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Bolton Primary School

Caring - Inspiring - Enjoying - Excelling



History at Bolton


Subject Lead: Andrea Moody 

Monitoring Governor: Walter Head


Purpose of study:

A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It 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. It helps them place our society and our current way of life in context.



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: 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.




Early Years: Children will be given opportunities to talk about past and present events in their own lives and the lives of family members. They will also have opportunities to explore similarities and differences between themselves and others. Relationships and similarities between places, objects, materials and living things will be developed.


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


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.


Areas of study will include:

  • 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 raids and settlement and the struggle for power between Anglo-Saxons and Vikings up to the Norman Conquest in AD 1066
  •  a local history study and a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • the achievements of the earliest civilizations and a non-European civilisation: a depth study of Ancient Egypt
  • Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world


The work for the study units will be taught over a 2 year rolling programme: Y1/2, Y3/4, Y5/6.

The multicultural content will encompass the teaching of tolerance, an understanding of British values, empathy and social awareness. Information technology will be used extensively, as appropriate, and will develop as resources and technologies become available.


Teaching and Learning:

All children will study either History or Geography one session per week over a two year cycle. In Year A, pupils will experience three history topics and two in Year B. The knowledge, skills and understanding will be taught within history topics to ensure continuity and progression through the two keystages and to provide a sound structure on which to build as they continue to KS3. The children will generally work in their class groups and the lesson content will be pitched to the children’s individual needs, interests and abilities.   Where possible cross curricular links will be made and visits, visitors, drama & role play will enhance the meeting of objectives. All units will be planned, taught and monitored by teaching staff.

Children will have the opportunity to complete History Foundation Homework linked to the learning over the term. There will be many opportunities for children to develop Historical skills in many cross-curricular activities both in school and for homework. They will also have an experience for fieldwork by visiting York on a 2 year cycle in KS2 to find out about The History of York and in particular the Vikings.

Children will be given the opportunities to study a range of time periods throughout their KS1 and KS2 curriculum although it is not possible due to teaching in mixed-aged classes to teach the topics chronologically, time is spent on each topic to strengthen and reinforce the children’s understanding of historical chronology. The curriculum coverage intends to teach a balanced curriculum and encourage children to access a ‘wide’ view of history and teachers are encouraged to look for opportunities to teach about gender, race and inequalities through all topics along with SMSC themes.



Those with special needs may have extra support for the activities or the language content altered. The recording of information can be changed to oral or pictorial communication and resources modified to be accessed more easily, where appropriate.



There will be a unit assessment at the end of the block of learning based on key learning objectives. Assessment will also take place informally through observation, open questioning, discussions and marking children’s work. This information will be recorded on our school’s Foundation Tracking sheets and shared termly with parents.


Evaluation. Monitoring and Review:

This policy is a working document and should be updated every two years.


The History policy was reviewed Summer 2020 and will be reviewed again Summer 2022.