St Charles RC Primary School

Welcome to

St Charles RC Primary School

  1. About Our School
  2. Curriculum
  3. History


Aims and Objectives

At St Charles’ School, our teaching of History contributes primarily towards the broader aims of our Curriculum Intent Statement:

Through our curriculum, children are encouraged to “Bring Forth Christ” and reflect our school’s values in all that they do. We want to utilise resources the surrounding area offers whilst also learning from its rich history. Developing greater links with our parish and local community will help us achieve this and also strengthen our faith. We will cater for the needs and desires of all our children by offering varied and experiential learning opportunities whilst developing an awareness of their responsibilities to the environment as future global citizens. Challenging each child through our inclusive curriculum is important to us but we also want them to learn from their mistakes through the development of their resilience. Finally, we want the children to demonstrate pride in all they do and develop clear aspirations for the future based on their knowledge of the wider world.

The specific aims of our teaching of History are to enable our children to:

  • 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: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
  • 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, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.


Purpose of History

A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. History should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. We should help children 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.


Adapted from: History Programme of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2, National Curriculum In England published by The Department for Education, 2013 (Date accessed: October 2019)



History is taught as part of a blocked approach with links to all strands within the National Curriculum made where possible. Each child will experience a minimum of 24 hours of teaching each year at Key Stage 1, and 36 hours at Key Stage 2. The subject will be taught in blocked units of work throughout the year rather than following a weekly lesson format.


Early Years

We encourage the development of skills, knowledge and understanding that help reception children make sense of their world as an integral part of the school’s work. As the reception class is part of the Early Years Foundation Stage, we plan opportunities based on Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The Development Matters statements for History can be mainly found in the EYFS Specific Area of ‘Understanding the World’. In Early Years Foundation Stage, children learn about the world around them. They find out about the past through talking to parents, grandparents and friends and begin to develop an interest in their own story as well as the stories in their family. This is the beginning of developing an understanding of the past and helps them to learn about how other people are different from them yet share some of the same characteristics and ideas.


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 aeroplane 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.


By the end of Key Stage 1

By the end of Key Stage 1, children will be able to:

  • Order and sequence events and objects.
  • Recognise that their own lives are similar and / or different from the lives of people in the past.
  • Use common words and phrases concerned with the passing of time.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.
  • Develop awareness of significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
  • Ask and answer simple questions about the past through observing and handling a range of sources.
  • Consider why things may change over time.
  • Recognise some basic reasons why people in the past acted as they did.
  • Choose parts of stories and other sources to show what they know about significant people and events.
  • Talk about what / who was significant in simple historical accounts.
  • Demonstrate simple historical concepts and events through role-play, drawing and writing.
  • Use a variety of simple historical terms and concepts.


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. Pupils should be taught about:


  • Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
    • Examples (non-statutory) This could include:
      • Late Neolithic hunter-gatherers and early farmers, for example, Skara Brae
      • Bronze Age religion, technology and travel, for example, Stonehenge
      • Iron Age hill forts: tribal kingdoms, farming, art and culture
  • The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain
    • Examples (non-statutory) This could include:
      • Julius Caesar’s attempted invasion in 55-54 BC
      • The Roman Empire by AD 42 and the power of its army
      • Successful invasion by Claudius and conquest, including Hadrian’s Wall
      • British resistance, for example, Boudicca
      • ‘Romanisation’ of Britain: sites such as Caerwent and the impact of technology, culture and beliefs, including early Christianity History
  • Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots
    • Examples (non-statutory) This could include:
      • Roman withdrawal from Britain in c. AD 410 and the fall of the western Roman Empire
      • Scots invasions from Ireland to north Britain (now Scotland)
      • Anglo-Saxon invasions, settlements and kingdoms: place names and village life
      • Anglo-Saxon art and culture
      • Christian conversion – Canterbury, Iona and Lindisfarne
  • The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor
    • Examples (non-statutory) This could include:
      • Viking raids and invasion
      • Resistance by Alfred the Great and Athelstan, first king of England
      • Further Viking invasions and Danegeld
      • Anglo-Saxon laws and justice
      • Edward the Confessor and his death in 1066.
  • A local history study
    • Examples (non-statutory)
      • A depth study linked to one of the British areas of study listed above
      • A study over time tracing how several aspects of national history are reflected in the locality (this can go beyond 1066)
      • A study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant in the locality.



  • A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
    • Examples (non-statutory)
      • The changing power of monarchs using case studies such as John, Anne and Victoria
      • Changes in an aspect of social history, such as crime and punishment from the Anglo-Saxons to the present or leisure and entertainment in the 20th Century
      • The legacy of Greek or Roman culture (art, architecture or literature) on later periods in British history, including the present day
      • A significant turning point in British history, for example, the first railways or the Battle of Britain.
  • The achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China
  • 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 – one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300.


By the end of Key Stage 2

By the end of Key Stage 2, children will be able to:

  • Use dates and a wide range of historical terms when sequencing events and periods of time.
  • Develop chronologically secure knowledge of the events and periods of time studied.
  • Analyse links and contrasts within and across different periods of time including short-term and long-term time scales.
  • Describe aspects of the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England in the time of Edward the Confessor.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of an aspect or theme in British history that extends their chronological knowledge beyond 1066.
  • Regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions and hypotheses.
  • Give some reasons for contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past.
  • Describe the impact of historical events and changes.
  • Recognise that some events, people and changes are judged as more significant than others.
  • Acknowledge contrasting evidence and opinions when discussing and debating historical issues.
  • Use appropriate vocabulary when discussing, describing and explaining historical events.
  • Construct informed responses to historical questions and hypotheses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information including appropriate dates and terms.
  • Choose the most appropriate way of communicating different historical findings.