History Curriculum

History – Intent, Implementation, Impact


At Jennett’s Park we have a vision to develop enquiring minds and we feel that history is an important vehicle to support children’s ability to experiment, investigate, take risks, challenge themselves and make informed choices. As a subject, history informs our children about the past and another way of life and supports them to think critically and to reflect and draw their own conclusions. Celebrating our historians reflections (whether individual and collaborative contributions at a group, class, phase and school level) helps children gain confidence and a true feeling of self-worth.


History inspires children and should be used to enrich a cross-curricular approach to engage and encourage children’s learning. The curriculum drivers of chronological understanding, range and depth of historical context, interpretations of history and historical enquiry highlights our desire to enable children to think as historians. We emphasise the importance of interpretation with people and events in the past, within a time and chronology using primary sources and historical artefacts to enrich and enthuse learners. Through gaining experience of the diversity of the human experience, children build on skills systematically as they move through the school.


History is concerned with sequence, time and chronology and is the study of evidence about the past and the people in it; it gives us a sense of identity, set within our social, political, cultural and economic relationships. History is an essential part in preparing children for living and working in the wider world around and outside Jennett’s Park and to academically, socially and spiritually learn from perceived strengths and weaknesses in the past. Pupils will consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, children develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people, continually reflecting on what this means to them. Our children see the diversity of human experience, and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society and the similarities that weave humans together. What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values.


In history, children find evidence, examine and analyse and reach their own conclusions. To do this they need to be able to research, systematically sift through evidence and argue for their point of view – skills that help prepare our life-long learners with real skills to use in the future. During their school journey, we use a range of information sources (both provided for the children and for children to be involved in their own research) and give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance and encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past or to stimulate and set the topic alight. Teachers creatively engage children to view the world from different perspectives and to develop an awareness of issues with the past, for example addressing gender or multicultural issues with questions that avoid assumptions and demands evidence for points of view to appreciate the social, political, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of societies.



To support children find out about their personal history and role in society to develop a cultural heritage.

To make children aware of the achievements of people in the past.

To develop concepts of continuity and change.

To recognise that the past is represented and interpreted in different ways, and give reasons for this.

To develop the ability to acquire evidence from historical sources and form judgements about their reliability and value.

To find out about the events, people and changes studied from an appropriate range of sources of information

To encourage children to appreciate the social, political, economic, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of societies.

To ask and answer questions, and to select and record information relevant to the focus of the enquiry.

To confidently present their findings and thoughts in a variety of ways.

To have some knowledge and understanding of historical development (historiography) in the wider world.


Chronological Understanding Range & depth of historical context

Interpretations of history


Historical enquiry

·       Describing visuals

·       Sequencing

·       Timelines –understand and gain knowledge from, create own, use to distinguish comparisons

·       Historical dates and terms, e.g. AD, BC

·       ‘Timeness of time’ – how different societal eras run in parallel-can children discuss this?

·       Present knowledge and understanding in a variety of ways

·       Language of time and the past

·       The difference between primary and secondary sources

·       Not all sources are created equally – ascertain value and importance of a source

·       Topic-specific themes, e.g. empire

·       Topic-specific terms, e.g. ‘long boat’

·       Identify key features or aspects of eras or people studied

·       Examine causes and effects of key events and people

·       Understanding that not everyone in the time studied will share the same experience

·       Empathy

·       Analyse similarities and differences

·       Make links between different areas studied

·       Compare

·       Consider why a source shares its information

·       Create nuanced opinions, reasoning why people in the past acted how they did.

·       Compare events from different sources

·       Check accuracy of interpretations- fact or fiction and opinion

·        Confidently research topics, independently

·       Quality questioning to gather information

·       Use primary resources, magazines, books, personal accounts, the wider library and Internet for research.

·       Use evidence to build up a picture of a past event or individual

·       Choose relevant material to build a picture of life in the past

·       Create nuanced opinions, reasoning why people in the past acted how they did or why an event or change occurred.

·       Direct independent investigations

·       Consider different ways to present findings



How to Implement the progression document and long term plan

Our Foundation Stage learners concentrate on personal histories and gain confidence in sharing, questioning and finding similarities and differences between experiences. They are shown how to question and compare. Our Key Stage One learners develop an awareness of key people and events at a local and British level deepening their understanding of time and the past and how this differs to the present chronologically. Children begin to gather information that personally interests them and can reason why something in the past occurred. Our Lower Key Stage Two learners further their ability to compare and contrast the experiences of different eras within British History and are guided to compare with a study of a historical context within the wider world. Here children are encouraged to draw on their knowledge and understanding of historical research modelled within younger year groups and to critically analyse the value of relevant sources themselves, evaluating why some sources are more useful to them, than others. Our Upper Key Stage Two learners make comparisons between people and events within the same era studied within British and non-European societies studied. Children end their Jennett’s Park education with the confidence and analytical ability to direct their investigations to reach nuanced opinions, reasoning why people in the past acted how they did and why events took place by comparing information from different sources and to share their conclusions sensitively and appropriately. These independent investigations showcase the enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation skills our historians build upon during their school experience.

History is often at the heart of our cross-curricular topics, though the explicit teaching of historical skills should not be confused with learning about history as context and a vehicle for other similar subjects, such as English. As a skills-based subject, our historians do need to be taught facts, key events and dates but require the opportunity of time to understand, research a variety of different primary and secondary sources in order to critically reflect and consider their own thoughts and opinions. When pondering their thoughts and sharing their newly-forming ideas and theories, teachers should guide and foster self-confidence and resilience as children become increasingly aware of historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, compare and contrast, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw disparities, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses as well as dance, drama, debate, discussion and beyond. In showing dignity and respect, to truly encourage our children to become multi-cultural and an inclusive community, they must be given the tools to observe, practice and improve on their skills to accurately 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.

History is therefore present in many other lessons, but skills-based historical learning, based on the curriculum drivers – chronology, range and depth of historical context, interpretations of history and historical enquiry should be at the forefront of actual history lessons. Sometimes these lessons may take place frequently within a termly topic that is history-based, or may feature less frequently (for a set fixed period). When curriculum maps are produced, it is the responsibility of everyone involved in the year group (from phase leader, class teachers and history subject lead) to check that class teachers have adequately accounted for space and time to allow for children to creatively demonstrate their skills as a historian.

Regular, cyclical learning will ensure a true progression of skills and should be promoted at every turn, though we recognise the need to compartmentalise some aspects of the history curriculum without our busy timetables to build upon prior knowledge and understanding and therefore access and develop long-term memory across the term, year, and phase and even longer school journey. This will continue to benefit children’s ability to make connections within their learning, both skills- and context- wise and therefore give our historians every chance to truly flourish and achieve.



We encourage our children to be a part of the planning and to have the chance to direct their historical learning. Class teachers should aim to plot out the overall thematic sub-topics that a class will examine but the foci and directions of a topic should move with the class’ ideas, interests and self-directed study – age-appropriately. Class teachers will plan and deliver ‘hook’ lessons to share the avenues of exploration on offer or as a gateway to what could be examined further. In this way, pupils are their own curriculum-drivers and choose to manage their own discovery – their range and depth of context may differ to another group, but be shared collaboratively after personal research and enquiry. Different conclusions will be drawn and children will sensitively and maturely acknowledge other schools of thought, theories and personal musings. When children have control and a voice over their learning, fires are ignited. Passionate, personalised learning is what we strive for at Jennett’s Park and history is the perfect way to support pupil voice to deliver what they want to learn; Ownership of learning helps invest pupils into their learning and effective teaching guides the development of historical skills, rather than a list of historical contexts. Historical context and knowledge is a part of our curriculum but this skills- and enquiry-based approach helps develop multidisciplinary abilities needed for children’s next steps in education and beyond to the wider world of work: We want our historians to discuss, compare, discern, proficiently gather relevant materials information and create nuanced distinctions and opinions as an individual and as a part of a group or class. Historians should not only be given a voice in the planning and delivery of their history lessons, but also the way in which their learning is acknowledged and celebrated. If pupil voice is truly embedded the confidence and resilience of learners should be high. The way children articulate their reflections should be in the context of a supportive, open-minded environment that recognises the value every child brings to the setting. The impact of a curriculum that develops pupil’s independent thought should empower children greatly into confident and tenacious historians who are inspired. Enriching lessons with variety will not only keeps history engaging and exciting but it allows for skills-based learning, rather than solely Literacy-based learning. Skills are embedded cyclically and really do go over and build upon previous skills in lower year groups to ensure full understanding, application and independence at each level. Long-term plans are succinct and open-ended to allow for learning to be broad and follow children’s interests whilst continually revising skills allows for deepened understanding and practice. Progress is seen in the engagement and well-being of pupils within a history lesson and beyond, as well as a true, marked progression of these reoccurring skills.


History Progression of Skills – Long-term Outcomes


Chronological Understanding Range & depth of historical context

Interpretations of history



Historical enquiry  Specific Content

I can describe the differences between me as a baby and as I am now.

I can sequence pictures of a baby, child and adult, with support.

I understand concept of ‘old’ and ‘new’ in different contexts I understand that not all children enjoy the same things; I can apply this to people today and people in the past.

I am being introduced to sources, depicting the past e.g. nursery rhymes.

I am introduced to the terms ‘same’ and ‘different’.

I listen to adults modelling asking questions to find out more information.

-Remembers and talks about significant events in their own experience.

-Recognises and describes special times or events for family or friends.

-Shows interest in different occupations and ways of life.

-Developing an understanding of growth, decay and changes over time



I can sequence pictures of a baby, child and adult.

I can sequence timelines of growth and change.


I understand basic language surround time e.g. ‘yesterday’, ‘next week’.


I understand that events can be represented and remembered in different ways, and I can talk about these different versions e.g. first day of school.


I am beginning to empathise with how other people (from the past) may have been feeling.

I understand the terms ‘similar’ and ‘different’ and can use these when looking at historical sources.

I am introduced to the concept of ‘old’ and ‘new’.

I can ask basic information retrieval questions and listen to adults model deeper questions to find out more information.

-Looks closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change.

-Talk about how environments and living things may vary and change

-Enjoys joining in with family customs and routines.

-Children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that children don’t always enjoy the same things and are sensitive to this, they know about similarities and differences between themselves and others and among families, communities and traditions.



I can use terms ‘then’ and ‘now’ correctly and am comfortable with the term the past.

I understand the concept of timelines with years given.

I can talk about how aspects of life differ from the past and use some historical vocabulary.

I use historical sources to being to question about a different way of life.


I can understand why a person from the past may be feeling and sometimes use what I have learnt to explain my reasoning.

I can talk about similarities and differences between two or more historical sources relating to the same historical context.

I can distinguish between old and new. I develop vocabulary related to type of ‘source’ and evidence.  I use questioning- why, what, who, how, where and am guided to ask any further questions.

I can use a time line of events to inform my knowledge and understanding.


-The lives of significant individuals  in    Britain’s past who have contributed  to our    nation’s achievements – scientists such as    Isaac Newton or Michael Faraday, reformers    such as Elizabeth Fry or William Wilberforce,    medical pioneers such as William Harvey or   Florence Nightingale, or creative geniuses    such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel or    Christina Rossetti.

-Key events in the past that are significant    nationally and globally, particularly those    that coincide with festivals or other events    that are commemorated throughout the    year.

-Significant historical events, people and    places in their own locality.


I use specific time periods (like, ‘300 hundred years ago’) but may not understand what that period fully means.

I am introduced to timelines for specific topics and themes.

I can sequence events learnt onto a basic timeline.


I am beginning to understand why some sources may be seen as more reliable.

I understand that there are different types of source.


I can understand the actions and feelings of people in the past may not be what I would do in that situation.

I can talk about the reasons why a person from the past acted as they did.

I am beginning to gather information from a few simple sources to answer questions about the past.

I know that there are a range of historical sources that can tell us about the past.

I know that the library, the Internet and even first-hand accounts can help inform me about the past.

I think of my own questions to find out more information.


I can sequence several events or artefacts.

I use dates and terms related to the topic and the passing of time.

I use dates and terms related to the topic and the passing of time.

I am introduced to the terms:  BC, AD

I am being introduced to what a Primary and Secondary source are.

I find out about everyday lives of people in times studied and compare to our lives today.

I identify key features and events. This helps inform me what could be considered ‘typical’ of the period.

I listen to adults model making links between other periods and themes I have learnt about.


I can talk about why a person from the past acted in the way they did, offering my opinion to what I would do.

I can find out about everyday lives of people in times studied and compare to our lives today. Identify reasons for and results of people’s actions

I understand why someone may have wanted to do something.

I identify key features and events.

I use a range of sources to find out about a period, topic or theme.

I am beginning to self-select and record information relevant to the study.

I am beginning to use the library and Internet for research.

I ask a variety of questions to further their own understanding.

-Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.

– 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

4 I understand the importance of timelines when asked to compare and contrast people, events and eras.

I use evidence to reconstruct life in time studied.

I identify key features and events.

Look for links and effects in time studied.

Offer reasonable explanation for some events.

I can understand why people in the past act in the way they do and can see how other factors have influenced their decision making. I can offer my opinion on what I might do in that situation.

Identify and give reasons for different ways in which the past is represented. Look at evidence available. Begin to evaluate the usefulness of different sources.


I use the library, Internet for research.

I use evidence to build up a picture of a past event.

I am beginning to choose relevant material to present a picture of one aspect of life in past times.

I ask a variety of questions when offered an explanation.

-The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain.

-Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world


I use relevant terms and period labels.

I place the current study, theme or topic on a time line in relation to other studies.

I can sequence about ten events on a time line.

I compare life in early and late times studied.

I can write another explanation of a past event in terms of cause and effect using evidence to support and illustrate my explanation.

I know key dates, characters and events of time studied.


With guidance I create nuanced opinions, reasoning why people in the past acted how they did.

Offer some reasons for different versions of events.

I link sources and work out how conclusions are arrived at. I’m aware that different evidence will lead to different conclusions

I’m starting to use primary and secondary sources. Select relevant information. Use a range of sources to find out about aspects of past times.

I bring together knowledge gathered from several sources in a fluent manner.

I question proficiently.

-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.


I know and sequence key events of time studied.

I relate current studies to previous study

I make comparisons between different times in the past.

I use relevant date and terms.

I sequence events on a time line.

I study different aspects of lives of different people- differences between men and women.

I examine causes and results of great events and the impact on people. Compare an aspect of life with the same aspect in another period.

I find out about beliefs, behaviour and characteristics of people, recognising that not everyone shared the same views and feelings.


I create nuanced opinions, reasoning why people in the past acted how they did.

I compare events from different sources.

I consider ways of checking the accuracy of interpretations- fact or fiction and opinion.

I confidently research topics, independently.

I use evidence to build up a picture of life in time studied.

I recognise primary and secondary sources and use a range of sources to find out about aspects of past times.

I direct my own investigations.


-A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066.

-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.