What We Do

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The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.

Theodore Roosevelt


We believe History is a vitally important area for pupils to experience from a young age. Through lessons we want pupils to gain a developing knowledge and understanding of the past times in Britain and the wider world, 

Place and Time

to begin to understand the complexity of people’s lives and perspectives such as change and the diverseness of society. We challenge pupils to use their natural curiosity to explore events and develop their skills of questioning, critical thinking and objectiveness when considering evidence from different sources. Through learning about the past pupils will be given guidance and opportunity to develop and enhance perspective and judgement.

Within the primary curriculum History teaching 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.” It focuses on the development of historical enquiry skills to include chronological understanding, knowledge and understanding of events and the study people and places, using a range of primary and secondary sources. Class re-enactments such as ‘The Great Fire of London’ , historical artefacts, school trips and visitors are carefully planned to bring History alive.  

What does our curriculum contain?

Our history curriculum is arranged over a four year rolling plan to ensure all pupils are able to learn about key moments in history as set out by the National Curriculum 2014. Since we are not able to run our history programme of study in chronological order (as a five class school pupils are split in Year groups at different times according to class numbers) we have sought to identify and teach pupils key historical concepts, especially in Key Stage Two

This year we are in Year B of the Rolling Programme.

KS1 Curriculum Coverage Year B History 2023-2024

KS2 Curriculum Coverage Year B History 2023-2024

Coverage is mapped out over the four year rolling programme to ensure all pupils experience and study all areas. Below is a document showing Key Stage 2 overage over 4 years.

HISTORY KS2 Pathway 2023-2024

Substantive Knowledge

This is factual knowledge of the past. 

Generative knowledge is the essential, underpinning, in-depth knowledge of a topic or time period that supports further historical learning and thus supports pupils to generate more knowledge. Generative knowledge can be categorised into ‘substantive concepts’ and chronological knowledge (knowledge relating to broader developments and the features of historical periods). 

Substantive Concepts are concepts concerned with the subject matter of history. They are embedded throughout the curriculum so that each one is planned to be encountered multiple times throughout the curriculum. Substantive concepts are best understood with repeated encounters in specific, meaningful contexts, rather than being taught in an abstract way. Substantive concepts are classed as generative knowledge because they support the learning of new material. For example, understanding the concept of ‘conquest and conflict’ from an earlier topic supports understanding of the next topic which involves ‘conquest and conflict’. 

Key Substantive Concepts pupils will meet include: Religion, Rule, Conquest & Conflict, Migration & Immigration, Trade and Society.

To Look at how concepts work underneath the key substantive concepts: Baydon St Nicholas History Concepts

In order to support pupil learning key knowledge (also referred to as ‘sticky knowledge‘) key information, vocabulary and dates are identified by staff each year. The Key information areas are what we expect and aim for pupils to be able to recall at later dates in order to build their historical knowledge base.

Chronological knowledge is also generative knowledge. This is the specific knowledge of the broad characteristics of historical periods and supports pupils to build coherent schema for particular topics.

Key Stage 1Lower Key Stage 2Upper Key Stage 2
Chronological DevelopmentUnderstand the difference between the past and present and describe simple features of themes, events and people from the past and present.
Sequence people, events, objects and photos and fit them onto a preprepared timeline with a scale.
Use a range of words and phrases relating to the passing of time (e.g. nowadays, yesterday, when I was younger, a long time ago, before I was born, when my parents were young, previously, in the past etc), and recount changes in own life.
Identify historical details and demonstrate some overall chronological awareness of themes, societies, events and people.
Sequence the most significant people, events, objects, themes, societies and periods studied so far, and fit them onto a timeline accordingly, using dates, period labels, appropriate historical terms and the timeline division of BC and AD.
Identify historical details, provide coherent overviews and demonstrate secure chronological awareness of themes, societies, events and people.
Sequence a range of key people, events, objects, themes, societies and periods studied in Key Stage 2, and independently fit them onto a timeline accordingly, using dates, period labels, appropriate historical terms and the timeline division of BC and AD.

Disciplinary Knowledge and Historical Enquiry (skills)

Disciplinary knowledge is knowledge about how historians investigate the past, and how they construct historical claims, arguments and accounts – i.e. it is the knowledge of how to undertake a historical enquiry. Pupils learn disciplinary knowledge within relevant historical contexts (i.e. such as Ancient Greece) – through application to substantive knowledge. Areas of learning are framed around key questions which focus a unit of work on elements of this disciplinary knowledge. This knowledge of historical enquiry frames what pupils learn about the past, supporting them to consider the status of historical claims. It enables them to place their historical knowledge in a broad context. It helps pupils to understand the different version of the past can be constructed, and that historical narrative is partially dependent upon viewpoint. 

Disciplinary knowledge is concerned with developing historical rational and critical thinking within enquiry, and can be categorised into 7 Disciplinary concepts that are systematically developed in our history curriculum: 

  • Historical Enquiry – asking questions, using sources and evidence to construct and challenge the past, and communicating ideas
  • Cause – selecting and combining information that might be deemed a cause and shaping it into a coherent causal explanation
  • Consequence – understanding the relationship between an event and other future events.
  • Change and continuity – analysing the pace, nature and extent of change.
  • Similarity and difference – analysing the extent and type of difference between people, groups, experiences or places in the same historical period.
  • Historical significance – understanding how and why historical events, trends and individuals are thought of as being important. 
  • Historical interpretations – understanding how and why different accounts of the past are constructed

History in EYFS

Understanding of the world educational programme (taken from the EYFS Framework 2024):

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.

Early learning goals that link to history are :

EYFS Understanding the world

ELG Past and present

  • Talk about the lives of people around them and their roles in society.
  • Know some similarities and difference between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
  • Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.

In Robins (reception year)  pupils will:

  • Look at pictures of themselves now and themselves as babies, and talk about how they have changed.
  • Learn about families – children, parents, grandparents – and relate to the past, eg parents were once babies, then children etc.
  • Learn vocabulary that helps them to talk about the past, present and future such as yesterday, today, tomorrow, last week, this week, next week, last year, this year, next year, a long time ago.
  • Listen to stories that are set in the past.
  • Compare things in the past and now, linked to our topics (eg emergency vehicles, houses, space rockets etc).
  • Learn the names of some significant people from the past, such as Neil Armstrong, Guy Fawkes, Florence Nightingale (linked to our topics).