At St Mary’s, we believe that the study of history inspires children’s curiosity, encourages them to ask critical questions and enables them to have a better understanding of the society in which they live, and that of the wider world. They will work as historians where they will critically analyse different sources of information. It also helps children gain a sense of their own identity within a social, political, cultural and economic background.

Children’s natural curiosity about the past should be directed and supported through skills which develop their knowledge and understanding of historical events. Topics are informed by the national curriculum and are sensitive to children’s interests, as well as the context of the local area.


For our children to leave us with:

  • An understanding that history is our record of what happened, when and why.
  • An awareness of how the past has influenced the present.
  • The ability to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
  • The skills to support their ideas by referencing first and second hand sources.
  • A coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past, and that of the wider world, which helps to stimulate pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past.


History follows a two-year cycle and is taught in a curriculum block each term in KS1 and KS2. In EYFS, children develop their knowledge and understanding of the world. Topics have been selected and planned, in line with the National Curriculum, in order that key historical skills and knowledge can be revisited and built upon throughout the children’s time at our school. This ensures that each child can achieve depth and confidence in each History objective.

At the beginning of each lesson, children are encouraged to share what they know already about a given topic and are given opportunities to express what they would like to subsequently find out. This crucial content is revisted to give children every opportunity to remember key knowledge. It also ensures that lessons are relevant to the context of the class, and also makes teachers aware of the different starting points for each child. Activities are chosen carefully and the teacher ensures that every child can access the key learning objective and the skills required for each lesson, and that an appropriate level of challenge is provided for each child. Lessons are planned to develop oracy skills, as well as written skills. Children are provided with opportunities to develop their chronological understanding, acquire the skills of enquiry, describe historical events and find out more through first hand experiences wherever possible.


Through the effective planning and teaching of an enriching and stimulating History curriculum, our pupils are able to leave Year 4 equipped with the necessary historical skills and knowledge that will support them throughout the rest of their learning journey and later in life, as an adult in the wider world. They will be historians, as they will be able to talk confidently about the historical periods that they have studied and be able to place events and periods in chronological order. They will use this skill and knowledge to explain how the world has changed and the significance that certain events and time periods have had on changes that have occurred. They will be able to critically evaluate different opinions of events and understand why there are different interpretations of events and periods.

History Policy

History Vocabulary List

History Progression of Skills