History at Well Green
Well Green have adapted the Chris Quigley Curriculum Companion for history and have created a bespoke scheme building on the principles of excellent history teaching. History is taught every two weeks for deliberate spaced repetition and builds on concepts to make links between learning.
CURRICULUM INTENT STATEMENT
1. Learning is a change to long-term memory.
2. Our aims are to ensure that our students experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, long-term memory of an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge.
CURRICULUM INTENT MODEL
- Curriculum drivers shape our curriculum breadth. They are derived from an exploration of the backgrounds of our students, our beliefs about high quality education and our values. They are used to ensure we give our students appropriate and ambitious curriculum opportunities.
- Cultural capital gives our students the vital powerful knowledge required to be informed and thoughtful members of our community who understand and believe in British values.
- Curriculum breadth is shaped by National Curriculum, curriculum drivers, cultural capital, subject topics and our ambition for students to study the best of what has been thought and said by many generations of academics and scholars.
- Our curriculum distinguishes between subject topics and ‘threshold concepts’. Subject topics are the specific aspects of subjects that are studied.
- Threshold concepts tie together the subject topics into meaningful schema. The same concepts are explored in a wide breadth of topics. Through this ‘forwards-and-backwards engineering’ of the curriculum, students return to the same concepts over and over and gradually build understanding of them. Children build links and develop secure knowledge.
- For each of the threshold concepts three Milestones, each of which includes the procedural and semantic knowledge students need to understand the threshold concepts, provides a progression model.
- Knowledge categories in each subject give students a way of expressing their understanding of the threshold concepts.
- Knowledge webs help students to relate each topic to previously studied topics and to form strong, meaningful schema.
- Cognitive science tell us that working memory is limited and that cognitive load is too high if students are rushed through content. This limits the acquisition of long-term memory. Cognitive science also tells us that in order for students to become creative thinkers, or have a greater depth of understanding they must first master the basics, which takes time.
- Within each Milestone, students gradually progress in their procedural fluency and semantic strength through three cognitive domains: basic, advancing and deep. The goal for students is to display sustained mastery at the ‘advancing’ stage of understanding by the end of each milestone and for the most able to have a greater depth of understanding at the ‘deep’ stage.
- As part of our progression model we use a different pedagogical style in each of the cognitive domains of basic, advancing and deep. This is based on the research of Sweller, Kirschner and Rosenshine who argue to direct instruction in the early stages of learning and discovery based approaches later. We use direct instruction in the basic domain and problem based discovery in the deep domain. This is called the reversal effect.
- Also as part of our progression model we use POP tasks (Proof of Progress) which shows our curriculum expectations in each cognitive domain.
Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; three main principles underpin it:
- learning is most effective with spaced repetition.
- Interleaving helps pupils to discriminate between topics and aids long-term retention.
- Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength. In addition to the three principles we also understand that learning can be invisible in the short-term and that sustained mastery takes time.
- Our content is subject specific. We make intra-curricular links to strengthen schema.
Through repetition of the key concepts, children connect topics together and revisit knowledge categories in many ways. Children connect knowledge and build an understanding of the history of Britain and the wider world.
Because learning is a change to long-term memory it is impossible to reliably see impact in the short term.
- We do, however use probabilistic assessment based on deliberate practise. This means that we look at the practices taking place to determine whether they are appropriate, related to our goals and likely to produce results in the long-run.
- We use comparative judgement in several ways: in the tasks we set (POP Tasks); use knowledge mats; track end of unit assessments and in in comparing a student’s work over time.
- We use lesson observations to see if the pedagogical style matches our depth expectations