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History - Subject Leader: Mrs Lucy Snare

Intent (Why do we teach this? Why do we teach it in the way we do?)

At St Marks, the study of history involves our pupils exploring the past, not only to gain knowledge and understanding about significant lives and events in history, but also to provide them with an opportunity to contemplate complex and moral questions and to explore what it means to be human in both the past and the world today.

Our History curriculum is designed to be;

  • Ambitious and knowledge rich, in terms of instilling in our pupils a desire to achieve the highest levels of success and providing them with the opportunities to excel.
  • Enjoyable, sparking pupils’ enthusiasm and curiosity about the past.
  • Logical, relevant, broad and balanced in terms of the historical time periods covered and in line with the National Curriculum. 
  • Sequenced to ensure that pupils can build on previous knowledge and understanding, starting from the provision established in Early Years.
  • Progressively more challenging, in terms of subject knowledge and critical thinking. Our pupils have the opportunity to examine evidence, identify key arguments and develop perspective and conclusions surrounding historical figures and events.

History Curriculum Overview

The curriculum map for History has been designed in line with the National Curriculum guidance. We structure learning in history through 'Big Question' led enquiries.

In Early Years and KS1 children begin to look at how we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented. They develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. Alongside this, key concepts, significant people and events, will be discussed within a chronological framework.

In KS2 pupils are taught to identify significant events, make comparisons and draw contrasts within and across historical periods. They learn to understand the different types of historical sources and become aware of the importance of rigorous examination and questioning. They learn to use historical terms and concepts in increasingly sophisticated ways.

Our learning and teaching in history is interactive and practical, allowing opportunities for pupils to work independently, in pairs and also in groups of various sizes both inside and outside of the classroom.

Progression of Knowledge, Skills and Vocabulary

In conjunction with the whole school overview, we use the whole school skills progression to ensure the clear progression of historical knowledge, skills and vocabulary across the school.


Teachers use a range of assessment techniques to monitor progress and to build a clear holistic picture of their historical knowledge and understanding. Progress is reported to parents and to subsequent class teachers. Examples of activities used to form these assessments are:

  • Observing the pupil during discussions, museum visits and practical activities 
  • Low stakes quizzes to test and consolidate prior knoweldge
  • Written tasks 

Impact of our History Curriculum:

By the time children leave St Marks they will have progressed well so that they:

  • Foster a love of learning for history and a thirst to uncover and understand the past.
  • Are equipped to think critically and engage in complex debates.
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