Silver Tree Primary School and Nursery

Curriculum – History

Our high-quality history education will inspire a fascination and curiosity at all levels, with a curriculum which is rooted in the local with eyes on the global. We have developed a coherent curriculum which equips children with a diverse and complex knowledge of British History and the History of the Wider World, including dates, people and events, together with a strong focus on chronology. Our pupils will be critical thinkers, at ease with difference, with a strong understanding of historical knowledge, ability to explain and analyse, knowledge of primary source use and interpretations and representations of the past.

Through research and reading, we devised a coherent, planned journey for our children from EYFS to Year 6, preparing them for further study at comprehensive school and beyond. Each unit of learning leads with an enquiry question (as recommended by the Historical Association) – “History is only happening when you are questioning” – and each unit and year of learning sits on the knowledge previously taught.
Individual weekly sessions are carefully planned to support staff to revisit previous learning and clearly build upon it. Retrieval of knowledge is encouraged and planned into each session. Children are taught to interpret both primary sources and interpretations of history. Local history is a vital feature of our curriculum and each year group has a range of activities which develop our understanding of the community in which we live.

One of the key aims of History is to allow social justice, giving all children (including those that are less privileged) access to knowledge so they can be knowledgeable citizens and have aspirations beyond their own village or that of their parents, such as attending university or college.

The curriculum lead regularly attends History Network meetings to stay abreast of regional and national good practice. This information is shared with relevant staff through staff meetings and supporting documents. The curriculum lead also assures and ensures the quality of the education across the school. This includes regular book scrutiny and pupil voice meetings. The feedback from these is given to class teachers in a timely manner so that pupils receive the best possible history education in each and every school year.

The feedback from GCSE History examination boards is that students who are pupil premium are unable to use key vocabulary effectively or correctly. With this in mind, we have ensured that core and specific vocabulary is shared with pupils at the beginning of every unit and is also in their History books for pre-teaching and for reference throughout the unit and after the topic has been taught.

We have a timeline in the hall which sits in a very central position in our school – this timeline starts at prehistory (3000BC) to the present century. It includes British and World History allowing children to see the complexity of time and chronological understanding.

In line with the National Curriculum 2014, the curriculum at Silver Tree Primary School aims to ensure that all pupils: Gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to stimulate pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past; Are encouraged to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement; Begin 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.



Our high-quality history curriculum is a coherent and sequential framework which is ‘rooted in the local with eyes on the global’. It will equip children with a diverse and complex knowledge of British History and History of the Wider World.

We will encourage and foster:

  • A strong focus on chronology and historical knowledge
  • Critical thinking, at ease with difference, with the ability to ask perceptive questions, explain and analyse evidence using second order concepts
  • Growing knowledge of primary source use and interpretations and representations of the past
  • A pride in and understanding of our community’s history and heritage
  • An understanding of the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change and the diversity of societies through history.



History in the Early Years

The curriculum for history in the Early Years bridges the gap between the Early Year Foundation Stage and National Curriculum, supporting our children to transfer to the next stage of learning without incident. Within our Early Years Curriculum there is a very strong focus on the language-rich environment and understanding our children’s own experiences. This includes developing their understanding of the daily routine (such as activities that happen on particular days, e.g. Forest School and P.E); Becoming increasingly aware of the changes in routines during different times of the day; Seasons of the year; That changes in time have an impact on what activities they can do and wear; And what our families celebrate.
It also gives us the opportunity to focus on the past, present and a range of time descriptors (for example two days ago, tomorrow, yesterday, the weekend). At this very basic level of sequencing this allows our children to start their understanding of ‘chronological order and understanding’.


Key Stage One and Two

Each unit of learning leads with an enquiry question (as recommended by the Historical Association) and each unit sits on the knowledge previously taught. History is taught in weekly lessons for a six-week unit. Retrieval of knowledge is encouraged and planned into each lesson. Children will write in a variety of ways to show historical knowledge and understanding, including reports, diary entries, accounts and reviews.
Staff will receive termly support from the coordinator, through review of children’s books and planning, feedback from regional network meetings, staff training with clear focus on Humanities and other additional information. The coordinator positively encourages professional dialogue between colleagues and across phases.

There are a number of visits planned through the school year to inspire fascination and curiosity in history. This includes famous places (Durham Cathedral) and local sites of interest (The War Memorial in the village). These visits can be used to start of end of unit of learning, hooking the children in for further study and knowledge. Some units could involve visitors coming into school to bring history to life for every child.
We also have links to the local secondary school and the Deputy Head there is also the History Governor.


Impact of History

The Early Years team complete ongoing assessments of the KUW objectives. Staff collect evidence of children’s learning in a floor book. Evidence can also be added to a child’s portfolio on Dojo. Parents can comment and add to this record.

The evaluation of what knowledge, skills and understanding the pupils have gained against the unit expectations is completed termly by Key Stage One and Two. Each teacher shares their assessment with the history lead. Discussions around the next steps for the class and individuals is completed at this time.

The curriculum lead assures and ensures the quality of the education across the school. They conduct pupil voice sessions each half term to collate feedback from the learners, allowing children to share their learning experience.

There is regular book and planning scrutiny. The professional dialogue is conducted with staff in a timely manner so that pupils receive the best possible history education in each and every school year.

The curriculum lead shares and reviews the action plan with the lead governor termly. Future actions are also shared at this time.

Subject Progression

Progression of skills- History

Long Term Plans

History KS1 and KS2 Long Term Plan 2023 24

Cultural Capital, SMSC & British Values


In History, we ensure:

  • Children will learn about key figures from local, national and international history including the Bradford Brothers, Queen Elizabeth II Neil Armstrong and Tutankhamun.
  • Children will learn about different civilisations, learning about, and from, their way of life.
  • They will visit a museum such as the Oriental Museum or Beamish.
  • There will be organised workshops with historians, including Tanya the History Lady and Durham University Library.
  • They will visit places of local historical interest including: Durham Cathedral; the location of the World War I Memorial in the village (and other places of interest in the village) and a site of Roman interest (e.g. Binchester).
  • There will be opportunities to explore artefacts from specific periods of history.
  • Children will learn about and celebrate historical events such as Bonfire Night and St. George’s Day




  • Ability to be reflective about our own beliefs that inform our perspective on life and our interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values
  • Sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about ourselves, others and the world around them
  • Use of imagination and creativity
  • Fostering curiosity for how and why events in the past happened and their many causes.
  • Helping children to realise the incredible significance that some individuals have had in the past and how historical knowledge changes with new evidence and different interpretations of events.
  • Allowing children to see the similarities between people now and in the past and bringing them alive through primary and secondary sources, artefacts and visits and visitors.


  • Encouraging Children to comment on moral questions and dilemmas from the past.
  • Helping children to empathise with the decisions which ordinary people made at the time, based on their historical situation.
  • Developing open mindedness when considering the actions and decisions of people from the past.
  • Interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues in history and the ability to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.


  • Encouraging Children to think about what past societies have contributed to our culture today.
  • Promoting Children own social development through working together and problem solving.
  • Exploring the similarities and contrasts between past and present societies and be made aware of how, in the main, we are very fortunate to live in ‘the modern world’.



  • Developing a better understanding of our multicultural society through studying links between local, British, European and world history.
  • Gaining an understanding of and empathy with, people and cultures in history.
  • Understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and those of others.
  • Willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities


British Values


  • Children will consider what it was like for individuals during different time periods.
  • Children will consider themselves in the positions of others (empathy) and the concept of fairness.
  • Students explore issues such as democracy in their historical context and relate them to the modern day through studying periods such as Ancient Greece. This enables the students to understand how, overtime, changes happened and to evaluate their impact.

Rule of Law

  • Children examine different codes for living in history and consider the value of the rule of law where all people are equal.

Individual Liberty

  • Children will make choices e.g. what the enquiry question will be or what an artefact was used for.
  • Children will have differing opinions about a culture or time period studied.


  • Children will consider questions about identity and belonging when learning about different historical periods.

Mutual Respect

  • Children will express their opinions and beliefs through different historical time periods with mutual respect.
  • Children will be taught and encouraged to show respect to each other’s beliefs, feelings and opinions by giving each child a forum to share these on with the expectation that these must be listened to.
  • Working together in groups effectively will show our ability.