe and explain a variety of historical events as well as form evaluative conclusions. Students are also challenged to infer using a variety of sources and form conclusions based on information they find. The skills for learning process within the History curriculum both reinforces the key Historical skills content and helps our students to know, remember and be able to do more at each stage of the curriculum.
How we foster personal attributes
In History our curriculum intent embodies that of the school. We are committed to ensuring we do not only teach students the knowledge and skills that will help them pass examinations but we also provide them with the exposure to the wider world context in order to develop them as well rounded individuals. Our curriculum demands independence, resilience and responsibility in line with the Rawmarsh Way.
History allows students to look at events from our past to help us shape our future. This is done at a local, national and international context, facilitating students’ adoption of pride in local and national communities. We aspire for all our students to become avid Historians who demonstrate empathy, tolerance, understanding, aspiration and respect so they are prepared to be active citizens in the local community and beyond.
How we intend to enrich student experiences and broaden the horizons of students
History is a subject that must go beyond the classroom. To this end we broaden the horizons of all our students and enrich their experiences through a range of experiential and investigatory learning. All our students have exposure to learning beyond the traditional mainstream lesson and have opportunities to enrich their experiences through enrichment opportunities and local learning projects.
Within History at Year 7 we study a range of topics through ‘Big Questions’ to encourage our students to be inquisitive and to develop their historical enquiry skills. Lessons start with a ‘Big Question’ and students are set a historical enquiry based homework task once per half term- very often these are student led. We start our study of the History of the British Isles back at the Iron Age and then study the invading forces of the Saxons and Vikings and the Normans and the impact they have had on life in Britain even today. We believe it is important for students to understand the diverse,historical cultures that have made the nation what it is today. We then move onto life in Medieval England, Tudor England and the Stuart period. We study the beliefs and lifestyle of the different periods investigating the importance that Religion had on early English life. We also learn about different important historical figures including Kings such as Henry VIII and form opinions, by analysing evidence, around the successes and failures of their rulings. Within year 7 we also look at local history, where possible including a local study of Conisborough Castle during the Norman unit of study.
Our Subjects at KS4