St Mary's RC Primary School, ManchesterSt Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School

St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School



Our intention at St Mary’s is to build a broad, balanced and exciting History Curriculum. History helps us understand change and societal development whilst giving us a context from which to understand ourselves and others. At its very core we want our history curriculum to equip children with the confidence to question, make connections and learn from events in the past. In addition to this, we also want our children to understand that they can have an impact on significant historical events of the future. Our history curriculum is based on an adapted model of the Early Years Framework and the National Curriculum. Progression documents have been introduced in order to build on the skills needed to meet the end of Key Stage objectives in the National Curriculum. Our long term plan is broad and balanced, allowing children to access a wide variety of historical periods.

Key Skills are:

  • Chronological awareness- Develop a sense of the past and have a better understanding of where significant historical periods, events and figures sit in relation to each other.
  • Knowledge and understanding- Using a variety of different methods, children are able to display a deepening understanding of periods of history and to be able to make connections between them.
  • Historical contexts- Develop the ability to interact with and question historical sources (primary and secondary) and draw conclusions from them.
  • Organise, evaluate and communicate information- Present findings about the past using a variety of different mediums, such as, spoken and written word, drawings, ICT etc.                                    

Ten Key Areas of Learning


Main events


Food & Farming




Culture & Pastimes



Travel & Exploration

*see appendix one for further details


Lessons in KS1 are the foundation blocks for learning in KS2 and together build up a rich history schema. Pupils in KS2 develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history. Through the use of key areas of learning children can note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. Discussions in lessons will regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity, difference and significance. Children will learn to construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. By being taught through and about different historical sources and understand how different versions of past events exist, giving some reasons for this. Teaching is supported by a rich historical vocabulary which is developed over time through KS1 and KS2. It is our intention that children have a clear understanding of what history is. Children develop the skills of enquiry over time and the skills to enable to develop their learning from these initial enquiries and predictions about how people lived in different eras


Teaching of history at St Marys is regular (one topic per term) and through the history progression document which is in line with the EYFS and the National Curriculum. This is used to aid teaching staff in their subject knowledge, organisation and delivery. At the beginning of every lesson children are reminded about previous learning in the subject, links to the current topic being covered and significant concepts taught in previous lessons in the topic.

Where possible each topic is accompanied with the hiring of an artefacts box which have high quality resources to help children understand how people lived in the past and the technology that shaped that generation and the impact that era of history had on our current lives. Trips are used to enhance topics such as visiting Bury Art Museum for the topic of Victorians and Ribchester for the Romans’ topic. In addition, experts have been used such as an Anglo Saxon and Viking visitors who both come in character, have a wealth of resources and expertise whilst creating a real buzz around school.


How does St. Mary’s curriculum meet the needs of the children at our school?

Religious Values

The teachings of Jesus are central to every aspect of our learning, so we:

·        One of the Key Learning areas on the History Curriculum is beliefs.  This gives us the opportunity to compare and contrast different belief systems to the teachings of Jesus.

·       Through history we have the opportunity to study periods of history when Jesus was alive and further investigate significant events in the history of our faith, such as the dissolution of the monasteries.

Key life skills for learning

Provide a curriculum  that will equip children with the values, skills and attributes needed to be independent thinkers and courageous learners, so we:

·       Provide children with opportunities to challenge the accuracy of information presented to them- an important life skill when searching for information on the internet, social media etc.

·       Have a better understand of significant events in world and British history and how societies mark these events, such as Armistice Day, Independence Day etc.

·       Equipping children with the belief they can have a positive impact history that is to come.

Pupil Premium Grant:

Provide extended opportunities to experience a wide range of sites of historical importance which they might not otherwise have chance to access, so we:

·       Remove the barriers for children accessing school trips.

·       Where possible, signpost families to places they can visit to help broaden and deepen their child’s understanding of a particular historical period.

·       Have expectations that all children will develop at a level that is appropriate to them.

Opportunities to embrace cultural capital is part of our school ethos, so we:


·       Whenever possible school will celebrate history such as national Remembrance events therefore our learning is through local, national and international history.

·       The British Values taught in school are; democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith. The History Curriculum provides an excellent platform to explore these values in more detail.

·       Visits to historically significant sites.



Our children have a rapidly developing understanding of what makes a historian. History blends well with other areas of the curriculum such as English and the reading curriculum is constantly evolving to include texts that support learning in History such as Queen of Darkness in Year 4.

Pupil Voice is incredibly important in ascertaining how well History is being taught in school. We can ascertain the children’s enjoyment, engagement and development. Crucially, within a lesson, children are given time to reflect on their learning and take part in self, peer and group feedback. As part of this, quizzes are used to help children secure knowledge in their long term memory. These are especially beneficial to broaden the children’s historical vocabulary and show progress over the course of a lesson. Teachers use questions in lessons to develop children’s understanding of topics being covered. They use the high quality progression document based on Chris Quigley’s History document file to help children deepen their understanding over time. In lessons teachers use the POP (Proof of Progress) tasks to make a judgement on those children who are below, at or beyond year group expectations. POP tasks further deepen connections in a schema by gradually changing the nature of thinking. POP tasks are categorised into three cognitive domains: basic, advancing and deep.

Assessments are based on teacher judgement, whereby, in each session, any children who are not meeting lesson objectives, and those who are exceeding and performing at a higher level are recorded and targeted for future support in subsequent lessons. These weekly assessments will not only inform future sessions but will also provide a half termly overview of children’s progress within their year group’s expected outcomes. In the EYFS observations are recorded in the children’s personalised online learning journey- Tapestry. In the EYFS observations are recorded in the children’s personalised online learning journey- Tapestry. Pupils are assessed within People and Communities (Understanding the World (NB From September 2021 this will be called Past and Present). Progress is tracked and age related expectations are reported to parents at the end of the year.

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