At Townfield Primary School, we follow the National Curriculum and have made some enhancements such as visits to the Liverpool World Museum, Chester Roman Experience and Online workshops provided by the National Archives amongst others. All pupils study History including those who have SEN and/or disabilities and those who are disadvantaged. Our curriculum is carefully weighted with equal priority given to both substantive knowledge (people, dates and events) and disciplinary knowledge (how historians work and come to their conclusions).
We follow the REACH curriculum, which builds in complexity so that pupils can build their skills and knowledge as they progress through the school. Knowledge and skills are constantly revisited and refreshed to ensure that they become embedded. To aid understanding subject specific vocabulary is taught explicitly within every lesson. We have created end points for each topic and milestones for the end of each year to show what pupils should know and can do. As the children move to the next year group, the next teacher then knows where to start. This is evidenced in our VOCUS document which you can find at the bottom of this page. Our pupils represent an urban area of Wirral and this is reflected through an inclusive, diverse curriculum which is supported through additional extra-curricular focuses on events such as Remembrance Day, Black History Month and the Queen’s Jubilee.
At the Townfield Primary School, we promote the use of a knowledge-rich curriculum to serve key principles of cognitive science. Scientific research has shown that knowledge is essential to the development of reading comprehension and critical thinking. Research has also shown that those who are rich in knowledge gain new knowledge quicker and more effectively. We therefore place the acquisition of knowledge at the heart of the learning process. Our aim is for all children to access challenging curriculum content that covers a range of subject-specific concepts.
We seek to deliver this curriculum through the use of high-quality resources – mini-textbooks and knowledge organisers that lay out specific, detailed, coherent knowledge – and pedagogical practices that seek to ensure the knowledge is not merely encountered but fixed in the long-term memory. In KS2, the use of pre-planned curriculum materials means that we can quality assure the content taught. These materials were created through a government-led incentive by Reach Academy, Feltham. They support teachers in their planning, so they can focus on their subject knowledge and pedagogical practice, with the latter aspect further supported through our own CPD and professional dialogue. The development of children’s knowledge and understanding is further deepened through links made in reading lessons. The KS1 curriculum has been designed to introduce pupils to key subject-specific concepts and vocabulary in order to prepare them for KS2. In order to implement our curriculum and ensure success, we make use of the following resources:
A knowledge organiser is at the heart of each unit. This itemises the core content and knowledge necessary to develop a sophisticated schema for each unit of work. Over the course of the years, they ensure that all pupils become ‘culturally literate’ and have the opportunity to engage in ‘powerful knowledge’ (Hirsch, 1987; Young, 2013). The knowledge organiser acts as a planning, teaching and assessment tool. It provides clarity to leaders, teachers, pupils and parents about the main content to be remembered in the long term.
Each unit includes a work booklet. This helps structure every lesson through a rich, challenging, but age-appropriate text. Key graphics, images and diagrams are all included alongside the text. In line with Rosenshine’s (2012) principles of effective instruction, questions and tasks break up the lesson into small manageable chunks while also ensuring that pupils get regular opportunities to practice new learning. The work booklet clearly sets out the understanding that teachers will develop in class, ensuring high academic expectations of all pupils (Rosenthal & Jacobson, 2008). Increasing the subject knowledge of teachers, especially non-specialists such as primary school teachers, is paramount as ‘pedagogical content knowledge’ has been identified as the most important controllable factor associated with student outcomes (Coe et al, 2014). Having used these materials for some time, our teachers have developed their understanding of how to provide opportunities for deep learning, so we now use the resource alongside an exercise book to provide space for pupils to further develop their answers. At Townfield Primary school, we maintain consistently high expectations for all pupils and this is reflected in the quality and pride in which they demonstrate in their work booklets/exercise books.
The benefit of retrieval practice is one of the strongest findings in cognitive psychology (Roediger & Karpicke, 2006; Storm, Bjork & Storm, 2010). Low-stakes quizzes are efficient, effective and motivating for pupils, while also providing teachers with information about what pupils have misunderstood or are struggling to remember. Each lesson begins with a retrieval quiz, but we also use a range of retrieval strategies beyond the lesson to ensure content is retained in the long-term memory through spaced learning. To ensure coverage of prior learning, teachers follow a retrieval plan so that all topics are revisited over time.
Although the curriculum package comes with slides for classroom use, our teachers have had training to enhance this resource to aid pedagogical practice and develop better pupil understanding. By standardising the format of these slides, we are able to provide consistency across the school and support teacher workload through the sharing of resources across year groups. Our adaptations to the lesson slides aim to aid learning in the following ways: the use of learning statements to aid metacognition, structure teachers’ explanations and enhance assessment for learning; the use of additional slides to make wider curriculum connections explicit; the provision of subject-specific vocabulary at the point of use; the use of rubrics for self and peer marking; additional activities to develop teaching ideas for tricky concepts; and extra opportunities for deep thinking and application of knowledge.
Our KS1 curriculum has been designed and created by Trust employees to ensure that National Curriculum objectives are covered and to introduce concepts that will be returned to in KS2 as part of our pupils’ educational journey. The entire curriculum has been mapped out to help teachers see the links between different units of study. As with KS2, support materials have been created to ensure consistency across the schools. These include subject knowledge overviews, lesson slides, retrieval quizzes and lesson tasks. These are reviewed regularly and evolve in accordance with teachers’ feedback.
Our curriculum is taught in termly, 2-week blocks. This allows ample opportunity for us to evaluate and reflect on the impact of our History curriculum. We will measure impact through learning walks, work scrutiny and pupil/parent/teacher voice. Children's completed workbooks/exercise books will be cross-moderated with other schools in the Rainbow Trust. Subject Leaders meet termly to evaluate impact and assess pupils’ learning.
Year 1: Explorers
Year 1 have been learning about explorers - in particular, the lives and achievements of Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong. Children have been comparing the two men and considering how their discoveries changed the world we live in today. In the pictures below, the children are sequencing events from the life of Christopher Columbus in chronological order.
Year 2: Great Fire of London
Year 2 have been learning about the Great Fire of London. In these images, the children were using the primary source of a Samuel Peyps' diary entry to find out what London was like during the time of the great fire of London. They considered the similarities and differencnes between modern day London and the time of the fire.
Year 3: Romans
Year 3 have been studying the rise of the Roman Empire. They have focused on the hierarchy within the ranks and the difference between legionaries and auxillary soldiers. As well as this, they have been learning about the Roman invasion of Britain and how it actually took 3 separate attempts before the job was completed!
Year 4: Tudors
Year 4 wondered how they would advise Henry regarding his first divorce. They also wrote a personal advert on his behalf to help him find a suitable wife.
Year 5: Victorians
Year 5 researched what it was like to live in the Vistorian era, especially as a child. They also reflected on the different perceptions of Victoria, considering the reliability of the various sources.
Year 6: World War II
Year 6 have been studying World War 2 and focusing on the factors which caused the conflict to begin. They have learnt about why Hitler and the Nazi party rose to power and the heinous crimes of the holocaust. As well as this, children considered the use of British and German propoganda and how they persusaded people to join the war effort. Some children have great grandparents who lived during this era and brought in some real life arterfacts share with their peers.
F1 - Celebrations
In Nursery, children have learnt about historical celebrations such as Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas and Bonfire Night. The children have enjoyed immersing themselves in the history and culture, exploring new foods, stories and traditions. They especially liked Diwali and the story of Rama and Sita.
Year 1 - Great Fire of London
How do we know so much about the Great Fire of London?
Year 1 discussed the vocabulary of source, artefact and evidence. They learnt how we know so much about the Great Fire by using sources as evidence.
The children had to search for the evidence, some of which is written but most are visual representations. The sources got stuck on the walls well spaced out. The children had to work in mixed pairs and walk along the ‘gallery’. They had to read the statements together about the fire and work out which source would have been used to prove the statement. So, for example, the date of the outbreak of the fire might be mentioned on a map or a newspaper.
Year 2 - Neil Armstrong and Amelia Earhart
Year 2 learned all about Amelia Earhart and Neil Armstrong and even enjoyed a zoom call from them both so they could ask them questions and learn first hand how it felt to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean and the first man to step foot on the moon. The children learnt about Amelia's life, how she was first attracted to flying and how she became the first woman to fly the Atlantic. They then learned about the space race to put the first person on the moon between the USA and the USSR and how Neil Armstrong came to be that person.
Year 3 - Shang Dynasty
Year 4 - Anglo Saxons
Year 5 - Medieval Monarchs
Year 5 have been learning about medieval monarchs and the ways in which they ruled. The children have studied the death of Edward the Confessor and the factors which caused the Battle of Hastings. They considered the relationship between the monarch and the church and gained an understanding of how closely they were linked throughout this period. The pupils studied Henry II's turbulent relationship with religion and they queried who was responsible for the death of Thomas Becket. The children then looked at two of Henry's children, Richard and John, and learned how historians view them and assess their reigns so differently. Pupils learned off Edward I's reign and why he is known as the coloniser; they carefully considered why he built so many castles in Wales and why he introduced the title Prince of Wales. To finish the topic off, we studied the impact of Henry VIII on the church and asked whether his reformation was for personal, political or economical reasons.
Year 6 - Civil Rights
They have been exploring the history of their lives and how they have grown up and when they were younger they were babies. This term they have also been looking at Rememberance Day, creating paintings and exploring the represenation of the poppy.
In History, Year 1 explored Seaside holidays in the past. As part of this unit we observed different souvenirs. We sketched them and wrote about where they were from, what they were made from and what they were used for. We also explored New Brighton Now and Then and were very surprised to learn how different and busy it used to be in its heyday!
This term they have been exploring the Anglo Saxons and the Scots.They have had the opportunity to use artefacts to help build a picture of what Anglo Saxon life would have been like and how different it is from ours. They have also learned how both the Scots and Angles invaded Britain and settled in areas such as Northumbria.
They have been looking at the key events within the Ancient Greeks. They have explored the Greek olympics, the Trojan War and Alexandra the Great.
This term we have discussed Mayan Trade and how the civilisation lasted so long. We carried out our own research using the following questions as a starting point: Why did it become important to trade? What did they trade? Who did they trade with? How far did their goods travel? How did they transport their goods? How were they paid?