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               HISTORY AT ST MARY'S

Curriculum Design at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School

Curriculum Area: History

Curriculum Leader: Miss Perkins



Our History curriculum aims to inspire curiosity and fascination about the past in Britain and the wider world, whilst developing coherent chronological knowledge and an enquiring mind. Our teaching of chronology, helps to develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding, based on their historical heritage. This enables our children to learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multi-cultural Britain. We aim to provide the children with a rich and diverse history curriculum, equipping them with a coherent knowledge and understanding.

Our intention is to encourage children to think critically, ask questions, think and act as historians and evaluate evidence, which allows them to develop a broad understanding of the complexity of people’s lives and historic events. We aim for children to investigate and interpret the past, understand chronology, be able to communicate historically, whilst encompassing the British Values throughout. Local history is threaded throughout our history curriculum and we want our children to develop an appreciation for the people and events that are part of our local, national and international history.



In History, we implement an inclusive curriculum that meets the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum whilst inspiring a love of the past.  Our curriculum is well-planned and structured, provides literacy-rich, cross-curricular opportunities and ensures progression and depth in learning.

Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills for each unit and consideration has been given to ensure progression across the topics throughout each year group across the school.  This begins with EYFS as children learn about the past and present ie by talking about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society; knowing some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class; understanding the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.

Across Key Stage 1, children begin to develop an awareness of the past using historical vocabulary. They build upon EYFS by studying people and events, and begin to identify similarities and differences between different time periods. Children learn some of the ways in which we find out about the past and how events studied fit into the chronological framework.

Within Key Stage 2, children build on prior knowledge and continue to develop chronologically secure knowledge of British, local and world history. Children learn to develop historically valid questions, identifying contrasts and trends over time, and make connections. Children also learn how our knowledge of the past is constructed through a range of sources.

A series of stimulating lessons are planned, with clear knowledge and skills-based learning objectives and subject-specific vocabulary. Teachers assess learning in history against knowledge and skills-based learning objectives within unit overviews. Enrichment opportunities, such as inspirational visits, educational visits and events, provide our children with rich experiences and enhance teaching, learning and knowledge.

History is timetabled for 1 hour per week at KS1 and KS2.

All learning will start by revisiting prior knowledge. This will be scaffolded to support children to recall previous learning and make connections. Staff will model explicitly the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning to allow them to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.

Scaffolding supports children to retain new facts and vocabulary in their long-term memory.

Our historians will be given a variety of enrichment and experiences both in and out of the classroom where appropriate to create memorable learning opportunities and to further support and develop their understanding.

Our History curriculum promotes children’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development, ensuring that they are reflective and responsible citizens. Fundamental British Values are actively promoted in History lessons in order to prepare the children for life in Modern Britain.

All teachers follow a carefully sequenced long-term plan and are using the schemes of work that we subscribe to: KeyStage History and the Historical Association.  Please click HERE to see our curriculum overview.  You will see that we have carefully planned the curriculum to take account of our mixed-age classes.  This ensures that children learn history in a carefully sequenced pattern and that progress is made from year to year.

The plan has been devised using extensive research into the rationale behind teaching specific units in certain year groups, taking advice from History experts, Keystage History and the Historical Association. 



Our history curriculum is high quality and ensures that children have a strong knowledge of historical events, a coherent understanding of chronology and an appreciation of the impact that history has on the modern world. Our children enjoy and love learning about history by gaining knowledge and skills, not just through learning in the classroom, but also through educational visits and visitors.

Our children are confident and able to talk about what they have learnt in history using subject specific vocabulary and are able to recall their learning over time.

Through the breadth and depth that our curriculum offers, our children become passionate historians, who are inspired by the subject, are curious to find out more about the past and have a love of history that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.


What do you think these Mystery artefacts were used for? What do they have in common? How are they different?


Class 4 have researched 'Flight' as part of their Curriculum Vehicle. They have visited RAF Cosford Air Museum and investigated flight through the ages, questioned experts about the Primary and Secondary sources displayed at the museum and  taken part in World War 2 workshops showing the uniform artefacts of airmen through the ages. The children have also visited Cannock Chase Museum where they have experienced life during the Second War; they lived through Black-outs, Rationning and Evacuation. Most importantly, they learned how History has two sides when they discovered that their instructor for the day had had German parents who had lived through World War 2. Class 4 enjoyed finding out about life for the Germans, as well as the British, during the War.

             The Best of the Best



Class 2, as part of their vehicle, are currently learning about the English explorer, navigator, cartographer and captain in the Royal Navy, James Cook. He is famous for his voyages in the Pacific Ocean and his accurate mapping of it, as well as for his application of scientific methods to exploration. Class 2, after learning about his life and experiences, will be producing sculptures connected to his legacy.

At St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School, we want every child to be happy and enthusiastic learners of History, and to be eager to achieve their very best in order to fulfil their God-given talents. We firmly believe that the recipe for success is high quality first-wave teaching in History, which is central to the life of our happy, caring school.
Class 3 exploring the history of our locality as part of their vehicle.
St Mary's pupils enjoying their History lesson, learning about Ancient Egyptian mummies.