Our history curriculum at Deer Park School enables our pupils to acquire an understanding of how historians understand the past and they develop an in-depth knowledge of the past. Through reading, interpreting and analyses of historical sources, pupils learn how historians study the past and use evidence to construct their accounts. Through the study of these accounts, they develop how to write like historians. The pupils develop secure chronological knowledge through repeated reference to and work with history within the chronological framework. The topic and content choices are based on the context of DPS and enabling the pupils to understand their shared past but also to have windows into topics unfamiliar to them. The topic and content choices also ensure that pupils understand their own identity and the experiences of others in the world.
As a result of the careful design of the curriculum for both topics and content, we ensure that all pupils understand and access new material when it is taught. The knowledge that is gained is linked through authentic horizontal, vertical, and diagonal links across the whole school curriculum. The pupils from EYFS to Year 6 repeatedly learn through authentic examples building on the substantive knowledge the pupils have learnt in previous years. Chronological knowledge is central to each unit and is referred to throughout to ensure that the pupils develop a coherent narrative about this period of history and its connection to other periods they have learned about. This includes broad characteristics and general features, particular dates and events and the broad developments that link to other periods they have studied or will study. Through our curriculum, we develop the pupils’ knowledge about the past and their understanding about how historians investigate the past. Both the substantive and disciplinary knowledge are interwoven with each other to support the long-term retention of the pupils’ knowledge and understanding.
At DPS we assess the impact of our teaching through assessment in class and through pupil voice. Pupils have retrieval opportunities as starters for each lesson. Teachers then assess if areas need to be re-visited based on these assessments or whether some pupils need consolidation or support. End of unit assessments ensure that pupils have an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learnt. This summative assessment feeds into future unit planning. Pupil voice at the end of each unit shows that pupils have acquired the requisite knowledge and can answer disciplinary knowledge questions using their substantive knowledge to support their explanations. Throughout the year, through effective monitoring by subject leaders’ areas of development are identified and addressed. At the end of the year the curriculum design decisions are reviewed by the subject leaders and senior leaders to establish if they need to be altered or remain the same.