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INTENT – The History Curriculum

It is our aim for children to leave our schools as enthusiastic and competent historians who have a breadth and depth of understanding to equip them in their secondary education and beyond.

Our History curriculum is designed so pupils build knowledge and skills sequentially over time. Careful thought has been given to  curriculum design. For example, in Year 1 children are taught about people and events which are from within living memory. This allows them to reflect on the knowledge of themselves, parents and grandparents. This is then furthered at the end of Year 1 into the study of Richmond Castle – a location which is know to them and therefore firmly not abstract. In Year 2 pupils delve deeper into history beyond living memory, building on solid foundations from Reception and Year 1.

In Key Stage 2, children work on a two year rolling programme. However, pupils are always taught to reflect on their prior learning to help them link events in history. Events throughout one single year are taught chronologically and frequently link across periods (i.e. Ancient Maya and the Viking rule).

Key concepts are interleaved throughout units – for example, monarchy and conflict. For example, they develop an early understanding of ‘monarchy’ in Year 1, before revisiting this concept through their studies of both British and world history – this allows children to develop their thinking as historians.

In In History, we follow best research practice and recognise the disciplinary concepts as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity and difference and significance. The ways in which children develop these disciplinary skills over time is demonstrated on the table above.

End of Key Stage outcomes are taken from ELG’s with a specific historical focus* as well as National Curriculum outcomes for the end of Key Stage. In order to make children’s progress develop on an upward trajectory, the objectives are split into targeted year groups. Furthermore, the history curriculum at our schools in bespoke to the children’s experiences and local history linked to the local area. The National Curriculum for History states that teaching should equip pupils to have an understanding of the history of Britain which will equip them for the wider world.

Substantive Concepts Disciplinary Concepts Key Concepts
The skills which children learn during their time in school and which are essential to the subject knowledge (Sticky Knowledge)

The key concepts which allow the pupil to ‘think like a historian’. In History, we recognise these as:

Continuity and change

Cause and consequence

Similarity / difference


Concepts which recur during study and allow children to gain depth in their understanding:





Change over time






Our History curriculum is progressive. In Key Stage 1, children work on key historical enquiry skills – investigating people, places and events from the past. Careful planning ensures that these events, people and objects link closely to the children’s lives – for example investigating toys through time and linking to events still celebrated today because of their impact on British history such as Remembrance and Guy Fawkes Night.

Our curriculum is carefully structured, so, even with mixed age classes, children are taught at an appropriate level and knowledge and prior learning are recapped. Because of the way our curriculum is structured, children gain an understanding into the local area and local history as well as core curriculum aspects

Chronology should be at the heart of all history lessons. In some classes, due to the mixed-age nature, it is not possible to teach time periods chronologically. To counteract this, teachers place an importance of developing an understanding of chronology within all history lessons – ensuring children see links and are able to compare between periods studied.

To support our teaching of history we have chosen to primarily use the Connected History scheme of work, in conjunction with some resources from Key Stage History.

Children should be encouraged to engage ‘hands-on’ with history – through the use of artefacts, photographs, eyewitness accounts, visitors and visits to historical places of interest.


We aim for all of our children to leave us as historians- mirroring the National Curriculum aims that children leave us with a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain and the wider world. Pupils should gain history knowledge and skills over time, as well as the ability to develop an understanding of chronology and explore the idea that, events in the world may be taking place concurrently. As well as this they will be able to link substantive concepts in history across time periods, including comparing and contrasting them.

They should have a solid knowledge base which will stand them in good stead for future education. We aim to teach them about British history, world history and history of their local area through carefully progressive units. Crucially, we have created a bespoke curriculum which allows them to investigate history which is relevant to them now and, importantly, as adults of the future. Links drawn between subjects such as English, Geography and Computing allow children to demonstrate historical skills in other subject areas.