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A high quality history education will help pupils gain a sound knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world.

 

History should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.

 

History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

Aims

The National Curriculum for History aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world

  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world:

  • gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’

  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance,

  • understand the methods of historical enquiry,

  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts:

    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.

    Pupils will be taught about:

  • changes within living memory

  • events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally

  • the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements

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

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    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.

    Pupils will be taught about:

  • changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age

  • the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain

  • Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots

  • the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor

  • a local history study

  • a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066

  • the achievements of the earliest civilizations

  • Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world

  • a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history 

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