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St James' CofE Junior School

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History is about learning about our human past from the earliest time to the present day, with a specific understanding of how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has both influenced and been influenced by the wider world.


It gives children the knowledge and skills to understand continuity and change in history, identify similarities and differences between societies, to make connections between local, national and international history and to form narratives about key events in our history. Crucially, historical enquiry gives children the critical thinking skills required to analyse how evidence is used to construct contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past.


Without it they would not develop a chronological understanding of the development of our nation and others nor develop the critical understanding to challenge narratives about the past and present.


It feeds into our school’s curriculum intent by enabling our children to build a shared understanding of the past by participating in a variety of inspirational and aspirational historical experiences and talk rich learning activities. Our History curriculum encourages children to think critically about the past whilst supporting them to develop the knowledge and skills to create their own narratives.


History is taught across the whole school from our youngest children in Year 3 to our eldest in Year 6. Our curriculum ensures that children progressively learn new knowledge and skills so that they can critically engage with the past and present.


Our curriculum ensures that our children:

  • Develop chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British and World History, enabling them to form coherent narratives about specific events and longer periods
  • Can make connections and identify contrasts and trends over time
  • Develop the ability to correctly use historical terminology
  • Can address and devise historically valid questions about change and continuity, similarity and difference
  • Can select and organise relevant information to form considered responses to historical questions
  • Develop an understanding that our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources


In addition, our children participate in a wide range of historical activities, such as simulated excavations, artefact handling and studying archive sources in order to develop their historical enquiry skills. Some of the places that children visit are Derby Museum, the local area, Pickford House and Eyam, whilst a range of visitors also work with our children at school.  


As children progress through our school, they develop a secure chronological knowledge of British and World History, making connections and discussing the similarities and differences between different human societies. History is closely linked with other subject areas, in particular the other humanities, and we hope that, through understanding the past, our children are better able to critically evaluate our present.


Please see below our curriculum progression grid for History, detailing how our children progress through knowledge and skills from Year 3 to Year 6:


History Progression Grid


Useful websites - BBC Bitesize KS1 History - BBC Bitesize KS2 History - National Geographic Kids History - Historical Association Primary Topic Websites - History for Kids