St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School

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St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School



‘We are not makers of history- we are made by history.’ Martin Luther King

Subject leader: Miss Bird


At St. Joseph's, we aim to make history both creative and interesting through using a range of approaches. Teachers plan a variety of lessons based on different periods of time in history, historical places, and historical events. These lessons are designed to enable the children to think more deeply about people and places in the past and how they can both influence and impact on us today. In teaching history, we want children to understand how events of the past are important, their significance and what we can learn from them. We want our children to be curious about the past through real- life experiences; our children are encouraged to visit places of historical interest which they might not otherwise have the opportunity to visit.

The aim of our history teaching is for children to ask themselves interesting and challenging questions about the past such as: What happened? Why did it happen? How do we know these things? Our intent is that all groups of children, including those who are new to English and those with SEND are able to access the curriculum. Our use of oracy means that History is taught through deliberate teaching of vocabulary with visual images to support language acquisition. 

How history is taught:

“A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world.” (the National Curriculum).

Our History curriculum is taught explicitly from Year 1 through to Year 6. History objectives are met in Early Years through a cross-curricular, immersive approach to ‘Understanding the World’. In addition, where appropriate, meaningful cross curricular links are made with other subjects to strengthen connections and understanding for pupils while exploring historical contexts. By the end of year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British History from the Stone Age to the present day. They will be able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Egyptians.

The History road map sets out our enquiry questions. Teachers plan collaboratively to make sure that each of the areas of history are taught in an interesting way ensuring that they meet the needs of all the children.  Five key themes connect learning across topics. These are Continuity and change, Significance, Evidence, Cause and consequence and Similarity and difference. Recognising these themes helps children to make connections between historical periods and to recognise similarities and patterns. 

The National Curriculum is used as the basis from which we plan and deliver the teaching of History at St Francis alongside our knowledge of our children and community. History is taught in a systematic and progressive way, in which declarative and procedural knowledge and vocabulary is mapped out alongside key concepts. Our History long-term plan supports teachers in planning each learning sequence, which states progressive knowledge and skills to ensure a full coverage and links being made. We enable and encourage children to make connections, revise and recap previous History units. At the beginning of each new history topic, teachers refer to classroom timelines to develop children’s understanding of chronology. These timelines are present all year round and any historical event of interest to the children in any subject is added for the children to see where this fits into our world History.

History is taught weekly during the History units (alternating on a half termly/termly basis with Geography)  As we have mixed aged classes in Key Stage 1 and Lower Key Stage 2 these children are taught on a two-year cycle.  History is taught through practical and engaging enquiry tasks. Children use artefacts and sources to frame their own questions. They are taught how to think like a historian using their knowledge and skills to create their own arguments and viewpoints. 

Enrichment is a key part of History learning at St Joseph's: workshops on Crime and Punishment, the Romans, the Anglo Saxons and Florence Nightingale allow children to build on their existing knowledge making further connections and memories. The BD5 Partnership has provided a drama and enrichment program for Year 3 and 4 based on vocabulary and memory. Visits to Jorvik Viking Centre, York Railway Museum and Whitby give pupils the opportunity to see their classroom learning come to life. 

How history is assessed:

History is assessed through enquiry questions based around key aims and subject content which is set out in the National curriculum document for history. By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply, and understand the skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study. Each child is given a sequence of lessons for them to follow each week. At the end of each unit, the children will produce a double paged spread to show their understanding.

What can you do to support your child at home:

Each half term, your child will bring home a newsletter explaining what they will be learning in History. Talk to your child about the topic and ask them questions about what they are learning about. Encourage your child to look at books on the topic or use online websites to learn more.



Please speak to your child's teacher if you would like more information about the topics covered.