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HadlowPrimary School

Happiness, Progress, Success


History - Pillars and Threads

Intent of the History Curriculum

At Hadlow Primary, we want history to inspire pupils to learn about the world they live in and gain a deep understanding of how history has shaped our society today. We want our curriculum to be representative of our diverse society and equip our children with the skills and knowledge to find out more about the recent and distant past which is relevant to them.  


Children will be immersed in a broad and rich curriculum which will provide them with experiences and accounts of the past from key sources. To deepen their experience pupils will be provided with artifacts, photographs, oral and written sources. Over their primary school experience, children will be taught to link historical knowledge by developing their historical skills and exploring events with curiosity, develop arguments, weigh evidence and build their confidence to formulate their own ideas based on the historical evidence.  


Progression will be achieved by creating a curriculum that links and builds on previous taught historical knowledge & skills alongside incorporating new knowledge each year. At Hadlow, our planning is built around key conceptual threads, woven into the primary history curriculum, regularly revisited, so they build a bigger picture in terms of change over time within society and development of their wider historical knowledge.  


We want children to recognise causes and consequences of events and developments over time. Children revisit previous knowledge that can then be built on with new but related content.  


We want children to make sense of history by focusing our teaching on chronology, looking at where each topic fits in a timeline of history, though not necessarily by teaching the curriculum in chronological order. Displaying and creating their own timelines in all classrooms, particularly in KS2, is central to the children's experience in order to: understand when historical events occurred, be able to compare significant events and eras and be able to have a broader understanding of world history such as learning about the first ancient civilisations. With chronology as an intrinsic part of each topic this will support children to create links and deepen their understanding of what went before and after. 


Attainment Targets 

Key Stage 1 

Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They should 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. They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented. 


In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching about the people, events and changes outlined below, teachers are often introducing pupils to historical periods that they will study more fully at key stages 2 and 3. 


Pupils should be taught about: 

  • changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life 

  • events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, the first airplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries] 

  • the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods [for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and LS Lowry, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell] 

  • significant historical events, people and places in their own locality. 


Key Stage 2 

Pupils should 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. They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources. 


In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching the British, local and world history outlined below, teachers should combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content. 

Curriculum Coverage

The primary history curriculum is taught over 3 terms


We cover all the mandatory curriculum topics of British history and Ancient Civilisations with a strong emphasis on chronology, and using sources and artefacts to build up history knowledge and enquiry skills.


Topics covered by year group are: 

EYFS - Me and my family, Living memory, toys from the past

Year 1 - History of the Home, London past and present, Kings & Queens

Year 2 - Streets through time, Dive into the Decades (20th century), Castle and Queens 

Year 3 - Stone Age to Iron Age in Britain, The Tudors, Ancient Sumer and Indus Valley

Year 4 - Roman Britain, Ancient Egypt and British monarchs & Empire

Year 5 - Anglo Saxons & Vikings, Ancient Maya, Victorian Britain

Year 6 - World War I & II, Ancient Greece, Shang Dynasty

How History is Taught at Hadlow

History is taught over three half terms in the academic year.  History is taught once a week within these half term blocks, or as full days, and lessons follow a sequence and form a journey. Within this sequence, children will recall key aspects of knowledge learnt previously, build on new knowledge, and using historical skills and knowledge, be able to answer a line of enquiry at the end of the journey. 


 The layout in books may look like: 


  • A cover page for the unit of work with the key line of enquiry displayed 

  • A timeline of all topics learnt over their primary education.  

  • KWL for each topic to provide assessment.  

  • A timeline for period of history being studied (constructed as a whole class task and displayed) 

  • Assessment task at the end of the topic including answering topic enquiry questions.  


Enquiry Questions

An enquiry question is used at the start of each termly topic to help direct pupils thinking and search for evidence. At the end of the unit it is expected that pupils will answer the line of enquiry weighing up evidence from sources, knowledge learnt and key historical facts.  They should be able to write simple sentences with some technical vocabulary in KS1 and write in detailed sentences and paragraphs using technical vocabulary in KS2. 


Sources & artifacts 

There has been an increased focus, in the new curriculum planning, on use of sources and hands on artifacts in lessons. Objects are essential to support children’s understanding of the past showing them the continuity and change.  


SEND and Inclusion 

As in all areas of the curriculum, teachers should deliver ‘quality-first’ teaching and differentiate to support children with barriers to learning. On an individual basis, teachers should consider any limitations that a child has in accessing the planned lesson and provide resources, word banks with visual cues, stem sentences, adapted tasks and adult support. 


With more able and ‘Greater depth’ pupils steps for depth are planned for and the the use of open-ended questions to promote deeper thinking and encouraging pupils to use prior learning to formulate ideas.   


Feedback and Assessment of/for learning 

It is vital that all pupils are given feedback on the work they have completed.  Immediate feedback is the most valuable as it gives the opportunity to rectify and improve immediately.  Feedback to be given verbally and purple pen used as evidence that the pupil has responded to verbal feedback in the form of editing and improving.  Teachers should give feedback in conjunction with the ‘Feedback and marking policy’.  


Staff professional learning 

Ongoing discussions with teachers, book looks and learning walks are used to support and develop consistency and good practice across the school. The subject leader aims to meet with each key stage group once a year to discuss challenges and successes.  


Cross curricular links 

History is no longer part of a topic based curriculum and is seen as an independent subject in its own right, with separate history and geography pupil books. Art & DT topics are however planned to support the humanities curriculum. Other cross curricular ideas include: 

  • Math – Dates (numbers), chronology, place value, numerals, 

  • English - reports, sentence formation, diary entries, newspapers,  

  • Science – understanding materials, geology/fossils, 

  • Speaking & Listening – Debating, justifying, presenting, questioning, 

  • Art – Paintings, drawings, sketches 

  • DT – Recreating objects/artifacts  

  • Geography – Countries of the world, climate and weather. 

  • PSHE – Japanese art of Kintsugi. 


  • Every lesson includes aspects of recall and retrieval whether that be from last lesson or previous history topics.  


  • We include explicitly teaching new vocabulary and doing low stakes quiz where every child feels like they can succeed without the pressure of a test. 


  • Children are given a voice and the subject leader holds pupil voice interviews and questionnaires are completed by each class. This gives a low stakes way to assess progression in learning.  


  • KWL//KWHL grids are used as a key part of our assessment for learning process across the key stages. These are completed at the start, during and at the end of the topic to establish knowledge gained.  


  • Timelines are displayed in all KS1 & KS2 classes which give children a visual sense of the world and the periods they have studied in a broader sense. In some year groups where this is really embedded, it is clear that children have an overarching understanding of the world history as a whole; they are also able to explicitly make links between significant individuals and key events of the same time. The intention is to ensure that is embedded successfully in every classroom. 


  • Planning is created in partnership with SLT, subject leader, the humanities group and teachers. Regular staff meeting sessions have been dedicated to planning and overseen by the History subject leader and SLT. The new planning is being trialled in 2022 and will be fully implemented in 2022-23. 

  • Learning objectives are skills & knowledge based and history is clearly signposted by having separate History books. Planning is skill based and based on a historical concept/ skill or a knowledge relevant LO - the outcome should not be to write a diary or infer feelings from a source. This is now embedded and teaching is not mixed with English concepts. 

  • A key developmental focus has been on providing teachers with objects and sources in partnership with local museums as well as acquiring resources for each topic via artifact suppliers. 

  • School trips have been a priority as have enrichment opportunities. School trips provide the opportunity for pupils to immerse themselves in new, different and exciting environments where learning is less formal – but sometimes more powerful – and a recreational element threads through their day. We recognise many children at our school have limited opportunities. Therefore it is our duty as facilitators to get our children involved with as much as possible within school life. 

  • Loan boxes from local museums and own school history resources - they have been implemented within classrooms and allow children to explore sources such as artifacts, photographs, oral and written sources and discuss secondary primary sources, and whether or not the source is reliable.  


  • Where time may be limited for delivering the core planning, additional enrichement activities can be included in our enrichment afternoons, giving children opportunities to explore the learning outside the classroom or experience a virtual/ in person workshop or a visitor to talk about their own past/ experience.  

  •  Local history has been embedded into KS1 and involves walks around the village and visits around the local area including the local church and buildings.  Photographs and other local sources are available for children to view with a focus on hop gardens and the breweries that were local to the area. In KS2, local history has been focused on topics such as The Tudors, where Kent has such a rich history in Tudor times.  


  • Developing our planning for SEND pupils is a focus going forward, with the aim that they experience  the same quality learning, with scaffolds and visual cues to meet the same learning outcomes. They are included within all aspects of the curriculum and we recognise that this is where come children thrive best. 

“I enjoy learning about History because I love knowing what the world was like a long time ago”

“It has been so fun to learn about the Romans – I didn’t know anything about them but I know they changed the world” 

“I like learning new things from the past; you learn from what people did; we learn about how people found places and events that happen”

“When we went on a trip to Hever Castle, it helped me understand what castles were like and how different life was a long time ago” 

"History is my favourite subject - we learnt that King Charles I had his head sewn back on after he was beheaded! Things were very different in the past"


Topic Timeline

Hadlow Primary School

Hadlow, Tonbridge, Kent, TN11 0EH