Clifton Primary School’s History Curriculum

  • As Clifton Historians, we will develop our knowledge and understanding of:
  1. Great Britain from the earliest times to the present day;
    1. how people’s lives have shaped Britain and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world;
  2. really important and key events of the history of the wider world:
    1. ancient people and societies that were before us; how ancient empires grew and fell; achievements and mistakes of mankind in the past.
  3. Historical vocabulary such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘decade’
  4. how things continued and changed over time and how those changes affected people in the past;
  5. things that are similar and different over time and why they are important, then make connections between different times in history.

As ‘Clifton Historians’ we will do this by:

  1. Understanding chronology
  2. Building an overview of world history
  3. Interpretations of history
  4. Using evidence to find out about the past

(The above are the over-arching learning objectives that will ‘develop’ and ‘deepen’ as the children grow, learn and move through our school – see progression below)


History Intent:

At Clifton Primary School history education should be fully inclusive to every child. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for history; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of historical concepts, knowledge and skills; and for the children to develop a love for history. Furthermore, we aim to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about history that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world (The 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England).

History teaching at Clifton Primary School has a wide application to everyday life, teaching the children to enjoy learning about the past and to have a better understanding of the society in which they live.

The aims of teaching history in our school are:

  • To inspire pupils’ curiosity to discover more about the past and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that history has to offer;
  • To enable children to know about significant events in British history and to appreciate how things have changed over time;
  • To develop a sense of chronology;
  • To understand how Britain is part of a wider European culture and to study some aspects of European history;
  • To have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world;
  • To help children understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage;
  • To develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation, debate, interpretation, problem solving and presentation;
  • To develop in children through history the ‘Seven C’s of Clifton’.



To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in history, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. History is taught as part of a termly topic, focusing on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. At Clifton, we ensure that history has the same importance given to it as the core subjects, as we feel this is important in enabling all children to gain a breadth of ‘real’ experiences to support their knowledge acquisition and retention.

The history curriculum at Clifton Primary School is based upon the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England, which provides a broad framework and outlines the knowledge and skills and taught in each Key Stage. Teachers plan lessons for their class using our progressions of knowledge and skills (see below) in history and our ‘Seven C’s of Clifton’ Learning Values. Progression in chronology and knowledge are planned using the ‘Clifton Curriculum Compass’ where children learn in a two-year spiral: EYFS; Y1 and 2; Year 3 and 4; Year 5 and 6. Progression of skills are planned, again on a two-year spiral, with skills being revisited and reinforced on numerous occasions, each time in greater depth, to ensure children have the opportunities to ‘master’ their historical skills in a range of different contexts, alongside revising, revisiting and making links in historical knowledge.

When teaching history, teachers plan to ensure their learning is engaging, broad and balanced. A variety of teaching approaches are used based on the teacher’s judgement.

History provides excellent opportunities to enhance the learning of more able pupils through the investigations, analysing sources and writing extending pieces.

At Clifton Primary School we provide a variety of opportunities for history learning inside and outside the classroom. We regularly hold whole school ‘House Days’, where children work across the school on the overarching theme of their learning across school. We also plan and deliver regular ‘theme’ days where children become immersed in their themed learning, with activities and learning guided by the children’s interests as learning themes progress. These ‘theme’ and ‘house’ days also offer an opportunity for parents to engage with the school and join in with their children’s learning.

Educational visits are another opportunity for the teachers to plan for additional history learning outside the classroom. At Clifton Primary School, the children have had many opportunities to experience history on educational visits. The children have explored local museums and had visitors into school to share history learning and have hands on experiences.



Within history, we strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning by providing investigative and enquiry based learning opportunities. Emphasis is placed on investigative learning opportunities to help children gain a coherent knowledge of understanding of each unit of work covered throughout the school.

Our history curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills and discreet vocabulary progression also form part of the units of work.

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught.
  • Cumulative ‘low stake’ quizzes.
  • Different methods of ‘retrieval practice’.
  • Summative assessment of pupil discussions about their learning.
  • Images and videos of the children’s practical learning.
  • Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
  • Moderation staff meetings where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
  • Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum.
  • Feedback and marking of written work in books.

History Progression of Skills

  1. Understanding chronology
  2. Building an overview of world history
  3. Interpretations of history
  4. Using evidence to find out about the past
  Years 1 & 2 Years 3 & 4 Years 5 & 6


1. a∙ I can make some comments about things from the past that have happened to me

b∙ I can sequence some  events from my own  life in order and then place them on a timeline

c∙ I can describe memories of key events in people’s lives

d∙ I can place events from the time period  studied on a timeline

e∙ I can use dates and terms related to the  period of study

f∙ I can sequence events and artefacts

g∙ I can make comparisons between different  time periods

h∙ I can use more complex historical terms e.g. BC/AD

i∙ I can place events from the time period  studied on a timeline with increasing  confidence

j∙ I use relevant dates and terms related to  the period of study

k∙ I can position time periods studies to other time periods taught across the school

l∙ I can make more considered comparisons between a growing range of  different time periods



a∙ I can recognise the  difference between

past and present in my own and others’ lives

b∙ I can recount stories from the past

c∙ I know some historical figures and understand why they  were important

d∙ I can begin to compare historical periods with life today

e∙ I can identify key features and events of a time studied

f∙ I can describe some changes in the  historical period being studied

g∙ I can compare historical periods with life today


h∙ I can describe changes within and between periods and societies studied

i∙ I can find out about  beliefs, behaviour and  characteristics of people, recognising that not everyone shares the same views or feelings

j∙ I can give an explanation of past events in terms of cause and effect using  evidence to support an explanation  (PEE or APE)

k∙ I can compare and contrast themes between different time periods



 3. a∙ I can pick out information about the past from sources like pictures, artefacts and stories

b∙ I can compare pictures or photographs of

people or events in the past with now.

c∙ I can identify and give reasons for different  ways the past is represented

d∙ I can begin to evaluate the usefulness of  different sources

e∙ I can offer some reasons for different  versions of events

f∙ I can compare accounts of events from different sources

g∙ I am aware that different evidence will lead to different conclusions




a∙ I can use a source/artefact to answer questions about the past on the basis of observations

b∙ I can represent the past in different ways e.g. writing, talking and drawing

c∙ I can use evidence to build up a clearer

picture about past events

d∙ I can ask a variety of questions

e∙ I can use a range of resources e.g. the library, topic boxes, the internet,  for research

f∙ I can discuss primary and secondary sources

g∙ I can bring knowledge gathered from several  sources together into a fluent account


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