AWA History Curriculum Principles

Intent Statement:

We want to provide a rigorous, diverse and transformational curriculum that develops a passion for the subject in our students and prepares them for success in school and beyond.

Rigorous means that we want our historians to not only learn substantive knowledge but also the disciplinary knowledge. By this, we mean that students understand that there is not one history but histories and how ‘knowledge was established, its degree of certainty and how it continues to be revised by scholars, artists or professional practice’ (Counsell, 2018)’.

Diverse means that we want our historians to study a wide range of histories from differing time periods, places and contexts. Our curriculum covers periods from antiquity right up to the modern era and students study Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas and Europe as they move through the school. We also want students to experience social, political, military, economic, and religious contexts of history.

Transformational means that we aim to build a passion for the subject in our students so that they want to study the subject at university and beyond. Our students will also gain lifelong skills from the subject, such as the art of analysis, evaluation, and judgement that will serve them well in their futures.

Implementation Key Principles:

  • Learning Objectives are achievable and checkpoints are used to measure progress.
  • Students are taught to understand key and second order concepts.
  • Lessons use an 'I, We, You' principle.
  • Texts are challenging and key terms are explicitly taught
  • Content is rich, relevant and reflective of the diverse world in which we live.
  • Learning is sequenced to enable young people to develop knowledge and skills.
  • Literacy is explicitly delivered across the curriculum. 
  • Learning is adapted to support the specific needs of individuals.
  • A sustainable approach is supported through the curriculum.
  •  Resilience is promoted for students by frequent (low stakes) assessment to inform teaching

In classrooms, this may look like:

  • Lessons are objective driven at Ks4/5 and outcome at KS3
  •  All lessons at KS3 and 4 follow a structure of: Do Now, Hook, Main Activity (I/We/You), Exit Ticket
  • Exit Tickets should always demonstrate that students have met the objective - and action is taken if not.
  •  Non-negotiables are highlighted in pink on previous slide – these should be seen in every lesson 5. Challenging texts will be used at least once a week and independent practice in the form of an exam question will also be seen.
  • Carefully planned shared schema, developed by experts and tailored by teachers to meet the needs of teaching groups
  • DO NOW tasks drawing on prior learning
  • Signature strategies used for Checking Understanding, such as Show Call, Show Me, Intentional Monitoring
  • Shared literacy and reading strategies in place, such as Inside Outside Beyond and whole class reading work
  • Precise pedagogical decisions made for students with additional needs (EHCP, SEND K, PSP, Behavioural, PA) including additional adults, alternative resources or outcomes, seating arrangements, precise deployment of signature strategies
  • Teaching which alters according to student understanding demonstrated both from assessment points and within lessons

In work produced, this may look like:

  • At KS4 the majority of work is done in booklets although these are in the process of being adapted – these should be green penned thoroughly, students adding to their original ideas during discussion with partner and whole class feedback
  •  Books will have students’ key terms alongside any GCSE questions – these answers will be peer marked or teacher marked
  • Regular feedback, which addresses knowledge or skills gaps
  • Opportunities for conscious practise by students (reteach episodes, ‘fix-it’ sessions, revision)
  • Opportunities for self and peer assessment, engaging with success criteria
  • As relevant to Key Stage, opportunities to engage with exam-style content
  • Home learning will promote digital literacy in line with school strategy

For students, this experience may include:

  • Regular appointments for discussion and debate
  • Experience of enquiry questions
  • An experience which values disciplinary knowledge
  • Consistent staffing in lessons with teachers who know them and similar learning journeys across year groups
  • Regular opportunities to engage with feedback on progress (parents’ evenings, progress grades, reports, assessment feedback, in-class feedback, marking)
  • A clear sense of the curriculum journey leading to CEIAG – how can you pursue this field of study? What might it lead you to?
  • Where students are taught by professionals at the start of their career, they can expect additional adults in classes supporting through a range of strategies (live coaching, learning walks, observations, team teaching)

Impact Key Principles

In evaluating the impact of our curriculum, we will consider:

  • Outcomes data, such as A level and BTEC Results, GCSE results, Additional qualifications (sports leaders, community languages, Entry level qualifications) and the performance of vulnerable groups within that data
  • Destinations data at common points of transition from the school (Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5)
  • Internal and external Quality Assurance processes (Ark review processes, governor accountability processes, internal audit processes, Ofsted)
  • The development of professionals into experts in their field through their work in supporting colleagues, supporting other schools, developing curriculum resource, becoming examiners etc.