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St Peter's

CE Primary Academy

Strive Beyond; Defy Limits


History Curriculum Statement

‘We are not makers of history. We are made by history’

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Curriculum Intent:

At St Peter’s Primary School, we are committed to providing a high-quality History education for all our children. By doing so we will equip them with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed beyond the school gates, in the wider world.             


History lessons at St Peter’s are the foundation upon which children build their understanding of the world. As a result of a rigorous enquiry-based approach, pedagogy, all children will know what it means to be a historian, to become immersed in and inspired by history.  Underpinning all lessons will be a rigorous focus on developing and securing historical skills whilst also ensuring sound progression of knowledge and sequenced understanding of key concepts. As teachers we aspire to ensure that the skills taught are transferable throughout their time at St Peters and also further into their education. Our core aims are:


  • To be inquisitive curious historianswho can ask, answer, analyse and draw contrasts about key concepts and questions about the past.
  • To be critical historianswho are able to decipher primary and secondary sources of information and understand the methods of historical enquiry
  • To have a rich historical language that allows children to talk confidently and coherently about known historical facts and to be able to apply their language knowledge to historical vocabulary such as empire and civilisation. 
  • To develop an extensive historical knowledge about taught periods of history that then becomes retained knowledge in which children can explain and decipher throughout their history education.
  • To be ethical historians who are able to discuss and debate.
  • To be individuals who recognise and celebrate diversity. Children are able to examine their own lifeexperience and life knowledge and compare it with the experiences of those in the past.


Ethics and Diversity

St Peter’s strongly believe that the discipline of history is particularly well positioned to address the teaching of ethics and for celebrating diversity.The study of history provides students with opportunities to reflect on moral and ethical dilemmas faced by people in the past and the decisions they made at the time. Situated in a rural location with 91% of the local community White British, as a school, we are always incredibly mindful of the need to equip our children with a global perspective and ensure they have an appreciation of the diversity of the wider world.


Diversity will be addressed within our ‘Hidden Figures’ lessons; these lessons focus on the lesser known, oft underappreciated historical figures. These figures will be looked at in the context of their own time and through the lens of the current day. For further details on specific figures chosen, please see the Hidden Figures appendix.


Ethics and diversity within our history curriculum will focus upon:

  • Understanding of the complexity of the world in which choices were made and decisions taken.
  • Exploring whether people’s  actions need to be judged within the context of their own time.
  • Discussing how, with hindsight, we can expect more moral behaviour of people in the past and whether we need to challenge our own assumptions that people in the past  failed to make the right moral decisions.
  • The importance of challenging stereotypical views of human behaviour for example  perceiving some groups  of people as always victims and others as always perpetrators.


Curriculum design and implementation:

Our overarching aim for History at St Peter’s is for all children to develop an understanding of their place in the world and to promote curiosity and fascination to ensure they become passionate and active historians. Our curriculum is designed in such a way that, over the course of study, teaching is designed to help learners to remember in the long term the content they have been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.


Each year group studies 3 History topics a year. We arranged our yearly topics in chronological order so as give children a clearer understanding of historical chronology. By revisiting similar periods of time in the subsequent year, we ensure that children have a deeper understanding of these time periods from a variety of historical contexts. Within Year 6, children will study two thematic History units so as to ease the transition between primary and secondary History- we consulted at length with a local secondary school so as to inform this decision.


In order to develop well rounded and successful historians, we take guidance from the National Curriculum whilst understanding the need to personalise the curriculum for our children.  We expose our children to planned and differentiated lessons which are taught with a clear history objective. Thanks to carefully planned progression documents, we can ensure that during our dedicated afternoon lessons, which are taught as topics, we can ensure continuity and progression across the key stages.


To ensure depth within our enquiry-based history curriculum we believe there are essential components within our termly sequence of learning to ensure our children become inquisitive and active historians.


  • Enquiry based gateway question to begin each lesson- We want children to be inquisitive historians who are confident enough to query and investigate the past. History is the process of enquiry, the search for evidence, and the examination of this evidence by sorting, evaluating and weighing it, therefore our lessons will begin by asking questions that encourage discussion and deeper thinking, such as Why did Iron Age people bury coins and not return for them? Many of these enquiry questions lend themselves to using primary historical sources eg. documents, artefacts, paintings to support the analysing and understanding.
  • Explicit historical skills –Children are encouraged to use the full range of history skills. One such example is the way in which children are encouraged to use a range of primary and secondary sources and decipher them to support their historical line of enquiry. This enables children to organise and analyse the information gained from the primary and secondary sources. Lesson examples such as; ‘What does this source show?’ and ‘Can you explain if you trust this source?’ are a snapshot of some of the techniques that are used.


Knowledge Acquisition and Lesson Design:

History will be taught in alternate Terms. Each week children will have a minimum of two dedicated History sessions focusing on historical skills and knowledge. In addition they will have a Music and Art or DT lesson again closely related to the area of history upon which they are focusing.


The structure of each lesson will be as follows:

Starter– All lessons will begin by recapping prior knowledge and discussing Tier 3 vocabulary in detail. Following this will be the Introduction of the key enquiry question for the lesson.

Main body of lesson- Each lesson will ensure to place content within the relevant chronological order of the time period/topic. In addition, each lesson will include activities which incorporate fundamental historical skills whilst ensuring deep understanding of historical subject knowledge.

‚ÄčPlenary - reflection is a core component of teaching at St Peter’s and gives all children the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding and reflect on the learning process. Children add cumulatively to a knowledge organiser which they then use as a learning aid in all future lessons and as a tool in our assessment schedule.


Curriculum Impact:

To measure the impact of this approach we will ensure that emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning which helps pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Our children will be curious with a deep desire to understand their past. To complement our pupil led knowledge organisers children will, on occasion undertake a more formal assessment inspired by a gateway question. Teachers will provide the children with a stimulus and prompt question to answer which reflects their history learning up to this point.


We introduce knowledge organisers to the children at the beginning of each topic. Throughout a topic children create a mind map relating to their key questions. These mind maps give children the opportunity to record what they have learnt during the twice weekly sessions. During assessment weeks, children recreate a mind map on their topic- this is then used as a comparative to their starting points at the end of every topic.