At Woodchurch Road we are studying CUSP History. Through this pupils become more expert as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating, connecting and making sense of the rich substantive and disciplinary knowledge.
There are two key aspects to learning:
Substantive knowledge - this is the subject knowledge and vocabulary used about the past. Common misconceptions are explicitly revealed as non-examples and positioned against known and accurate content.
Disciplinary knowledge – this is the use of that knowledge and how children construct understanding through historical claims, arguments and accounts. We call it ‘Working Historically.’ The features of thinking historically may involve significance, evidence, continuity and change, cause and consequence, historical perspective and contextual interpretation.
CUSP History is built around the principles of cumulative knowledge The effect of this cumulative model supports opportunities for children to associate and connect with significant periods of time, people, places and events.
KEY STAGE 1
Our focus is on young children developing a sense of time, place and change. It begins with children studying Changes within living memory to develop an understanding of difference over time within concrete experiences of their lives. This chronological knowledge is foundational to the understanding of change over time.
Pupils then study the Lives of significant individuals. Chronology and place in time steers the understanding of the context in which these significant individuals lived. Terms such as legacy are introduced and used within the context of each study.
In KS1, pupils study our local history through significant events, people and places.
Events beyond their living memory. Here, pupils draw upon early concepts of chronology and connect it to more abstract, but known, events in the past focusing on the Great Fire of London.
LOWER KEY STAGE 2
In lower KS2, pupils study the cultural and technological advances made by our ancestors as well as understanding how historians think Britain changed throughout the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. Archaeological history guides us to know how early humans were creative, innovative and expert at surviving in changeable environments. Having an in-depth understanding of Iron Age Britain offers solid foundations for the study of how Rome influenced Britain.
Studies of how Britain was settled by Anglo-Saxons and Scots gives a focus on cultural change and the influence of Christianity. Pupils study how powerful kings and their beliefs shaped the Heptarchy of Anglo-Saxon Britain
CUSP also focuses on the Struggle for throne of England through a study of the Vikings, their origins, conquests and agreements with English Anglo-Saxon kings to settle and dwell in the region known as Danelaw.
UPPER KEY STAGE 2
Later in KS2, knowledge of Anglo-Saxons is revisited and used to connect with a study of the Maya civilisation. The study compares advancement of the Maya culture and innovation to that of the Anglo-Saxons around c.AD 900.
Pupils also study Significant monarchs after 1066. Five kings and queens are a focus of a depth study and comparison, drawing on their beliefs, actions and understanding their legacy.
Ancient Egyptians and the study of Ancient Greek life and achievements are also studied learning about their influence on the western world. The understanding of culture, people and places are central to these studies. CUSP History connects these studies with prior knowledge of what was happening in Britain at the same time.
Recent history, such as the Battle of Britain for example, is studied in the context of how conflict changed society in the Second World War. Modern history is also studied through units such as the Windrush Generation. Knowing about slavery, Caribbean culture and the injustice of the past enlightens pupils to understand why events happened and how these pioneers faced racism, discrimination and prejudice.
An essential component to CUSP lessons is the systematic and coherent approach that we embed focusing on the six phases of a lesson.