The Catholic School of St Gregory The Great Believe and Achieve

History Curriculum



In history, we aim for all of our children to see themselves as historians. We endeavour to inspire a sense of curiosity in our children and develop their enthusiasm for history, recognising that the skills and knowledge they learn through history can be used to have a positive impact on God’s world around them.


To be able to be a historian, children will need to build up the skills, knowledge and understanding of the past.  They will need to understand and use the language of history and apply these historical skills and knowledge across the curriculum, making connections both within History and across other subjects too.


To be a historian, children need  support to build a temporal awareness and a developing sense of identity as they come to understand their place in the story of human development. As a school we recognise that engaging children and young people in investigating questions about people and events in the past helps them to better understand their lives today, the contested nature of knowledge and prepares them for the future as more informed citizens. Engaging our pupils with a relevant, exciting and challenging History curriculum which inspires curiosity and is appropriate for preparing them for an adult life in the 21st century is essential since it:

  • Helps them to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as some of the challenges of their time;
  • Develops skills of critical thinking which means making reasoned judgements that are logical and well thought out and not merely accepting arguments and conclusions as they are presented but  having a healthy, discerning and questioning attitude about new information;
  • Supports them to appreciate that all knowledge is socially constructed and its objectivity and reliability is therefore open to critiquing through asking perceptive questions, weighing evidence, sifting arguments and developing perspective and judgement;
  • Helps to build a sense of identity and belonging on a personal, cultural, national and global level as pupils come to appreciate the diversity of human experience and consequently understand more about themselves and as members of society;
  • Enables pupils to understand core concepts such as cause and consequence, similarity and difference, continuity and change, change and progress/regression, significance, evidence, chronology, empathy, context, diversity, perspective, interconnectivity and validity which have broad relevance and significance in the modern world.




The National Curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils: 

  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. 
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind. 
  • gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’. 
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses. 
  • 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.
  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.


How we plan for progression in history at St Gregory’s:

The St Gregory’s Curriculum is designed around year group themes. Each has been structured and sequenced in order to engage pupils in purposeful learning by building on prior knowledge and helping connect knowledge, understanding and skills year-on-year both within history and across other subjects too.


In key stage 1, history is a topic driver for one of the termly themes within the year. For example, in year 1 the children study the ‘Great Fire of London’ which then inspires the study of the text  Toby and the Great Fire of London by Margaret Nash during their English learning.

In key stage 2, history is taught weekly for 2 of the 3 terms. The history topic will often become the driver for other subjects; inspiring class texts in English/guided reading and other links where appropriate. Links to locality have been made where appropriate and as a school we maintain strong relationships with the Wilson Museum who provide our children with museum boxes.


We recognise that foundations for becoming a historian are laid in the Early Years Foundation Stage through all seven strands of the Early Year Framework (especially Understanding the World) and to be ready for the next stage in their education, the starting point that we strive for every child to have upon entry to Y1 and working towards the aims of the National Curriculum is:

Understanding the World

  • To engage with experiences that support children’s developing knowledge and understanding of the world around them.
  • Engage with text that foster understanding of our culturally and socially diverse world.


  • Develop an understanding of measure through sequencing events

Communication and Language

  • To be able to learn and use new vocabulary.


Once children enter Y1, they work progressively towards the aims of the National Curriculum.  To ensure progression, the teaching team worked together to plan out curriculum coverage and then the subject leader identified the progression of skills and vocabulary required at each stage of learning to prepare children for the next stage in their learning.

History curriculum coverage

We adopt an enquiry led approach to history which enables our pupils to learn as young historians and to understand the kind of questions that historians ask of the world. Through enquiry our pupils not only build their substantive knowledge and understanding but become increasingly adept at disciplinary thinking, conceptual understanding and the use of specialised vocabulary and technical terms. We structure learning in History through big question led enquiries which are both in depth focused and also enable pupils to develop their chronological awareness of themes and issues over more extended periods of time. Our curriculum is therefore ‘knowledge rich’ rather than content heavy as we recognise that if we attempt to teach historical topics in their entirety, we will create a very shallow learning experience for our pupils. Consequently we adopt a policy of immersive learning in History that provides sufficient time and space for our pupils not only to acquire new knowledge and understanding but also to develop their appreciation of the importance of subject concepts.


Coverage is based on the National Curriculum 2014 PoS with objectives allocated across phases and year groups, to ensure a progression of knowledge, skills and understanding.  For example

This document has been crafted to ensure that all National Curriculum objectives are taught to children at least once through out their time at St Gregory’s. Each unit has been carefully placed to be appropriate to their age and infitting with the progression of skills needed for successful achievement. This document is reviewed and agreed by staff regularly to ensure that the children are getting the best from their history curriculum.


History Progression of skills
The Skills Progression documents interrogate the skills, knowledge and techniques required in each phase, considering age appropriate development and ensures progression is enabled through careful and informed planning. 


Yellow denotes KS1 focus, green LKS2 and blue, UKS2. While each phase will have lessons focussing on outcomes listed against the earlier phase as part of a build-up within the topic, to achieve expected standard for their age group, children must be exposed to the appropriate outcomes at least once within their current phase.


In addition to outcomes, historical skills are also mapped progressively through the key stages so that teachers ensure that children’s learning is constructively built upon in terms of both what they can do as well as the range and depth of resources they interrogate.




History Progression of Vocabulary
Vocabulary, at an age appropriate level, is paramount to the children’s understanding and ability to articulate their intent and enable questioning. It is, therefore, a key consideration in history planning.  Key subject vocabulary is introduced at the appropriate time, building on prior knowledge.



See History Vision for more information.