Our History Curriculum

History at Brown's Church of England Primary School


Curriculum Intent

At Brown's C of E Primary School, we are HISTORIANS! 

We want our children to love history. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be archivists, museum curators, archaeologists or research analysts. Our aim is that, through the teaching of History, we stimulate all children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children a sense of chronology, in order to develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. This enables our children to learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain. We aim to make all children aware of the actions of important people in history and enable children to know about significant events in British history, whilst appreciating how things have changed over time. History will also ensure our children understand how Britain developed as a society, contributing to their understanding of their country of residence. Furthermore, our children will learn about aspects of local, British and Ancient history. This wider awareness leads to the children having some knowledge of historical development in the wider world. We believe that by allowing the children to understand the importance and enjoyment of History through different opportunities, they will become enthused learners in History. We will also give children opportunities to develop their skills of enquiry, investigation and analysis.


How we implement our History Curriculum at Brown's C of E Primary School

Measuring the Impact of our History Curriculum

The impact of this curriculum design will lead to outstanding progress over time across key stages relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. Children will therefore be expected to leave Brown's C of E Primary School reaching at least age-related expectations for History. Our History curriculum will also lead pupils to be enthusiastic history learners, evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice and their work. Our children will be confident to become agents of change in the world, having formed opinions and learning from the past, in order to shape the future.

How learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage provides a range of experiences and a secure knowledge base, on which the KS1 curriculum in History builds.


Planning for the curriculum and children’s learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage uses the elements of the EYFS statutory framework rather than the subject disciplines of the National Curriculum. This planning is supported by the use of the non-statutory Development Matters guidance.

The EYFS curriculum starts with the child’s experience in their family and in their immediate environment. The content of the curriculum is often guided by teachers in response to children’s interests and planning needs to take account of the balance between deliberate teaching and spontaneous learning driven by curiosity and purpose. These are the ideal starting point for history – exploring what they already see around them and seeing that other families do things differently.

Children’s experiences and learning which, once they are in KS1, can be thought of as typical of work in History may in Early Years draw upon all the areas of learning – Communication and Language, Personal Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. There will be a strong connection between what children achieve in what is called Understanding the World and what they will develop in KS1 in History, but developmental learning for children in EYFS is not linear, it proceeds in a web of multiple strands. For example, the development of the language and skills associated with numerical patterns will be a strong feature of chronological understanding and they do not feature in the end of EYFS assessment statements for Understanding the World, but reflect aspects of Mathematics. Knowledge of seasonal change and life cycles help prepare the way for historical chronology.

In our school, the experiences children gain across the EYFS curriculum are rich in opportunities to investigate and explore their environment, to speculate and make choices to support their ideas, and to articulate their thinking within their play and within structured activities. The way in which the curriculum is designed and experienced by the children supports the development of the characteristics of effective learning in EYFS: playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically. These are foundational to what lies at the centre of the subject discipline of History: close observation of the world around them, curiosity in their play and in their handling of objects and materials, asking questions, watching how things happen and change and wondering why this is so, and describing what they see, hear and feel. All these help create the successful historian of later years.

Examples of a range of activities, planned with reference to Development Matters, enable children typically, across a range of contexts,

  • To explore the natural world around them, describing what they see, hear and feel whilst outside;
  • To observe the effect of changing seasons on the natural world around them;
  • To plant seeds and care for growing plants, recognising the key features of the life cycle of a plant;
  • To recognise key features of the life cycle of animals;

All of these experiences and knowledge gained provide a secure foundation for what they will encounter in History in KS1 and beyond.

Progression of skills in History