By the time they leave Northgate, we aim for our pupils to;
Have developed their experiences and understanding of History in the local area, Britain and the wider world, inspiring and igniting their curiosity and fascination about the past, how it may affect the future and the pupil's place within it. The pupils will be able to think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgements. We believe that learning about historical events provides an important context for the development of pupils' key learning skills, particularly communication, working with others, problem solving and critical thinking skills and that this will be done not just through experiences in the classroom but also through the use of fieldwork and educational visits.
We aim to bring History to life at Northgate by immersing children in realistic experiences both in school and on exciting educational visits linked to our topic areas. Children have a real understanding of their place in history and concepts of when events happened in relation to each other are consistently reinforced.
Through these opportunities, investigations, research and enquiries, children will begin to ask historical questions for themselves and consequently gain skills to clarify their own life choices, attitudes and consider the ways in which the past influences the present and their future.
In order to provide children with these important skills our History curriculum is based on one that is as practical and as creative as possible. The children are engaged in a variety of “WOW” moments to capture the children’s interest. These "WOW" moments may be in the form of themed days such as our “Viking” day, in school workshops run by Somerset Heritage as well as external visits. In addition to these WOW moments, the children at Northgate are exposed to a wealth of historical sources in the form of paintings, artefacts, photographs, posters, letters as well as books and the internet.
In EYFS and Nursery the focus for our children is on family and personal history. In Key Stage 1 the focus moves to significant people in the past as well as some important events in Britain beyond living history such as the Gunpowder Plot and the Great Fire of London. The children are also given the opportunity to see how an aspect of life has changed within living memory by comparing their childhoods with the childhood of their grandparents.
In Key Stage 2 there is more of a focus on earlier history, both British and World. The topics are studied chronologically so that the children are able to develop a clear understanding of the progression of historical eras and how they link together. In Year 6, pupils will expand their chronological knowledge beyond 1066 through a study of Crime and Punishment from the Anglo-Saxons to Modern day.
Where possible, History is taught using a cross-curricular approach. This means that children are immersed in the topic they are studying and their understanding of the time period is enhanced through their writing and reading.
At Northgate, the focus on chronology starts in EYFS and Key Stage 1 where children are taught about the language of chronology and comparison which they can then apply to their comparisons of their own childhoods and their grandparents’. The focus on significant people/events and local history in the earlier year groups allows the children to build a comprehensive knowledge of chronology as well as a good awareness of local historical knowledge which is built upon in Key Stage 2. The local community and local resources are used as much as possible. The children are taken to nursing homes to talk with the residents about their childhoods and a number of year groups utilise the history of Bridgwater itself; visiting the Victorian sites, investigating the impact of WWI on Bridgwater and seeing how events like the carnival have changed over the years. Revisiting topics set in the local area allow progression of skills to be shown; from comparing simple ‘then’ and ‘now’ comparisons of childhoods in Bridgwater to an in depth look at the significant events and dates of the impact of WWI on the local area.
The focus on British and World history in Key Stage 2, allows the children to build upon their chronological understanding as well as their understanding of concurrent historical events ensuring that they can see the ‘bigger’ picture.
The use of outings and trips allows the children to both experience history and see its impact on the area. Days at places like the Rural Life museum and Caerleon give children an experience to remember and allow them to experience the place/era that they are learning about.