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The Teaching of History at St Mary and St Benedict


Curriculum Intent:

At St Mary and St Benedict CP School our pupils develop an appreciation and understanding of the past. Our History curriculum has been designed to cover all of the skills, knowledge and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum, whilst celebrating the diverse heritage of our pupils. Through a range of learning experiences and the evaluation of primary and secondary sources, our historians are learning how these sources can give us an insight into how people used to live in Britain and around the world. Our teaching aims to equip children with the skills needed to critically analyse and discuss how civilisations have undergone the process of change over time, and how these interpretations may differ.

Pupils will be taught to make links between these areas of learning, with the aim of developing engaged, motivated and curious learners that can reflect on the past and make meaningful links to the present day. History is delivered through subject specific teaching, organised into blocks under a theme. The History units taught have been developed to help children appreciate their own identity and the challenges in their time. Meaningful links with other subjects are made to strengthen connections and understanding for pupils.


Our aims: 

  • Provide an exciting, rich, relevant and appropriate History curriculum for all pupils.
  • Develop an interest in the past, understand human achievements and learn about the major issues and events in local, British and world history.
  • Develop a knowledge of chronology together with an understanding of the similarities and differences between historical periods and that change and progress are not necessarily the same.
  • Understand that people’s actions are influenced by their attitudes and values and that these may be changed over time.
  • Appreciate and explain the variety of causes of historical events.
  • Understand the nature of evidence by emphasising history as a process of enquiry, by developing a range of historical skills and reinforcing that historical explanation is provisional, debatable and open to different interpretation.
  • Foster the values of attitudes associated with the respect for evidence, the toleration of a range of opinions and the appreciation of the value of cultural diversity.
  • Develop their knowledge and understanding of other countries and cultures along with the history of the roles and relationships of men, women and children from different social and economic groups.
  • Develop important cross-curricular intellectual and social skills, including the ability to observe, analyse and communicate.


The Teaching of History:

History teaching focuses on enabling children to think as historians. We have woven our key concepts of Empire, Civilisation, Religion and Monarchy through our curriculum, and planned it to support pupils' understanding of chronology. We place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources. In each Key Stage we give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance, including local places of interest. We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past. We recognise and value the importance of stories in history teaching and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past. We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and that they should always ask searching questions, such as “how do we know?”, about the information they are given. We recognise the fact that in all classes there are children of widely-different abilities in history and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child.



We have identified the key knowledge that we want children to know, and this learning is included on a knowledge organiser for each unit and checked regularly through 'Spot Checks'. After each history session, class teachers will evaluate the teaching and learning before proceeding and adjust future plans to meet pupil needs and curriculum coverage.

Reporting to parents follows school guidance and procedures.

The history subject leader will use monitoring information including pupil voice to review skills development, opportunity and engagement, and lead adjustment to plans as necessary.

History Policy 2021