"History teaches everything, including the future". -Lamartine
At Aston Fields Middle School, we aim to ensure our pupils receive a high-quality history education that will inspire their curiosity to know more about the past. Our curriculum, for all years, has been carefully designed in order to achieve this and much more. Through the study of history, at Aston Fields Middle School, pupils will know more and remember more about Britain’s past and that of the wider world through a combination of overview and in-depth studies. Each topic will deepen pupils’ knowledge of a different type of history including cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history. Our pupils will also be able to do more by developing the ability to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, analyse arguments and develop their own perspective and judgement about the past.
Our intent is to deliver a curriculum which allows for the progression of key historical concepts through each year group. These include the following:
• Cause and consequence
• Change and continuity
• Similarity and difference
Whilst we believe that developing a chronological understanding about the past is important, we also feel that the teaching of history should not be constrained by chronology. Therefore, the model that we have adopted ensures that progression is centred around the development of the key concepts listed above as well as through the understanding of methods of enquiry such as evidence and interpretations of the past.
We encourage you to read the Key Performance Indicators for each year group which demonstrate our aims and how progression will occur.
Our curriculum, for all year groups, has also been designed to ensure coverage of the national curriculum for history which aims to ensure that all pupils:
• Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
• Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristics of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind.
• Gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’.
• Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
• Understand methods of enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
• Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short and long-term timescales.
In KS2, pupils will learn history through theme based topics alongside geography and religious studies, known collectively as HSSE. In their HSSE lessons, teachers use a themed approach to link the disciplines of geography, history and R.S. and help pupils see the relevance of their learning experience and help them to relate knowledge gained in different subject areas. Pupils extend their knowledge beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America and beyond.
Egyptians – In this topic pupils develop their understanding of one of the earliest ancient civilisations with a focus on pharaohs, religious beliefs and the pyramids.
Buildings – In this topic pupils develop their understanding of the historical context surrounding a range of buildings around the world including the Empire State Building.
Victorians – In this topic pupils develop their understanding of life during the Victorian era including what changed during the Industrial Revolution which includes a focus upon a local study of Bromsgrove.
Monarchy – In this topic pupils develop their understanding of what makes a good monarch by studying a range of kings and queens since 1066 including William the Conqueror, King John, Queen Anne and Queen Elizabeth II.
Ancient Greeks – In this topic pupils develop their understanding of one of the earliest ancient civilisations with a focus on democracy, city-states and the Olympic Games.
Mountains – In this topic pupils develop their understanding of how mountains are formed and the location of a range of mountains around the world. Pupils will develop the historical skill of explaining similarities and differences when studying mountains.
WW2 – In this topic pupils develop their understanding of the causes and consequences of the Second World War to coincide with their study of the Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas in English.
Brazil – In this topic pupils develop their understanding of a South American country with a particular focus on its culture allowing for a comparison with culture in the UK.In Year 6, when learning about the topic of Ancient Greece, pupils will improve their understanding of geographical concepts by studying the landscape and climate of Greece, which will then provide support in their historical understanding of government through city-states and daily life in Ancient Greece. The same approach is adopted for all other topics studied including mountains, Brazil and the Mayans.
The historical topics taught in Year 7 have been chosen to develop pupils’ chronological understanding of British history from the earliest times to the present day and how people’s lives have shaped this nation. In Year 7, we place a particular emphasis on assessing the extent of change and continuity within each time period studied and over time. Therefore, pupils will learn about topics such as the Norman Conquest, Magna Carta, the Black Death, Tudors, Stuarts and the Industrial Revolution in order to make links, comparisons and draw contrasts.
The historical topics taught in Year 8 have been chosen to develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of significant aspects of the history of Britain and the wider world. Therefore, pupils will learn about topics such as the Slave Trade, the campaign for civil rights in America, the Chartists, The Suffragettes and the French Revolution in order to assess the significance of individuals, events and situations.
The teaching and learning of history at Aston Fields Middle School enables our pupils to know more, remember more and be able to do more.
Throughout the course of each term, year and key stage, pupils build their historical knowledge of a range of topics. Furthermore, the sequencing of the curriculum means that the understanding pupils have developed is not seen as isolated knowledge, but rather as a range of events and situations which possess links. Consequently, pupils at Aston Fields Middle School, possess the capability to draw contrasts and connections over short and long periods of time.
In addition, pupils regularly recall their knowledge through low-stakes knowledge quizzes in lessons which influence further teaching and learning. As well as being able to recall their knowledge, pupils are able to deploy it through extended writing tasks. The use of key terminology is very important in history, as is the case with all other subjects. Therefore, pupils build their understanding of key historical terms on a lesson by lesson basis and use it in sophisticated ways, both verbally and in written format.
Pupils at Aston Fields Middle School have the ability to interpret and understand historical sources and interpretations within their given historical context. Pupils are able to think critically about why a source was made, when it was made and why a particular individual may provide a certain viewpoint about the past. This skill allows our pupils to think more carefully about different points of view in the modern world and gives them the ability to form opinions which are backed up with evidence.
Finally, the study of history allows our pupils to make greater sense of the world around them and ensures that they possess the skills to be successful both in the next stage of their education and in life after school.
We hope that you have found this page informative. At Aston Fields Middle School, we encourage independent learning. Should you wish to begin to know more about the history topics we cover, please use this useful website to begin your research.