Scoil Naomh Áine, Rathgarogue, New Ross
Introductory Statement and Rationale
This policy was created by the teaching staff of the above school following discussion and exploration of best practice in teaching History. During the school year 2010 -
We decided to agree an approach to History to ensure continuity in our teaching and to avoid overlap. We assimilated our teaching resources which are in the various classes and attach an appendix to this policy to inform all staff of the availability of books, DVDs, artefacts and other resources. This policy will form the basis of teacher’s long term and short term planning. It will inform new teachers of the approaches and methodologies used in our school.
We believe that Social, Environmental and Scientific Education (S.E.S.E) of which History is a part, provides opportunities for the child to explore, investigate and develop an understanding of the natural, human, social and cultural dimensions of his/her local and the wider environment.
It allows the child to investigate significant events in their own immediate past, the past of the families, communities, peoples of Ireland and of the world. It will benefit teaching and learning within our school.
Vision and Aims
We strive to enable each child to reach his/her full potential. We will create opportunities for the children to learn, to experience and to understand. Our children will be enabled to understand the present by exploring the past and to look forward to the future.
As our school is based in County Wexford, an area of historical importance and interest, we will strive to open the children’s minds to their rich local heritage.
We endorse the aims of Social, Environmental and Scientific Education as outlined on the SESE History Curriculum (SESE History Curriculum Statement Page 12)
• To develop an interest in and a curiosity about the past.
• To make the child aware of the lives of women, men and children in the past and how people and events had an impact on each other.
• To develop an understanding of the concepts of change and continuity.
• To provide for the acquisition of concepts and skills associated with sequence, time and chronology, appropriate to the developmental stages of the child.
• To allow the child to encounter and use a range of historical evidence systematically and critically.
• To provide opportunities for the child to communicate historical findings and interpretations in a variety of ways.
• To foster sensitivity to the impact of conservation and change within the local and wider environments.
• To help the child recognise and examine the influences of the past on the attitudes and behaviour of people today.
• To encourage children to recognise how past and present actions, events and materials may become historically significant.
1. Strands and Strand Units
Each teacher is familiar with the Strands, Strand Units and Content Objectives for his/her relevant classes and with the other class levels. This ensures a coherent programme throughout the school.
We are aware that Infant classes to Second class have to cover all strands and strand units and content objectives. From Third to Sixth class there is a menu curriculum from which we have chosen strand units. (See appendix 1) Certain strand units are revisited throughout the school and covered in depth as the children progress; these strand units are recorded in the teachers’ planning. Equal emphasis is given to each strand. We are aware that from most strands we must select two strand units each year. We intend, where possible, to integrate history in a thematic approach. A full range of objectives will be covered during each year.
2. Skills and Concepts Development
Each teacher is aware that the curriculum provides for the development of a growing range of historical skills and concepts. Teachers are aware of the aspects of Working as a historian that apply at each class level. Strategies that we will use in each classroom to develop the History skills include the following:
• Time and Chronology
• Using Evidence
At Infant level strategies we may use to develop the child’s skills to work as a young historian will include:
• Sequencing activities -
• Use of timelines
• Using simple evidence: artefacts from own personal past: clothes, toys, birthday cards etc; photographs from own personal past.
• Allowing children opportunities to communicate an awareness of stories about the past in a variety of ways: listening to and retelling stories, drama, art work, ICT.
First and Second Classes
We are aware of the skills and concepts that children will continue to develop through engagement with the History Curriculum and by having the opportunity to Work as historians.
pages 26, 27 and 31 C.S
• Time and Chronology
• Change and Continuity
• Cause and Effect
• Using Evidence
• Synthesis and Communication
Strategies we may use to develop the child’s ability to work as a young historian will include:
• Sequencing activities: placing objects or pictures in historical sequence
• Exploring instances of change and continuity in personal life, family and immediate local environment: looking at features which have changed or remained unchanged
• Through examining the actions of a character in a story discuss the reasons for change and the effects of change.
• Use of simple historical evidence: photographs, objects, memories of older people, buildings, stories and songs.
• Allowing children opportunities to communicate an awareness of stories, people and events from the past in a variety of ways: writing, drama, ICT etc.
Third and Fourth Classes:
We are aware of the skills and concepts that children will continue to develop through engagement with the History Curriculum and by having the opportunity to Work as Historians. Page 40 C.S
• Time and Chronology
• Change and Continuity
• Cause and Effect
• Using Evidence
• Synthesis and Communication
Strategies we may use to develop the child’s abilities to Work as Historian will include:
• Using timelines for children to record information about people and events.
• Examining and using a wider range of historical evidence: photographs, pictures, objects, memories of older people, buildings, stories, songs, written sources, films, other media, ICT
• Encouraging children to ask questions about a piece of evidence
• Enabling children to summarise information in and make deductions from a single source of evidence
• Providing opportunities for children to use evidence and imagination to reconstruct elements of the past and communicate this understanding in a variety of ways
Fifth and Sixth Classes:
We are aware of the skills and concepts that children will continue to develop through engagement with the History Curriculum and by having the opportunity to Work as Historians (Page 60 C.S)
• Time and chronology
• Change and continuity
• Cause and effect
• Using evidence
• Synthesis and communication
Strategies to develop children’s skills to work as young historians will include:
• Use of timelines
• Enable children to use words, phrases and conventions associated with the recording of dates and time, such as BC, AD, and Stone Age. Early Christian Ireland etc.
• Allow children to develop some skills in the location and selection of evidence
• Encourage children to compare accounts of a person or event from two different sources
• Encourage children to use imagination and evidence to reconstruct the past in a variety of ways: oral language, drama, writing, art work, modelling, other media, ICT
3. Approaches and Methodologies
The History Curriculum states that one of the keys to successful history teaching is the use of a broad range of classroom approaches and methodologies. We are aware of the variety of approaches and methodologies outlined as particularly suited to history and will endeavour to employ as many as we can as appropriate to our individual circumstance.
The range will include:
• Story (pages 65-
• Personal and family history (pages 72-
• Using artefacts-
• Drama and role-
• Using pictures and photographs (pages 87 -
• Use of the environment (pages 104-
• Oral evidence-
• Documentary evidence (pages 104-
• Use of ICT (pages 114 TG)
4. Linkage and Integration
We acknowledge that linkage and integration are recommended within the SESE curriculum. We hope to make a link between our history topics in so far as possible for the class levels. Teachers will explore possibilities for linkage across the History curriculum and develop such opportunities in their classroom.
The History curriculum states that “while history makes an important and distinctive contribution to the development of the child, historical education complements the growth of the child’s geographical and scientific learning” (p.9). With this in mind, we will ensure to explore possibilities to integrate the SESE subjects. Certain themes are integrated and explored as a whole school approach e.g. Harvest time, food and farming, St Brigid and St Patrick.
When choosing our European and non-
Local studies are integrated with Geography, English and Visual Arts.
We are aware of the necessity for teachers to engage in close consultation with colleagues. The Principal and other members of staff facilitate such consultations. Selection of textbooks, topics and resources is a collaborative exercise and teachers in senior classes devise a two-
At certain times of the year we have a whole school approach to a particular theme, e.g. Harvest time, St Patrick's Day, Christmas, Easter etc.
6. Assessment and Record Keeping
Assessment in History seeks to measure and report the child’s progress and achievements in all aspects of the curriculum. We will assess the following:
• Progress in children’s knowledge about the past
• Children’s ability to use and understand the development of historical skills
• Development of children’s attitudes, interests, critical thinking skills
The Assessment tools we will choose from are:
1. Teacher observation (pages 79,80 C.S)
2. Teacher designed tasks and tests (pages 80,81 C.S)
Telling and re-
Oral, written and pictorial accounts and descriptions of sites visited or people interviewed
Construction of timelines
Work cards or activity sheets
Maps of historical sites
Role play, hot seating or dramatising a conversation or event
Speculating on the feelings and emotions of others so as to create a spoken or written account
Compilation of a work on a particular historical topic or the presentation of project work using information and communication technologies
Projects completed on historical themes
ICT resources and quizzes
Results of the child’s independent historical research
Oral presentation of work
Assessment is linked to the teaching and learning process and the child’s progress is assessed in the context of the historical material with which he/she is familiar.
3. Work samples, portfolios and projects (pages 82,83 C.S.)
4. Feedback from pupils and parents
7. Differentiation for Children with Particular Needs
We are aware of the distinct role history can play in the harmonious development of each and every child. We will do our best to ensure that all children have the opportunity to experience a broad historical education. In the same way as we endeavour to provide for individual difference in every curricular area, we will also strive to make the history curriculum accessible to as many children as possible. In order to do this we will endeavour to:
• Make an effort to create opportunities for hands on practical activities
• Use a mixture of whole class teaching, focused group work or paired work, grouping children in mixed or ability groups
• Employ a variety of methodologies in the classroom
• Pupils will be encouraged to carry out research in certain topic areas
• Offer a variety of recording methods
We endorse the emphasis this curriculum places on the exploration of personal and family histories at all levels and are very conscious of the sensitivities some aspects of these topics may require. In instances where it would be insensitive to explore a child’s own personal and family history we will consider the substitution of the personal and family history of another person. The curriculum unit allows for this within the strand unit “ My Family or a Family of a person known to me” .
8. Equality of Participation and Access
History will be accessible to all children within the school regardless of their age, gender or ability. We will place an equal emphasis on the role of women in history, looking at the contribution of women from a local, national and international perspective. In our school we recognise the contribution of ordinary people to history and we will place emphasis on the roles of everyday people in history.
For those children experiencing any form of disadvantage we will adapt the teaching and learning to meet their needs. The work will suit their ability, and we will use alternative resources, ICT and visual aids where deemed necessary.
In keeping with the recommendations in the Primary School Curriculum Introduction (p70) a minimum of three hours will be allocated to SESE per week, from first class to sixth, (1 hour per week allocated to History) and two and a quarter hours with Infant Classes (45mins per week to History).
On occasion, time will be blocked as appropriate. This might occur when:
• Working on a project
• Exploring the local environment
• Having persons in to speak to the class
• Going on trails.
Teachers will consider the use of discretionary curriculum time for SESE when appropriate.
10. Resources and I.C.T.
Teachers have compiled resources in their relevant classes to support the teaching of the Strand units at each class level. There is a variety of textbooks to support the teachers in preparing for topics. The Ipods are used for research and to create mind maps and compile information on a topic. Classroom computers are also available for research. The cameras and flip cameras are used to aid lessons. We will use the resources of the interactive whiteboards and inform each other of useful sites.
11. Health and Safety
All activities and outings will be carried out in accordance with our Health and Safety Policy and with due recognition of our Child Protection Statement. This will also apply to school tours which may take place at historical sites.
12. Individual Teacher’s Planning and Reporting
• Teachers will report on work completed in Cúntas Miosúil. These are kept in individual teacher’s planning folders and in the filing cabinet in the office.
• Teachers will use the Whole School Plan and Yearly plans to inform their classroom planning.
• Teachers will use the History Curriculum strands and strand units when planning.
• Teachers also keep long-
13. Parental Involvement/Community Links
Occasionally we invite guests/person from the locality to the school to share stories from the past and growing up in the locality.
We encourage parental involvement in the formation of our school policies. Draft policies are provided to the Parent's Association so parents are given the opportunity to contribute. The Board of Management and the Parents Association are given draft copies of our policies and plans and bring them to the attention of the wider community. We encourage parental involvement particularly when a parent has a skill or interest they wish to share. We ask them to share their own personal memories of when they were young. We have invited and will continue to invite some parents and grandparents to talk to the children. Parents send in photographs and artefacts and help with other aspects of the history curriculum when they are asked to do so.
14. Environmental Audit
Our school is located approximately 8 km from New Ross, 36 km from Enniscorthy, 38 km from Wexford and 70 km from historical Kilkenny.
Occasionally school tours will incorporate a study and/or an awareness of the historical aspects of these environs on such trips.
Places of historic interest around New Ross, Rathgarogue and beyond include:
• Rathgarogue Old National School
• Church and Graveyard
• The site of the old Railway Station
• Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross
• Ros Tapestry
• Historical Trail of New Ross
• The Tholsel
• Various shopfronts in New Ross
• The Old Grain stores of New Ross
• New Ross Port and River Barrow
• Carrigbyrne Hill
• Kennedy Homestead and Arboretum
• St. Mullins, Co. Carlow
• Wexford Heritage Park
• Enniscorthy Museum and 1798 Centre
• Vinegar Hill
• Kilkenny Castle and city.
• Battle of Ballinvegga
We will use the following criteria to assess the success of this plan
• Evidence that pupils are engaging in studies from personal to local, national and international history at an age-
• That history is defined as an attempt to reconstruct and interpret the past as well as the past itself
• Our yearly and classroom planning is based on the Whole School Plan
• There is a balance between skills and content
• Development of historical skills throughout the classes
• Integrated themes are being developed, on occasion, across the school, using a whole school approach.
• Use of timelines in classes.
• That the curriculum is spiral and developmental in its structure
• Classes are engaged in outdoor observation and trails of the local environment
• Photographs, displays and use of artefacts are evident in classes
• Procedures outlined in this plan are consistently followed throughout the school
• Children’s feedback
• Teacher and Parent feedback
• Inspectors’ suggestions and/or feedback
Roles and Responsibilities
All the teachers are responsible for the implementation of the History curriculum in their own classrooms. Teachers will be encouraged to present feedback during planning meetings on review of History.
Timeframe and Review
The revised history policy was implemented from September 2009. We have reviewed it on 6th May 2011 and again on 13th September 2011. We will aim to circulate the revised plan to all interested parties by the first week of October 2011. We will then review the plan again in the school year 2013 / 2014 unless circumstances require an earlier review. A review was further carried out in July 2014 by teaching staff as part of a whole school summer course. Updates and revisions were made as necessary.
All staff will be involved in the review of this policy. Parents’ representatives on the Parents’ Association and the Board of Management will be involved in its continued development and review.
This policy will be reviewed again during 2016.
This policy was reviewed during Croke Park hours by staff on 26th September 2017.
This policy will be reviewed again during the 2020/2021 school year.
Appendix 1 -
Year Local Studies
(Selection) Early People and ancient society (2) Life, society and culture in the past (2) Eras of change and conflict (2) Politics, conflict and society (2) Continuity and change over time (2)
3rd class Games and pastimes in the past
Tir na n-
Transport (the space age)
My family Setanta Vikings Life in Ireland since the 1950's
Caring for the sick
Seven years of famine Early Christian Ireland
4th class My school
Ten sons The Romans The Normans Clothes
Homes Children of Lir The Celts Life in the 19th century
Homes and houses
Stone Age peoples
Schools and Education
Class Building sites and ruins Rosa Parks The Aztecs Life in the 19th century -
Feasts and festivals Martin Luther King The kingdom of Benin Changing roles of women in the 19th and 20th Centuries
The 1916 Rising and the foundation of the state Barter, trade and money (explorers)
6th class My locality through the ages
The healing waters The Native Americans Life during World War II World War I O'Connell and Catholic emancipation Food and Farming
Various topics based in local history The children of War -
The Maoris The Renaissance Ireland, Europe and the World 1960 to present Transport (history of transport)