Our core aims for history are to ensure that all children:  

  • Are able to define history and why it is important to our lives.  

  • Understand the society around them and the changes that took place for it to be as we know now.  

  • Hear and preserve stories of the past. 

  • Can identify change in the world around them.  

  • Know and understand aspects of history in the wider world and the impact of these events on their local area.  

  • Ask questions about stories they hear, developing and understanding the methods of historical enquiry.  


We believe the following are key ingredients in history are: the chance to learn and use a range of historical vocabulary; learning about events that have made changes within or before their living memory; engaging fast paced lessons; whole class and small group discussions and enquiries about unit questions; learn to use a range of sources to question events and their integrity; to secure a knowledge of when key events in history occurred chronologically; ongoing training for all staff and assessment. 

What this looks like in practice:    

  • History is taught in three half-termly blocks throughout the school year alternating with geography.  

  • Each class has a one-hour history lesson once a week. 

  • The units and lessons are based on a question to discuss and inquire about, helping children develop opinions about historical facts and events.  

  • Classes talk about why things have happened in the past and the impact they have had on modern life. 

  •  All children will have the chance to learn about historical events, people and places that have made an impact on/in our local area. 

  • Look closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change. 

  • Know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. 

  • In early years we focus on the understanding of today, tomorrow and yesterday, helping develop basic concepts of time and history.  

  • Children will learn about the changes to them and the world around them as they know it. 

  • We use talk for learning in our lessons to guarantee that all students practice their speaking, reading, writing and listening skills. 

  • SEND students are provided with differentiated work to ensure their understanding of history concepts and vocabulary. E.g. word mats, visuals, support from the teachers. 

Schemes, programme and resources used to support history: 

  • Rising Stars 

  • Cornerstones 


The impact of our history curriculum is as follows: 

  • Children will have the knowledge that history is something that has already occurred.  

  • They will be able to place events they have learnt about on a timeline and recall simple facts.  

  • Children will be able to successful order studied events chronologically.  

  • Children will learn research and questioning skills which they will employ to learn more about events and form their own opinions on historical events. 

  • Children will ask their own questions about historical events and people of importance.  

  • Children will learn the different sources for researching history and use these to research events and draw their own conclusions and thoughts.  

  • Children will learn the job roles related to history such as a historian, archaeologist, archivist, etc. 

SMSC in history:  

History is key to developing SMSC. At Sayes Court reading is used to develop SMSC across the curriculum.  

Spiritual development: History enables children to ask questions about life, make connections and develop a set of values, beliefs and principles reflecting on their own lives and how they have been affected by significant historical events, people and places.  

Moral development: History inspires children to reflect on consequences, confidently express views, make rational judgements therefore becoming more willing to review and alter their views and values about events and ideas.  

Social development: by learning the importance of source checking and deep questioning children learn to be able to sensitively challenge the opinions of others. By studying those events, people and places who have made significant changes to history we are preparing children to make a contribution to society as we have learnt the patterns and changes in society and why these have been important to our lives.  

Cultural development: History allows pupils to understand their own culture and beliefs and what shaped them, helping them to respect and appreciate the cultures of others as they learn about them and the impact they have had on their own lives. 

Human Capital 

We celebrate history in school not only through our lessons, but it is also embedded in other subjects. We have weekly history assemblies to discuss things that happened on that very same day, but in the past. We also have assemblies for special days like Remembrance Day. 

We are very lucky to have some excellent artefacts and resources for the children to examine. They get really excited about hands-on activities involving these artefacts and resources. 

We also have an annual historical fiction writing competition to give the children a chance to show off their amazing writing skills. There are prizes for the winners! 

Progression of skills and knowledge:



Year 1 

Year 2 

Year 3  

Year 4  

Year 5  

Year 6  

Chronological Understanding  

  • 3 to 4 - Begin to make sense of their own life-story and family’s history. 

  • Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class. 

  • Sequence events in their life 

  • Sequence 3 or 4 artefacts from distinctly different periods of time 

  • Match objects to people of different ages 

  • Understanding of history and what this means. That it’s something that has happened in the past. 




  • 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 



  • Place the time studied on a timeline  

  • Use dates and terms related to the study unit and passing of time  

  • Sequence several events or artefacts  



  • Place events from period studied on timeline  

  • Use terms related to the period and begin to date events  

  • Understand more complex terms e.g. BC/AD  



  • Know and sequence key events of time studied  

  • Use relevant terms and period labels  

  • Make comparisons between different times in the past  



  • Place current study on timeline in relation to other studies  

  • Use relevant dates and terms  

  • Sequence up to 10 events on a timeline  



Range and Depth of Historical Knowledge 

  • Birth to 5 - Make connections between the features of their family and other families. 

  • Reception - Talk about members of their immediate family and community. 

  • Reception - Compare and contrast characters from stories, including figures from the past. 

  • Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society. 

  • Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling. 

  • Recognise the difference between past and present in their own and others’ lives  

  • They know and recount episodes from stories about the past  

  • Understanding of historical vocabulary.  


  • Recognise why people did things, why events happened and what happened as a result  

  • Identify differences between ways of life at different times  

  • Understanding of historical vocabulary. 



  • Find out about everyday 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  



  • 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  



  • 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  



  • 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 

  • Reception - Comment on images of familiar situations in the past. 

  • Use stories to encourage children to distinguish between fact and fiction  

  • Compare adults talking about the past – how reliable are their memories?  



  • Compare 2 versions of a past event  

  • Compare pictures or photographs of people or events in the past  

  • Discuss reliability of photos/ accounts/stories  



  • 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  



  • Look at the evidence available  

  • Begin to evaluate the usefulness of different sources  

  • Use text books and historical knowledge  



  • Compare accounts of events from different sources – fact or fiction  

  • Offer some reasons for different versions of events  



  • Link sources and work out how conclusions were arrived at  

  • Consider ways of checking the accuracy of interpretations – fact or fiction and opinion  

  • Be aware that different evidence will lead to different conclusions  

  • Confidently use the library and internet for research  



Historical Inquiry 

  • Reception - Comment on images of familiar situations in the past. 

  • Find answers to simple questions about the past from sources of information e.g., artefacts 



  • Use a source – observe or handle sources to answer questions about the past on the basis of simple observations.  



  • 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  



  • 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  



  • 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  



  • 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 

  • Communicate their knowledge through: 

  • Discussion…. 

  • Drawing pictures… 

  • Drama/role play... 

  • Making models…. 

  • Writing... 

  • Using ICT… 

  • Recall, select and organise historical information  

  • Communicate their knowledge and understanding.  

  • Select and organise information to produce structured work, making appropriate use of dates and terms.  



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