History Overview

At Throckley Primary School, we are committed to providing a purposeful and empowering curriculum that fully prepares learners for the next steps in their school career and opens the doors to the wider world.  Within history, we wish to provoke curiosity through the use of inquiry-based learning to help deepen children’s understanding and provide them with transferable skills (through our O.W.Ls) that can be used across the curriculum and outside of school.

Underpinning the curriculum at Throckley Primary School are our curriculum drivers which are:

  •          Understanding our place in the world- through delving into local, national and international history, our pupils will start to piece together how their lives have been shaped due to those who lived before us with the aim to help them to understand their place in the world and how they can positively and negatively impact their environment.
  •          Aspiring to achieve- during their journey through Throckley Primary, children will be introduced to many significant people and learn about how they influenced the modern world and inspired many others to follow in their footsteps. Overcoming adversity, being pioneers in their field and showing immense bravery, we hope our pupils can relate to these individuals and feel motivated in order to aspire to achieve.
  •          Broadening horizons- our world is filled with incredible history; at Throckley Primary, we believe that all children, regardless their background, should get to the opportunity to experience the past so that they can better understand the present to broaden their horizons for the future.

To drive the learning and support children throughout their history journey at Throckley Primary, pupils will start to make connections across time, through our key concepts of: belonging, choice and influence.

Knowing how our country was shaped from civilisations around the world will help to develop a sense of belonging within our pupils and help them to consider how they are adding to the history of our local area. Choice involves decision-making and this is something we do on a daily basis; whether it be over something menial or a decision that will shape our future. By looking at choices, past and present, children can discover what led to a verdict and determine the sequence of events that follow as a result of it, while drawing comparisons from throughout history to their own life. Interpretations of significant historical events, actions, people and choices have helped to shape our society today leaving a lasting influence on us. Considering how ancient civilisations, notable battles and wars, significant leaders or rulers and key eras from past have influenced the modern world, will help our pupils to consider the influence they could have on our future. Are all influences positive? As our pupils become more acquainted with this concept, they can begin to consider how influence is a powerful tool and isn’t always used for the good.

Subject Aims

Our history curriculum enables pupils to develop better understanding of the world in which we live. Building knowledge and understanding of historical events and trends enables them to develop a much greater appreciation for current events today and feel a sense of belonging where they fit into our world. 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.

Subject Content

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Significant People

As pupils dive into their history units, they will be greeted by significant individuals from the past. Some may have lived in the locality of our area, whereas others lived in far away lands; however, both share a common ground: they’ve left an every-lasting impact on our world today. Children are fascinated by people and their stories; the study of these people will help to bring our key concepts of belonging, choice and influence to life as they unearth how they shaped their surroundings, why they made certain choices and as a result, the influences these have on our history. Significant people studied can be found on our History Progression of Knowledge document.

Rich Stories

Our understanding of the past is formed from stories passed from generation to generation, some are key historical sources that are used by experts to help us understand choices made by people in the past so we can learn what life was like for them. When pupils study a historical unit, they will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in rich stories that are linked to their learning. This will allow them to explore periods of history through different perspectives and let them get lost in the throes of their inquiry question, while learning memorable stories that will stay with them for life and hopefully pass on to future generations.