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St Mary's Catholic Primary School

St Mary's Catholic
Primary School


History Curriculum


It is our intent for history in the school 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.

'The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future’ Theodore Roosevelt


Agreed topics are taught as standalone History lessons but very often class teachers will make cross curricular links e.g. with the Literacy text chosen, Art, DT, Science etc. 

Through the Threshold Concepts, children’s skills in History e.g. interpreting the past, will progress and develop each year they are at St Mary’s so, by the time they leave us they are skilled historians who for example, understand the importance of sources and their reliability.

At St Mary’s we ensure the children experience a solid breadth of study in History where we are regularly revisiting, assessing and developing the skills of a historian.

To focus our learning, every half term the children are set a big question eg What can castles tell us about the past? What was the impact of WW1 on life in Britain?  The children will then be assessed at the end of the topic in a variety of ways e.g. poster, debate, presentation.

Our school driver, Community, can be seen in our History curriculum through our work on local history and local visits.  For example, our Year 6 children visit Ipswich Museum to develop their understanding of Ipswich during the First and Second World War.

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.  We use things like presentations to the whole class, holding 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.


We will demonstrate the impact of our excellent History teaching in a variety of ways.  The use of our whole school drivers, Community, Whole Child and Communication in all that we do, really allow us to demonstrate the impact our curriculum has on all of the children.

The children’s love of History, including local history, can be seen across the school with children showing great enthusiasm for their lessons and what they are learning.

The children relish the opportunity to engage in debate with classmates or to produce a presentation to show their learning at the end of a topic.

The development of their History skills e.g. asking questions, thinking critically, weighing evidence has an impact across the curriculum, not just in History lessons.

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

Threshold Concepts for History:

  • Investigate and interpret the past

This concept involves understanding that our understanding of the past comes from an interpretation of the available evidence.

  • Build an overview of world history

This concept involves an appreciation of the characteristic features of the past and an understanding that life is different for different sections of society.

  • Understand chronology

This concept involves an understanding of how to chart the passing of time and how some aspects of history studied were happening at similar times in different places.

  • Communicate historically

This concept involves using historical vocabulary and techniques to convey information about the past.