We aim to provide a high quality history curriculum for our pupils which will foster a curiosity and fascination for history and develop an understanding of Britain’s past and how history has influenced and shaped their local area, their country and the wider world.



To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in history at St Thomas Becket we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the school and we ensure that history has the same importance given to it as the core subjects.

History is taught following the Learning challenge Curriculum model of starting with a ‘Big Question’. Each ‘Big Question’ is used as a hook to get the children thinking about what they will be learning. Two topics for history are taught during the year in blocks which last approximately half a term each.

The history curriculum is divided into the following areas as set out in the National Curriculum:

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

These are the areas taught in history:

  • Chronological understanding
  • Knowledge and understanding of the past
  • Historical interpretation
  • Historical enquiry
  • Organisation and communication

The skills taught in history are progressive and form the basis of planning and assessment. The skills to be taught in each Big Question will be identified in medium and short term planning. In order to be able to provide support or extend pupils, reference will be made to the skills set out for the previous and subsequent year group as necessary. The skills in history are not topic specific and therefore will be revisited several times over the course of each year.

Assessment of pupil’s progress in each of these skills will be carried out each time they are taught and updated to show progress after subsequent teaching. At the end of each academic year, assessments will be passed on to the next teacher so that they can be referred to and further experiences planned for that build on each pupil’s previous attainment.

The teaching and learning in history in our school is enhanced by year groups undertaking educational trips and by inviting in visiting experts during the year.

The subject leader will carry out a scrutiny of each year group’s assessments termly in order to identify any areas where extra support or training for teachers or resourcing is needed; and to be able to identify areas of strength within classes and year groups.