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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

Attainment targets

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.

Subject content

Key stage 1

Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. 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. They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. 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 and identify different ways in which it is represented.

In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching about the people, events and changes outlined below, teachers are often introducing pupils to historical periods that they will study more fully at key stages 2 and 3.

Pupils should 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 should 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 should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching the British, local and world history outlined below, teachers should combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content.

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

WW2- Virtual Reality

Children used VR to gain an understanding of World War Two

WW2 artefacts

Children looked at different artefacts stating how they thought they would have been used, predicting what they are and sharing if we use/have anything similar today.
Year 4 explored different primary sources and discussed how reliable these sources are. They then ordered events surrounding the sinking of the Titanic.

World War 2- VR

This week, the children all had the opportunity to participate in a Virtual Reality (VR) session with Mr Mills and I. The children felt as if they were there during WWII, which helped to deepen their understanding. The children all thoroughly enjoyed the VR experience as we all had lots of fun and we are hoping to participate in more VR sessions in the future

Was Hitler a good leader?

Our current History topic is WWII with the focus questions - How did Hitler persuade a nation to follow him. For this lesson, the children all took part in holding a debate to distinguish if the majority of us thought that Hitler was a good leader or not. First of all, we all looked at the debating rules and how debating is important for making decisions within our country as well as giving different points of view. The children then were split into groups whereby they had to come up with arguments for Hitler being a good leader and arguments against Hitler being a good leader. The debate was then held. When both sides had finished saying their different points of view, a decision was made by the audience. Overall, the class agreed that Hitler was not a good leader.

Nelson Mandela

Today we used secondary sources to find out information about another significant individual from the past.
Year 4 got the opportunity to ask a WW2 soldier lots of different questions! We explored the weapons he used and learnt lots about what life was like in WW2.

Play dough Maps- Anglo Saxon Settlement

Children used the playdough to create Britain. The children then had to use flags to plot on where the different Anglo-Saxon tribe settled in Britain.

What is our history topic this half term

The children in Year 5 used a range of clues to discover who we are going to be focusing on in history for this half term. First of all, the children looked at a range of images and used their prior historical knowledge to eliminate different historical events. Next, the children used facts to eliminate even more historical events. The children worked out that we are going to be focusing on the Anglo-Saxons.

Historical Timeline- Scale

The children looked at different important historical events and placed them into a timeline, focusing on scale.

Rosa Parks

This term in our History lessons we are learning about the lives of significant people from the past. We started learning about Rosa Parks and created our own bus in class and acted out the famous Montgomery bus scene.

The Stone Age - using artefacts to infer and ask questions.

Today we begun our history topic. We discussed the meaning of history and reflected on our own history. We then received a package of old paper clippings and some artefacts! We explored these with our partners and used inference to say what or why they were used. We asked questions about why certain things were used. Why did people used to use animal bones for jewellery? We talked about how long ago these artefacts might have been used by exploring questions such as 'When did people live in caves?' Afterwords, we designed a poster about our artefacts. We then used iPads to research and discover we will be learning about the Stone Age!

Anglo- Saxon Brooches - Ceramic Tiles

In topic, the children have been focusing on Anglo-Saxon brooches and how they are symmetrical. The children first used images of Anglo-Saxons brooches to gather ideas to contribute to their own design.. Once the children were happy with their designs, they used the mosaic squares to create their design prior to using the tiles. Once the children had completed this stage of their design, they then used the tiles to create their final design. The children are very happy with the final results.

Anglo-Saxons - Pagan Gods- Year 5

The children worked in pairs to create a fact file about one of the Pagan Gods that we have been learning about in topic lessons. The children used different online sources to research and find facts about a Pagan God that they were interested in.

School 100 Years Ago!

As part of our topic ‘What was it like to live in our city 100 years ago?’ We have been learning all about school 100 years ago. We had a hot seating activity were children were asked questions about their day in school.

House of Commons

Year 4 experienced the House of Commons through Virtual Reality.
Year 1 have been looking at old and new toys. They are started of by using a card sort to identify whether a toy was old or new. They also enjoyed role playing in their own toy shop. They then went over to the Museum of Liverpool and took part in a Toy Workshop, they got to see and play with lots of old toys. 

Stone Age Materials

We learnt about what materials Stone Age people would make their homes from. We then went outside to gather materials that we could use to make some models.

Stone Age Timeline

We worked in partners to order key events from the Stone Age on a chronological timeline.

Cave Paintings

Year 3 investigated how Stone Age people used to communicate through the art they created. We thought of messages and created cave paintings to share them. We used chalks, oil pastels and black paper. After we had finished our paintings we scrumpled them up and put them together to build a cave for our display.

Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Year 6 really enjoyed our 'hook' lesson, introducing the themes of our new whole class text 'Boy in The Striped Pyjamas'. They explored the old suitcase full of images and items associated with WW2. We listened to well-known war music, Neville Chamberlain's declaration of war and we used the IPads to research key dates and figures.


The children in Year 4 worked together as a class to place periods of history on a timeline showing periods of time.
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