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St Mary's Catholic Primary School

St Mary's Catholic
Primary School


History Curriculum

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

 Theodore Roosevelt


It is our intention for our history curriculum to help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world and to understand how events connect over time and have a legacy, often lasting until today. 

Our history curriculum will teach the children chapters in the story which involves us all, up until today.   We don’t want our pupils to see history as separate topics that they learn about but as connected events.  Our history curriculum will help pupils understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and the relationships between them, as well as understand their own identity. Pupils will gain an understanding of chronology and timescales.

We will inspire pupil’s curiosity and equip them to ask questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement.


Our history curriculum is carefully planned to ensure continuity and progression and a sound grasp of knowledge. Regular links are made between different aspects of the children’s learning and there is a high volume of deliberate practice to ensure that children can remember and retain knowledge and then apply their learning.

Children will begin by learning about past and present and people, culture and communities in Reception. They will build on this in Key Stages 1 and 2 through the explicit teaching of the concepts of community, knowledge, civilisation, power and democracy. These concepts run throughout the curriculum. Through their studies, children will learn to ‘think like a historian’ by developing their understanding of chronology, cause and consequences, change and continuity, similarity and difference, evidence and significance.

Our school driver, Community, can be seen in our History curriculum through our work on local history and local visits. 

Our second school driver, Whole Child, is central to the key skills we focus on and develop in History such as being ambitious, resilient, knowledgeable, reflective, collaborative and socially aware.

Our final school driver, Communication, is developed in History in a variety of ways.  Children will experience presentations to the whole class, taking part in debates, creating fact files and meeting experts in their field presenting children with a range of purposes and audiences for developing those key communication skills.



Through our curriculum and quality first teaching, children will learn and retain knowledge about the past. They will be able to make links across their learning and share their knowledge using rich, technical, precise vocabulary. Children will be interested in the people and events of the past. They will be curious and be experienced at ‘thinking like a historian’.

When the children leave in Year 6, they will leave us prepared and ready to continue developing their knowledge and skills in KS3 and beyond.

This is what we do:

History is taught as a distinct subject regularly throughout the year. Children study a variety of time periods over their time in school. Topics are revisited and links are made between the areas studied.

This is what you might typically see:

Children using ambitious vocabulary and making links between aspects of their learning. A range of modelled, guided and independent practice. Children using knowledge organisers and knowledge notes to support their learning.

What a history lesson looks like in our school:

Each lesson begins by connecting to previous learning. The knowledge note for the lesson is introduced which includes the lesson question. Children then experience a range of activities in order to answer the lesson question. Lessons will include demonstration, guided learning and independent learning. Each lesson ends with a quiz. Children are encouraged to refer to knowledge organisers and knowledge notes throughout their lessons.

Every lesson must include:

A lesson question, modelled, guided and independent practice.

This is how we know how well our pupils are doing:

Children will be able to use a rich, ambitious vocabulary to discuss their learning. Children will complete a cumulative quiz every lesson. Children will make links between different areas of their learning.

This is how we support pupils:

Adjustments will be made for children needing extra support. This may be in the form of adapted resources, small group adult support or additional scaffolding.