Our Curriculum Intent for History

Please click here for our History Policy 2023

At Avening Primary School, we see history as a key subject for stimulating the children’s interest and understanding about the lives of people who lived in the past. The past influences all aspects of our lives. It shapes the customs and beliefs of the communities to which we belong. Learning about the past and the methods used to study it helps pupils to make sense of the world in which they live and to value their own and other people’s cultures.

 ‘The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.’ Theodore Roosevelt

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’. (National Curriculum in England, September 2013)


The National Curriculum aims for all children 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
  • 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


The History curriculum at Avening Primary School is built around the statutory content of the 2014 National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.


We have four key learning objectives which are developed progressively as children move through the school:


  • Investigate and interpret the past – this concept involves the appreciation that our understanding of the past comes from an interpretation of the available evidence
  • Build an overview of world history - this concept involves and appreciation of the characteristic features of the past and an understanding that life is different for different sections of society
  • Understand chronology - this concept involved an understanding of how to chart the passing of time and how some aspects of history studied were happening at similar times in different places
  • Communicate historically – this concept involves using historical vocabulary and techniques to convey information about the past


At our school, the content of the curriculum is taught around a rolling programme of cross-curricular themes. Each theme has a guide for time spent on History, as well as the other subjects, to ensure that the whole curriculum is broad and balanced, and that enough time is spent building historical knowledge throughout the school.


An overview of themes for History is set out below:  


Year A

Year B







Key Stage 1

In and Around Avening:

Historical events, people and places in our own locality (e.g. Queen Matilda and Pig Face Day)


Investigate the lives of significant individuals who have contributed to national and international achievements.

Dens and Dandelions:


Fire and Ice:

The Great Fire of London – an event beyond living memory that is significant nationally and lives of significant individuals in the past – Samuel Pepys

Saints, dragons and a Castle:

Communicate historically – use common words and phrases relating to the passing of time (Chepstow Castle)

Animal Magic:



3 and 4

The Savage Stone Age:

British history – Stone Age to Iron Age Britain


World history – Ancient Egypt

Rotten Romans:

The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain

Tour de France:


Feeling Fit:


Rivers and Mountains:

World history – Ancient Egypt

Mighty Olympians:

Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world


5 and 6


A study of an aspect of British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066 – local history study

Vicious Vikings:

Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots


The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England from the time of Edward the Confessor


We are the Future:


Star Gazers:

(A study of how our view of the solar system developed – e.g. Ptolemy, Copernicus)

Hola Mexico:

A non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – Mayan civilisation c AD 900

Doctor, Doctor:



There is a range of resources to support the teaching of History across the school such as books and IT. Use is regularly made of the Schools Library Service for reading materials.

 Visits and visitors are often planned to enhance learning experiences. Recent visits have included a visit to John Moore Museum, Tewkesbury; walking to the mills in Nailsworth; a visit to Avebury stones; and a visit to Copsegrove Farm.

 Sometimes we hold special days to enrich our experience when we dress up as Vikings or Romans. Visitors further enhance our knowledge, whether it is a local resident who remembers what Avening was like long ago, or a company who immerse us in a time period, or an artist or craft maker.  


Within the EYFS, the specific area of ‘Understanding the World’ encompasses a range of early historical skills and knowledge. It involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.


In the Revised Early Years Foundation Stage, Understanding the World is broken down into three aspects:


  • o People and communities: children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
  • o The world: children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
  • o Technology: children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.

At this stage children should listen to stories, ask how and why; use the past, present and future tense; talk about the past and present in their own lives and the lives of family members; recognise similarities and differences between families and traditions, objects and materials; and role play and make up stories. There are many opportunities here for children to find out about the past.

Continuous provision in the EYFS is resourced and facilitated to ensure that opportunities for early historical skills and knowledge are developed.