Message sent from:
Saxon day Tithe AJ

History at St Finian's-intent implementation impact

Our understanding of history and the lessons we learn, help us to make sense of the world we live in today. It is our intention that the history curriculum at St. Finian’s equips children with an appreciation of the past and engages them in a way that helps them understand the nature of societies, cultures and communities in our own nation and in the wider world. 

St. Finian’s School itself, has its own historical story and as such is steeped in a rich history, originally being part of St Gabriel’s convent situated within the school grounds. This is a wonderful starting point for our curriculum; exploring the origin of our school, founded by Lady Alice Fitzwilliam and the Franciscan Missionary of Mary Order, dating back to the early 1900’s. 

At St. Finian’s we believe that a hands on, immersive approach to learning is a wonderful way to engage children in the history curriculum. We encourage children to become ‘historical detectives’ and to think critically. We ask them to consider the facts and make judgements based on credible evidence. Learning in this way is fun and challenges children to think in different ways. Children use their oracy skills to listen to and contemplate different views and perspectives about events in the past. They may even be persuaded to change their minds and take a different view once in a while!

During lessons, we use story telling as a hook and stimulus into learning. Stories are brought to life using drama to take children back in time; it wouldn’t be unusual to witness a viking burial in the hall or to see the Battle of Maldon unfolding on the school field! Much of our teaching inspiration and training has come from a close alliance with Ufton Court Education Centre near Reading; we visit the centre regularly and work with their teachers on developing our own curriculum; this spurs us on to continually improve, refine and shape the content we deliver at school. 

Children’s learning in history progresses from year to year, as knowledge, understanding and skills are built on. Children are taught to use historical vocabulary at age appropriate levels (for example, empire, civilisation, parliament and peasantry) and encouraged to use these to frame their conversations and support their writing.

Children have access to a wide range of resources to aid their learning, including; a 6 metre history timeline located in the centre of the school, up to date fictional and non-fiction texts, television historical documentary programmes, historical artefacts. We take our children on day and residential visits to learn about specific historical periods (e.g. Butser Anglo-Saxon Settlement in Hampshire, Viking studies at Ufton Court); we also invite guests into school to hear their experiences from the past e.g. war veterans linked to specific history topics (WWII). More recently, we have participated in Newbury Museum take over days, through which the children learn about local history events (e.g. the cotton merchant, Jack of Newbury) and learn the skills to become museum curators. 


The impact of our history curriculum is seen in children's progress in which they:

-acquire a rich knowledge and appreciation of the past

-develop an understanding of how historians make decisions, construct arguments and make claims (historical enquiry) 

-build chronological knowledge and an ability able to place periods in history on a timeline

-understand the nature of ancient civilisations, the expansion and destruction of empires 

-acquire knowledge of historical events with an ability to make links with the modern day 

-develop a wider understanding of the way civilisations from different periods in history developed and the impact this had for those societies

-relate to the broad characteristics of different periods in history and compare these to modern day living

Hit enter to search