History

Intent

At St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School we aim to provide a high-quality history education for all our pupils. Our history curriculum enables our pupils to gain the knowledge and skills needed to develop a secure and coherent understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We want them to be able to make links between the past and our lives today as well as be able to identify some of the causes and consequences of historical events. Through inspiring our pupils and igniting their curiosity we will help them to think critically and foster in them a love for independent research. We want our pupils to develop the confidence to ask perceptive questions, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.

Implementation

We use the national curriculum statutory requirements in history to create our long term plans. These plans outline the history topics/units each year group will cover over the course of the academic year. Our long term plans also include some of the non-statutory history topics and objectives. We have chosen to include other non-statutory objectives that help to build, deepen and compliment the statutory aspects of our history curriculum. This is to make our pupils’ learning in history progressive and link with other learning they have conducted within and across the subject.

We also create short term plans for the planning and delivery of our history curriculum. We use these plans to break down the statutory and non-statutory objectives into a sequence of well thought out lessons which build on our pupils’ previous learning. Our short term plans contain the detailed, age appropriate, content to be taught that will enable our pupils to meet the key objectives. These plans also set out the particular knowledge and skills focuses for each session. We use a separate ‘progression in history skills’ document to identify the particular skills to be taught within each unit and across the key stages.

When delivering our history curriculum we make links, when appropriate, to work in other subjects such as geography, English, R.E. and science. In a typical history lesson our pupils are provided with time to:

  • review and consolidate previous knowledge
  • discuss objectives, key vocabulary and success criteria
  • identify and develop (build on) historical knowledge and key skills
  • take part in independent and collaborative tasks
  • self-evaluate and review their learning and that of others 

Throughout the year we also provide opportunities for our pupils to increase their cultural capital by arranging educational visits to places of historical interest and importance, including museums and galleries. This is so our pupils are able to make sense of history and put periods within their historical contexts. Our Black History week, whole school focus is another way in which we do this. Every class will focus on a particular central figure who is easily associated with a particular historical event.

Throughout the Autumn term our Year 6 pupils have the opportunity to work closely with the National Army Museum where they begin to understand the role archeology, artefacts and research play in historical enquiry and perspective. They also have the chance to take over the museum for the day and present the galleries and exhibits to the public. We also encourage class teachers to arrange for visitors to come to the school either as actors, as part of workshops or members of the community who can share their historical experiences and knowledge with our pupils.

Impact

The impact of our history curriculum on our pupils means that the majority of pupils:

  • achieve age related expectations in history at the end of the academic year
  • retain and retrieve the knowledge and skills that are pertinent to making sense of history
  • understand and use the key skills of chronological understanding
  • build on and maintain a good understanding about how the world has changed over time
  • demonstrate a growing knowledge and understanding of events in the past, historical interpretation and historical enquiry.
  • be inspired by what they have learnt and continue to develop their love of history
  • work collaboratively and independently to become more effective historians
  • enrich their knowledge and understanding of a particular historical period through visits and visitors
  • learn lessons from history to influence the decisions they make in their lives in the future

We also conduct formal assessments on key aspects of the topic at the end of each unit and use this information to help form part of our monitoring of the progress made within history by each pupil. Although these assessments are carried out on a termly basis, teachers evaluate pupils’ knowledge and understanding throughout lessons and on a week by week basis and adjust short term plans and activities accordingly to meet the needs of our pupils. Having this approach not only enables our pupils to learn, know and remember more but also helps to prepare them for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world.

Skills Progression

Year 1

Breadth of Study Skills
Chronological understanding
  • Begin to 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.
  • Pupils should begin to develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time.
  • 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).
  • Sequence events in their life.
  • Sequence 3 or 4 artefacts from distinctly different periods of time.
  • Match objects to people of different ages.

 

Range and depth of historical knowledge
  • Start to explore changes within living memory – where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life.
  • Begin to explore 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, Neil Armstrong.
  • Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
  • Recognise the difference between past and present in their own and others lives.
  • They know and recount episodes from stories about the past.

 

Interpretations of history
  • Begin to look ways that history can be represented.
  • Use stories to think about what they can tell us about the past.
  • Look at books, videos, photographs, pictures and artefacts to find out about the past.
  • Begin to compare objects and artefacts to decide if they belonged to people who were rich or poor.
Historical enquiry
  • They should 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 should  begin to understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past.
  • Find answers to simple questions about the past from sources of information e.g. artefacts.
Organisation and communication
  • They should begin to use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms.

 

 

  • Communicate their knowledge through:
    • discussion
    • drawing pictures
    • drama/role play
    • making models
    • writing
    • using ICT

Year 2

Breadth of Study Skills
Chronological understanding
  • They should 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.
  • Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time.
  • 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).
  • Sequence artefacts closer together in time – check with reference book.
  • Sequence photographs etc. from different periods of their life.
  • Describe memories of key events in lives.
Range and depth of historical knowledge
  • Changes within living memory – where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life.
  • 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, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale.
  • Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
  • Recognise why people did things, why events happened and what happened as a result.
  • Identify differences between ways of life at different times.

 

Interpretations of history
  • Look ways that history can be represented.
  • Use stories to think about what they can tell us about the past.
  • Look at and use books and pictures, stories, eye witness accounts, pictures, photographs, artefacts, historic buildings, museums, galleries, historical sites and the internet to find out about the past.
  • Compare objects and artefacts to decide if they belonged to people who were rich or poor.
Historical enquiry
  • They should 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 should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past.
  • Use a source – observe or handle sources to answer questions about the past on the basis of simple observations.
Organisation and communication
  • They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms.

 

 

  • Communicate their knowledge through:
    • discussion
    • drawing pictures
    • drama/role play
    • making models
    • writing
    • using ICT

Year 3

Breadth of Study Skills
Chronological understanding
  • Continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history.
  • Begin to establish clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • Place the time studied on a time line.
  • Use dates and terms related to the study unit and passing of time.
  • Sequence several events or artefacts.
Range and depth of historical knowledge
  • Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.
  • The achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of Ancient Egypt.
  • Begin to note connections, contrasts and trends over time and continue to develop the appropriate use of historical terms.
  • Find out about every day lives of people in time studied.
  • Compare with our life today.
  • Identify reasons for and results of people’s actions.
  • Understand why people may have wanted to do something.
Interpretations of history
  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
  • Identify and give reasons for different ways in which the past is represented.
  • Distinguish between different sources – compare different versions of the same story.
  • Look at representations of the period – museum, cartoons, etc.
Historical enquiry
  • Begin to ask historically valid questions about change and cause.
  • Use a range of sources to find out about a period.
  • Observe small details – artefacts, pictures.
  • Select and record information relevant to the study.
  • Begin to use the library and internet for research.

 

 

Organisation and communication
  • Begin to construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.
  • Communicate their knowledge through:
    • discussion
    • drawing pictures
    • drama/role play
    • making models
    • writing
    • using ICT

Year 4

Breadth of Study Skills
Chronological understanding
  • Continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history.
  • Establish clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • Julius Caesar’s attempted invasion in 55-54 BC.
  • The Roman Empire by AD 42 and the power of its army.
  • Place events from period studied on time line.
  • Use terms related to the period and begin to date events.
  • Understand more complex terms, e.g. BC/AD.
Range and depth of historical knowledge
  • Note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms.
  • Viking raids and invasion.
  • The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England.
  • The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain.
  • British resistance, for example, Boudica.
  • Use evidence to reconstruct life in time studied.
  • Identify key features and events of time studied.
  • Look for links and effects in time studied.
  • Offer a reasonable explanation for some events.
Interpretations of history
  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
  • The legacy of Roman culture (art, architecture or literature) on later periods in British history, including the present day.
  • Look at the evidence available.
  • Begin to evaluate the usefulness of different sources.
  • Use text books and historical knowledge. 
Historical enquiry
  • Regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference.

 

  • Use evidence to build up a picture of a past event.
  • Choose relevant material to present a picture of one aspect of life in time past.
  • Ask a variety of questions.
  • Use the library and internet for research.

 

Organisation and communication
  • Construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.
 

  • Begin to recall, select and organise historical information.
  • Communicate their knowledge and understanding.

Year 5

Breadth of Study Skills
Chronological understanding
  • Develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history.
  • Continue establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066, the Victorians.
  • Know and sequence key events of time studied.
  • Use relevant terms and period labels.
  • Make comparisons between different times in the past.
Range and depth of historical knowledge
  • Confidently note connections, contrasts and trends over time.
  • A study over time tracing how several aspects of national history are reflected in the locality (this can go beyond 1066), Victorian London.
  • Study different aspects of different people – differences between men and women.
  • Examine causes and results of great events and the impact on people.
  • Compare life in early and late ‘times’ studied.
  • Compare an aspect of life with the same aspect in another period.
Interpretations of history
  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
  • The legacy of Greek culture (art, architecture or literature) on later periods in British history, including the present day.
  • Compare accounts of events from different sources – fact or fiction.
  • Begin to evaluate the usefulness and reliability of different sources.
  • Begin to comment on achievements and follies of mankind.
  • Offer some reasons for different versions of events.
Historical enquiry
  • Regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.
  • Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world.
  • Begin to identify primary and secondary sources.
  • Use evidence to build up a picture of a past event.
  • Select relevant sections of information.
  • Use the library and internet for research with increasing confidence.
Organisation and communication
  • Construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.
  • Build on the previous year’s use of appropriate historical terms and use these accurately when describing/referring to historical periods/themes.
  • Recall, select and organise historical information.
  • Confidently communicate their knowledge and understanding.

Year 6

Breadth of Study Skills
Chronological understanding
  • Develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history.
  • Establish clear narratives within and across the periods they study with some confidence.
  • Place current study on time line in relation to other studies.
  • Use relevant dates and terms.
  • Sequence up to 10 events on a time line.
Range and depth of historical knowledge
  • Confidently note connections and independently identify contrasts and trends over time.
  • A study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant in the locality.
  • A significant turning point in British history, for example, the first railways or the Battle of Britain.
  • A non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – Mayan civilization c. AD 900.
  • Find out about beliefs, behaviour and characteristics of people, recognising that not everyone shares the same views and feelings.
  • Compare beliefs and behaviour with another time studied.
  • Write another explanation of a past event in terms of cause and effect using evidence to support and illustrate their explanation.
  • Know key dates, characters and events of time studied.
Interpretations of history
  • Demonstrate a secure understanding of how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

 

  • Link sources and work out how conclusions were arrived at.
  • Consider ways of checking the accuracy of interpretations – fact or fiction and opinion.
  • Critically evaluate the usefulness and reliability of different sources.
  • Be aware that different evidence will lead to different conclusions.
  • Regularly comment on achievements and follies of mankind.
  • Confidently use the library and internet for research.
Historical enquiry
  • Regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.
  • Recognise primary and secondary sources.
  • Use a range of sources to find out about an aspect of time past.
  • Suggest omissions and the means of finding out.
  • Bring knowledge gathered from several sources together in a fluent account.
Organisation and communication
  • Confidently construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.
  • Accurately and confidently use a wide range of historical terms.
  • Able to express their own views and opinions on periods studied based on their own research.
  • Select and organise information to produce structured work, making appropriate use of dates and terms.

Overview

KS1 and KS2 History Topics

Year Groups Autumn Spring Summer
Year 6

War and Peace

(key events of WW2 and the Holocaust)

Ernest Shackleton

(the life and achievements of Ernest Shackleton)

Magical Mayans

(an ancient civilisation and exploring primary sources)

Year 5

The Ancient World of the Greeks

(investigating Greek society, culture and city states)

Stand and Deliver, The Legend of the Highwayman

(crime and punishment in 18th Century England)

Seen and Not Heard? Victoria’s Children

(comparing the lives of people living in Victorian London)

Year 4

The Romans

(life, culture and society of Roman Britain and the empire)

The Anglo-Saxons

(Anglo-Saxon life and the impact of the Viking invasions)

The Tudors

(the Tudor period in Britain)

Year 3

The Bronze Age

(the Bronze Age in Britain)

The Amerindians of Tobago

(how Tobago has changed over time)

Ancient Egypt

(an ancient civilisation)

Year 2

The Great Fire of London

(a historic event)

Lady With The Lamp

(a significant figure from the past)

The Royals

(historic events and places in the locality during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II)

Year 1

Toys

(how toys and games have changed over time) 

The History of Recycling

(history of packaging and recycling over time)

Vincent Van Gogh

(a significant figure from the past)