Rationale:

Our History curriculum seeks to give pupils a solid foundation and broad overview in some of the most important periods, events and themes in British and World history.  It is comprehensive but necessarily selective.   

The curriculum gives pupils a strong grounding in British history, taught chronologically from the first settlements through Roman Britain, the Vikings, Anglo-Saxon, the medieval period and up to the Industrial Revolution and touching on Britain during the two World Wars.  While studying these periods the units explore themes of change and continuity, perspective and power.    

Knowledge organisers are shared at the start of every unit. Pupils are taught strategies to help them learn the knowledge and vocabulary that they containWe also share ideas with parents on how to support their children to learn the content at home. Vocabulary is taught explicitly with opportunities provided for deliberate practice. Pre teaching is used to support any identified pupils to be able to access the age-related curriculum. 

We have carefully selected the five units exploring world history to provide global coverage and introduce a number of themes.  This not only allows pupils to learn more but helps them to remember more. 

The unit on Ancient Greece introduces key ideas around power and its legitimacy, the Shang Dynasty gives insight into the progress and achievements in China at a time when there was much less occurring in Europe.  The unit on the Middle East gives pupils an overview of the history of this vitally important region and the reasons for the intractable problems faced today.  We chose to include units on Benin Kingdom to challenge the narrative often prevalent in the teaching of African history – celebrating a highly successful civilisation while introducing the slave trade.  Finally, the unit on Civil Rights provides a survey of the way black people have been treated in the USA, through the Civil Rights movement and Dr King, right the way to the Black Lives Matter. 

By bringing pupils up to the present day – in the case of Civil Rights and the Middle East – the curriculum demonstrates the importance of past events in shaping the world of today. Throughout the curriculum connections and comparison are made between events and individuals; the unit on the industrial revolution exploring the Great Reform Act by taking pupils from the Magna Carta (which they have studied years before) through the changing seat of power in England over the subsequent six hundred years. 

Throughout the curriculum, pupils are taught the substantive content which defines each period.  This knowledge is meticulously planned and regularly revisited and elaborated upon. Each lesson begins with retrieval practise to assess how much pupils have remembered. Each unit ends with an essay allowing pupils the opportunity to write about the knowledge and vocabulary that they have learnt.   

More abstract concepts, too, are carefully developed across the key stage, so that pupils gain an increasingly sophisticated understanding of, for example, kingship or empire.  However, it is not only substantive knowledge that is taught.  The disciplinary skills of history, such as source analysis, interpretation, perspective, continuity and change are all explicitly taught and practised. 

The curriculum is deliberately ambitious.  It challenges pupils to make connections across time and place and sets up pupils for, we hope, a life-long love and understanding of an important subject, while providing a foundation of understanding that will make them curious, active citizens of this country and the world. 

History High Level Plan

 Autumn 1Spring 1Summer 1
ReceptionDo you want to be friends?

Why do leaves go crispy?
What’s that sound?

Are carrots orange?
Can I switch it on?

Why do zebras have stripes?
Year 1Changes within living memory

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

Life in the 50’s

Developments within this era

Queen Elizabeth’s coronation

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Similarity and difference

Continuity and change

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Social

Culture

Development

Summative assessment:

Knowledge Assessment
Dinosaur Planet

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

Evidence of dinosaurs existence

Mary Anning

Theories of extinction

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Interaction and the environment

Evidence and contestability

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Archaeology

Inference.

Summative assessment:

Knowledge Assessment
Famous for more than five minutes

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

Significant events in history (Crimean War, discovery of the new world)

Significant individuals in history (Shakespeare, Mozart)

Significant monarchs in history (Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth I)

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Similarity and difference

Continuity and change

Power and authority

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Culture

Social

Innovation

Summative assessment:

Knowledge Assessment
Year 2Famous for more than five minutes

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

Significant events in history (First man on the moon, first plane flight)

Significant Individuals in history (Alan Turing, Ernest Shackleton)

Overcoming discrimination (Rosa Parks, Jesse Owens)

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Similarity and difference

Continuity and change

Power and authority

Identity

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Culture

Social

Innovation

Summative assessment:

Knowledge Assessment
Magnificent Monarchs

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

Significant monarchs in British history

Social developments throughout history

Queen Elizabeth II and the commonwealth

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Similarity and difference

Continuity and change

Power and authority

Political and social development

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Succession

Monarchy

Empire

Summative assessment:

Knowledge Assessment
Prehistoric Britain

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

The Ice Age

Evolution of humans

Life in the Stone Age

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Interaction and the environment

Similarity and difference

Continuity and change

Evidence and contestability

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Archaeology and inference.

Civilisation

Culture

Summative assessment:

Essay - ‘How was the prehistoric period different to life today?

Knowledge Assessment
Year 3Prehistoric Britain

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

Evolution of humans

Humans arrival in Britain

Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic eras

Discovery of metals

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Interaction and the environment

Similarity and difference

Continuity and change

Evidence and contestability

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Civilisation

Migration

Innovation

Summative assessment:

Essay - ‘What do we know about the Prehistoric period?’

Knowledge Assessment
Shang Dynasty

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

Archaeological evidence of the Shang Dynasty

The rise and fall of the Shang Dynasty

General Fu Hao

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Continuity and change

Evidence and contestability

Power and legitimacy

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Kingship and succession

Social classes

Archaeology and inference.

Summative assessment:

Essay - ‘What do we know about life in the Shang Dynasty?’

Knowledge Assessment
Ancient Greece

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

The establishment of Ancient Greece and its states

The cultural achievements of that period

Alexander the Great

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Cause and consequence

Significance

Power and legitimacy

Political and social development

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Democracy

Culture

Civilisation

Summative assessment:

Essay - 'How did the Ancient Greeks leave their mark on the world?'

Knowledge Assessment

Year 4Roman Britain

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

Birth and development of Rome

Roman invasion of Britain

Romanisation of Britain

Fall of the Roman Empire

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Change and continuity

Significance

Cause and consequence

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Empire

Conquest

Culture

Summative assessment:

Essay - ‘The Romans changed the world forever’. How far do you agree?

Knowledge Assessment
Anglo-Saxons and Scots

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

Life in Saxon Britain

Invasions after the Romans

The seven kingdoms of England

Pagan beliefs and the re-introduction of Christianity

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Continuity and change

Evidence and contestability

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Conquest

Culture and religion

Social

Summative assessment:

Essay - 'How did the Anglo Saxons and Scots change life in Britain?

Knowledge Assessment
Vikings

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

The invasions of the Vikings

Significant explorers of that period

King Cnut

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Cause and consequence

Power and authority

Interaction and the environment

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Culture and religion

Exploration

Colonialism

Summative assessment:

Essay - 'How did the Vikings change Britain?'

Knowledge Assessment
Year 5Benin Kingdom

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

Golden age of Benin Kingdom (900-1897)

Art & culture

Craft, guilds and trade

Colonisation and the transatlantic slave trade

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Change and continuity

Diversity

Perspective

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Empire

Culture

Colonialism

Summative assessment:

Essay - 'The artistic culture was the Benin Kingdom’s greatest achievement.’ How far do you agree?

Knowledge Assessment

Medieval Monarchs

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

The Norman invasion

Henry II, Richard, John, Edward I

Elizabeth I and the Spanish Armada

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Power and authority

Political and social developments

Change and continuity

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Kingship and succession

Monarchy and the church

Social classes

Summative assessment:

Essay - 'Who was the greatest medieval monarch?'

Knowledge Assessment

Middle East

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

The world’s earliest civilisations and empires

The Arab-Israeli war

Significance of Middle East regarding religion

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Continuity and change

Evidence and contestability

Power and legitimacy

Perspective

Cause and consequences

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Religion

Colonialism

Civilisation

Summative assessment:

Essay - 'What would it take for peace in the Middle East to be achieved?'

Knowledge Assessment

Year 6Industrial Revolution

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

Changing working conditions

Changing living arrangements

Technological developments

Political changes

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Change and continuity

Perspective

Cause and consequence

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Political

Social

Economic

Summative assessment:

Essay - 'The most important changes in Britain between 1750-1900 were political.’ To what extent do you agree?

Knowledge Assessment

Civil Rights

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

Legal developments

Civil disobedience: MLK, Rosa Parks

Enduring struggle

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Social and political attitudes

Revolution

Identity

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Human rights

Civil liberties

Revolution

Summative assessment:

Essay - 'Civil disobedience was more important than legal decisions during the civil rights movement. Do you agree?'

Knowledge Assessment

20th Century Conflict

Powerful knowledge

Content (mostly substantive):

World War I causes and conditions

Treaty of Versailles

World War II causes and conditions

Themes (mostly disciplinary):

Similarity and difference

Power and legitimacy

Cause and consequence

Political and social development

Concepts (Overarching ‘big ideas’):

Political

Social

Conquest

Summative assessment:

Essay - 'The outbreak of World War II was inevitable.' To what extent do you agree?

Knowledge Assessment

History Curriculum Documents:

Medium Term Plan History

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