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Being a Historian

Being a Historian Champion: an approach to History


What is the point of Being a Historian

A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.


The aims of being a Historian are:

  • 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; characteristic features

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 the methods of historical 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.


Where does it come from?

Being a Historian is integrated into our curriculum through Curious-city. An enquiry-led, local learning approach to the National Curriculum 2014. This approach recognises that the cognitive maturity of learners affects what and how they learn. It also encourages teachers to think of how they encourage learners to Being a Historian instead of simply teaching them History.


Within a Curious-city curriculum, there is no ‘skills or knowledge’ debate. It is seamless blend of both, and through every enquiry, learners are challenged to work independently to prove their understanding of Being a Historian.


What does Being a Historian entail?

  • Provide encouragement and ideas to staff across the school 
  • Monitor content and enquiries and be mindful of coverage ‘v’ skill acquisition
  • Collect and evaluate different voices with regard to Being a Historian
  • Ensure enquiry planning and floor books are sufficient to effectively represent Being a Historian


What is ‘covered’?

Essentially, a Curious-city curriculum uses the National Curriculum 2014 areas as a basic foundation of entitlement. However Curious-city is much more than that. It is localised, real-life and challenges learners to apply their learning in unique ways without the support of adults to prove what they have learnt. Local companies, charities, organisations, individuals and objects are used as foci to enhance and instill a sense of curiosity, pride and stewardship. 


How is Being a Historian monitored and assessed?

Every term, through a family ‘sharing of learning’ event, Being Champions review floor books and displays of learning shared with families. This helps to not only ensure coverage and ‘matching up’ progress throughout a year group in line with the whole school curriculum map, but also gauge learner and family reactions to learning and provides an opportunity to collect different voices. 


Every two terms, Being Champions meet as a team to discuss and share what they are seeing and hearing, and as working as a team, help to review the school’s curriculum and contribute to the development plan. One of the Being Champions is then designated to report to the Senior Leader Team. 


As there is no requirement to formally report attainment of History. Being a Historian is assessed through monitoring how a learner responds to enquiries and whether they show a particular enthusiasm and disposition towards it, or, if they constantly needed support in order to access it. This information is recorded onto the medium term plans which are kept and used for report writing towards the end of the year.