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St Robert Southwell

Catholic Primary School

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History Intent

At St Robert Southwell we want our pupils to love history! We want them to feel excited to find out more about people who lived in the past.  We want to inspire our pupils to learn about the world they live in and gain a deep understanding of how history has shaped our society today.  The children at St Robert Southwell will be immersed in a broad and rich curriculum, which will provide them with facts, dates and accounts of the past from primary and secondary sources.  To deepen their experience, pupils will be provided with artefacts, photographs, oral and written sources.  Over their school experience, children will be taught to link historical knowledge with historical processes and explore events with curiosity, build on arguments, weigh evidence and formulate their own ideas.


One of our key aims for the curriculum is to inspire enthusiastic, self-motivated learners, who have been taught to explore ideas, take risks, solve problems and ask questions.  We want children to recognise causes and consequences of actions and developments over time.  Children will revisit previous learning and build upon this knowledge.  We want children to make sense of new learning chronologically and where it fits in to the bigger picture.  Timelines in all classrooms will be central to the children’s experience in order to understand when historical events occurred; be able to compare significant events and eras and be able to gain a bigger sense of understanding of world history.  


Every lesson always includes aspects of recall and retrieval whether that be from the last lesson or last term.  We are working to ensure that our history curriculum is progressive and enquiry-based.  We encourage the children to question the reliability of sources; we explicitly teach new vocabulary and we give children opportunities to explore the learning outside the classroom whether that be through visiting a museum or place of interest, an in-person workshop or a visitor to talk about their own past / experience.  A lot of work has gone into ensuring that our children have an increased motivation towards learning through positive, outdoor experiences.  School trips provide the opportunities for pupils to immerse themselves in new, different and exciting environments where learning is less formal – but sometimes more powerful.


The EYFS framework is structured very differently to the National Curriculum as it is organised across seven areas of learning rather than subject areas. The most relevant early years outcomes for history are taken from the area of learning most suited: Understanding of the World (UW).  Children are encouraged to develop a sense of change over time and are given opportunities to differentiate between past and present by observing routines throughout the day, growing plants, observing the passing of seasons and time and looking at photographs of their life and of others.  Use of language relating to time is used in daily routines and conversations with children, for example, ‘yesterday’, ‘old’, ‘past’, ‘now’ and ‘then’.


SEND and Inclusion

As in all areas of the curriculum, teachers should deliver ‘quality first’ teaching and differentiate to support children with barriers to learning.  On an individual basis, teachers should consider limitations that a child has in accessing the planned lesson and provide resources, word banks with visual clues, stem sentences, adapted tasks and adult support.

With more able and ‘Greater depth’ pupils, the use of open-ended questions should be used to promote deeper thinking and encourage pupils to use prior learning to formulate ideas.



  • Feedback can be marked on the work or given verbally.
  • Children should create a concept map at the start of the unit to recall any previous learning. At the end of the unit, the pupils will add to their map to demonstrate their learning – this should include evidence from sources, knowledge learnt and key historical facts.
  • Observations, book scans, learning walks and pupil interviews will be used to support and develop consistency and good practice across the school every term.


History Implementation

At St Robert Southwell, History is taught in every year group, once a week.

  • Each topic is studied in depth.
  • We have developed a progression of skills with each year group, which enables pupils to build on and develop their skills each year.
  • In KS1, History begins by looking at the children’s own personal history and introduces them to the idea of chronology and timelines.
  • In KS1, History will look at significant events and people who have shaped society locally, nationally and globally.
  • In KS2, UK history is taught chronologically to allow children to confidently place each time period.  This allows pupils to consistently build on previous knowledge and learning by placing previously taught History topics on a timeline.
  • At the start of each topic, children will review previous learning and will have the opportunity to share what they already know about a current topic in the form of a mind map.
  • In order to support children in their ability to know more and remember more, there are regular opportunities to review the learning that has taken place in previous topics as well as previous lessons.
  • Children are given opportunities, where possible to study artefacts leading to enquiry, investigation, analysis, interpretation, evaluation and presentation.
  • To support teaching, staff access a range of resources and planning including Key Stage History, Mr T does History and Hamilton Trust. 
  • Planning for all units covers key historical concepts: Chronological understanding ; Historical knowledge ; Historical interpretation ; Historical enquiry and organisation and communication.
  • We plan for effective use of educational visits and visitors to enrich and enhance the pupil’s learning experience and History curriculum.
  • Paul Ulson (a history specialist) comes in to every class for every History topic throughout the school sharing his knowledge and allowing the children to examine artefacts related to that topic.  He also helps to re-enact a Roman vs Barbarian battle between Y3 and Y4. This is all wonderful for the children, but also good CPD for teachers.
  • Floor books in all classes allow teachers and pupils to be more creative. Floor books contain collections of the class's work produced through discussion, research and learning. They can include photographs, children's comments, drawings, writing, source analysis.
  • Staff share ideas, good practise and examples of where children in their classes have made links in their current learning with previous learning.
  • Teachers use effective Assessment for Learning at different points in each lesson to ensure misconceptions are highlighted and addressed.
  • Staff pop in to each other’s classrooms to share ideas and good teaching.
  • Cross-curricular links are planned for, with other subjects such as Maths, Writing, Computing and Geography.
  • Pupils are regularly given the opportunity for Self or Peer Assessment, which will then be used to inform planning, preparation, differentiation and address misconceptions within that lesson, or for the next lesson.


History Impact

The impact of this curriculum design will lead to outstanding progress over time across key stages relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. Children will therefore be expected to leave St Robert Southwell reaching at least age-related expectations for History.  Our history curriculum will also lead pupils to be enthusiastic history learners, evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice and their work.