"The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.'
At Newbold Church of England Primary School (NCS) we aim for a high quality history curriculum that will empower our pupils to think and act as historians by nourishing their aspirations on how they can be an influencer for change and positively influence their future, both in their local community and the world they live in. We aim to inspire our pupils to enrich their knowledge and understanding about Britain's past and that of the wider world, as well as providing them with a unique set of skills to understand and change their world. Our wish is for our pupils to use these tools and experiences, to further enhance their academic pursuits, and to use history with confidence in their everyday life.
Within lessons at NCS, we focus on building historical skills through a rich and progressive curriculum where we plan and sequence history lessons carefully to build upon previous lessons, and secure new learning successfully. At the heart of our teaching is the desire to develop a pupil's love of the subject; to inspire, stimulate and achieve. We believe the study of history promotes children's curiosity, encourages them to ask critical questions and enables them to have a better understanding of the society they live in and that of the wider world and give them opportunities to reflect on how they are changing and forming history through their actions.
Our history curriculum encompasses the aims of the National Curriculum (see below) to ensure all pupils:
- know and understand the history as a coherent, chronological narrative from the earliest times to the present day: focused on how people's lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
- know and understand significant aspects of history of the wider world.
- develop articulacy by building historically grounded understanding of historical terms
- understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections and draw contrasts.
- understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
- expand historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history.
We encourage our pupils tot work together productively on these skills to recognise the power of collaboration to solve problems. History is a powerful tool to facilitate cross curricular learning in a range of subjects, it is inspiration for literacy activities and engagement, where texts are a valuable tool to enhance their knowledge. Skills taught in history are transferable to other curriculum areas and therefore it is vital that our pupils are taught and use these through a range of opportunities. We believe that children learn from memorable experiences, both in the classroom and through education visits and visitors to enrich learning. By providing our pupils a sense of identity through learning about the past, our pupils learn to develop skills of empathy, understanding the wider world and appreciate how we got here today. History teaches our pupils how to learn from the mistakes of others, promoting lifelong skills of resilience and perseverance. They develop a cultural awareness of the lives of others of different times and places, promoting equality for all.
The National Curriculum outlines history in education as seen below:
Purpose of study
A high-quality history education 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. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:
- know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
- know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
- gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
- understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
- understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
- gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Key stage 1
Pupils will develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They will know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They will use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They will ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They will understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.
Pupils will be taught about:
- changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life
- events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries]
- the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods [for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and LS Lowry, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell]
- significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
Key stage 2
Pupils will continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They will note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They will regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They will construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They will understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
Pupils should be taught about:
- changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
- the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain
- Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots
- the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor
- a local history study
- a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
- the achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China
- Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world
- a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300.
For more information please see the History curriculum overviews for the academic year.
More detail concerning how key skills are taught within history and geography over the course of an academic year can also be found by clicking on the links below.
Your child as a historian in EYFS
Your child as a historian in Year 1
Your child as a historian in Year 2
Your child as a historian in Year 3
Your child as a historian in Year 4
Your child as a historian in Year 5
Your child as a historian in Year 6
For Knowledge Organisers, detailing more History specific content and vocabulary for each topic area, please see Parent Tab: Curriculum Overviews.