Our history curriculum is enquiry based, fully inclusive and meets the needs of all learners, starting from building strong foundations in our EYFS, supporting and challenging them on their journey to being secondary ready, and ultimately ensuring that they are equipped with the cultural capital, skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the future.
Meet our History Coordinator
History National Curriculum Aims
In line with the History Programmes of Study KS1 and KS2 the school aims to ensure that all pupils:
- To know and understand the history of these islands and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
- To know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world.
- To gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’.
- To understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance.
- To 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.
- To gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts.
History IntentThe Horizon History curriculum has been designed so that all learners have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life. We aim to provide all the necessary tools for future learning and employment our children may require. Our learners in Key Stage 1 & 2 study the National Curriculum (2014) as a basic entitlement, but our History offer provides knowledge and enrichment beyond this. In EYFS we use the Educational Programmes (2021) to build our curriculum with guidance from Development Matters and Birth to 5.
To ensure that pupils develop a secure sequential knowledge, our history curriculum is organised into a progression model that outlines the knowledge, skills and vocabulary to be taught in a coherent way. This begins in EYFS with the children understanding the concept of past and present through child-initiated and adult-led learning. Once children begin in KS1, and throughout KS2, historical learning is based around four key concepts: 1. Time, place chronology 2. Legacy and relevance 3. Evidence and sources 4. Significance (people and events).
These concepts are mapped out to ensure that pupils build on secure prior learning within each unit. When covering each of these concepts, the content is organised by year group through a long-term plan. History is delivered through subject specific teaching organised into blocks. Meaningful links with other subjects are constantly made to strengthen connections and allow deeper exploration and understanding for pupils. At Biggin Hill, we link the history curriculum with our own main curriculum drivers relevant to their context.
We are fortunate enough to be located in and around the city of Hull, which brings with it a wealth of cultural opportunities. We ensure that each unit has an experiential entry point (trips, visitors, hook) to excite the children and make it real. As a trust, we believe in creating links with our communities and inspirational people within all subject fields to inspire the children, to gain knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world.
History involves understanding the process of change, the complexity of people’s lives, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and society today. As Hull has a proud and unique history, part of our history curriculum allows children to fully understand the changes in the city over time and how these events have set up the city for the future. We also endeavour to provide purposeful and natural links to British values and discussions around being positive UK and global citizens during their learning. Our history curriculum promotes the rich diversity of the world, Britain and an appreciation of our locality.
“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.”
At Horizon Academy Trust, history is embedded in our knowledge rich approach to learning. In EYFS, children learn about their immediate family and similarities and differences between different families, basic chronology is explored in their life and others. Characters in stories are explored including figures from the past. In KS1 and KS2, history is taught through units once each term. Teachers plan sequences of lessons across the unit that will build on and develop the children’s knowledge and skills.
In Key Stage 1, our curriculum is mapped to enable children to develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They will start to know where the people and events they study, fit within a chronological framework, and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. As they progress through the key stage, they will demonstrate a growing confidence and accuracy when using historical vocabulary, such as monarchy, explorer and artefact.
In Key Stage 2, children will continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. This chronology, or sequence of events, will be referred to throughout KS2 so that children become secure in their understanding of important historical events and eras. Initially, the curriculum in KS2 is designed to begin with developing a strong chronology of British history, before learning about significant World history units such as the Ancient Egyptians. This allows children to begin to identify trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms such as ancient and civilisation. The explicit mapping and rigorous teaching of vocabulary ensures that children can gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’ or ‘parliament’.
Carefully selected skills are chosen to best match each unit of knowledge and progress year on year. Opportunities to practise and embed skills are planned for so that they are revisited and refined over time. The knowledge and skills that children will develop throughout each history topic are mapped across each year group and across the school to ensure progression. We also maximise the opportunities that our home city of Hull has to offer in terms of its rich history and vast array of museums and cultural sites. Therefore, children’s learning in history is enriched by visits to carefully selected museums, where workshops and visit materials deepen their understanding and knowledge.
We provide a knowledge organiser for each unit for teachers, which aims to distil the essential knowledge required for teaching a unit. Teachers use these documents to develop effective teaching sequences ensuring that each lesson builds on each child’s previous knowledge and skills.
Rationale for sequencing in History
Our curriculum units are paced following a chronological sequence to ensure that pupils build on their knowledge and understanding and can draw connections to gain secure historical perspective.
The history curriculum at Horizon is sequenced so that children develop knowledge and skills across four main concepts: Chronology and time, Legacy and relevance, Evidence and sources , and People and events. Units of learning have been chosen to build sequentially increasing knowledge of historical events and sense of how events have led to where we are now. For example, learning in KS1 begins with securing a strong understanding of recent history, including changes in their immediate families lifetime, and then beyond this studying history through the lives of significant events and people. In KS1 children also study a unit on Kings and Queens as a pre-requisite of knowledge for the study of British, European and World History in KS2.
Abstract terms and concepts are paced strategically to ensure consolidation and progression, such as ‘parliament and Rule of Law’ which has its foundations in Early Years by exploring right and wrong through texts; in Year 2 through ‘Kings and Queens;’ Year 4 looking at the Tudor parliament; Year 5 in the Ancient Greeks and Year 6 in the abolition of slavery.
In KS2 learning builds prior knowledge through the study of British history in a chronological order, for example children need to have knowledge of the Roman Empire and it’s impact on Britain prior to learning about Anglo-Saxon settlement. Once children have a strong grounding in British history children learn about European and World civilisations, learning about events and legacy in similar chronological timeframes. Learning within KS2 culminates in further developing children’s knowledge of the historic significance of their own locality in both British and World events. This helps to foster pride and purpose in all of our pupils; preparing them for the world in which they will live.
History Long Term Plan