‘A people without the knowledge of their past, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.’ Marcus Garvey
The history curriculum is about understanding the legacy of events. This means that children should gain an understanding of timescale, how events are connected and cause change over distant periods of time, and how they affect individuals and societies on a large and small scale. This should help pupils to develop the analytical skills that come with historical enquiry, such as drawing contrasts, identifying trends, creating valid questions of enquiry and comparing different interpretations. The events or time-periods that children may choose to study can be broad but should inspire curiosity and have lasting relevance. A source-based curriculum can achieve this, giving tactile evidence of the significance of historical events, providing opportunities for enquiry, and allowing children to analyse the usefulness of information. A curriculum like this also encourages children to identify their place in the world and the lasting consequences of their actions in an enjoyable way.
Key Stage 1
Key Stage 2
Pupils are taught about:
- The lives of significant individuals in Britain’s past who have contributed to our nation’s achievements - such as Guy Fawkes, Mary Seacole, Edith Cavell, Millicent Fawcett, Emmeline Pankhurst and Rosa Parks.
- The exploits of a range of famous explorers and to develop their knowledge of people’s lives at various points in the past, ranging in extent from 16th century Europe to the 1930s in Britain and the 1960s in America.
- Key events in the past that are significant nationally and globally, particularly those that coincide with festivals or other events that are commemorated throughout the year.
- Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
- Changes within living memory focusing on toys – where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life
Pupils are 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.
- Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the Western world.
- A local history study.
- A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066 - such as the British Empire and the Battle of Britain.
- A non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – one study chosen from early Islamic civilisation, including a study of Baghdad around AD 900; Mayan civilisation around AD 900; or Benin (West Africa) around AD 900–1300.
- the achievements of the earliest civilisations – an overview of where and when the first civilisations appeared and an in-depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer, the Indus Valley, Ancient Egypt or the Shang Dynasty of Ancient China
- History of interest to pupils*
* Items marked * are not statutory.
History Curriculum overview