At Hollymount School, our aim is for history to be a subject where historians are made and where children use enquiry skills to discover past. This is not done through just building knowledge of historical events and repeating facts, but by developing the skills they need to approach, research and discover any period in history. We believe that there should be a clear progression of historical skills both in source work and interpretation and have a language rich environment where historical concepts are continuously explored. The reading ‘expert tips’, which are already integrated into the children’s learning, are embedded within the history curriculum. This will provide the fundamental principles of source work and lead historical enquiry.
The use of the comprehension express reading ‘expert tips’ in lessons will be key to developing children’s historical enquiry skills. These include:
- Explore vocabulary – Lessons incorporate a focus on historical terminology and concepts which will be then used in the lesson. For example the concept of ‘empire’ is looked at and defined on a general sense then used when looking at the Roman Empire.
- Ask a question – Children have an opportunity to ask meaningful questions based on what they see when looking at primary sources. This can be done at a start of a unit. It can also be used to reflect on evidence and help them analyse and explore cause and consequence.
- Think and remember – Children use previous topics studied and apply it to what they know now. For example, the location of Italy in Europe from a previous geography lesson or remembering that the Stone Age came before the Bronze Age when placing events on a timeline.
- Make connections and search for clues and Predict – Children use sources to look for clues about the past and make justifiable claims based on the evidence.
- Read it again – When looking at more than one source (especially with online research) to validate accuracy and interpretations.