At English Martyrs Catholic Primary School, we value History as vital part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. It works alongside Geography in our Humanities curriculum to provide a basis for themed work.

The study of History encourages pupils to develop an appreciation and understanding of the past, evaluating a range of primary and secondary sources. Our historians will also explain clearly how these sources give us an insight about how people around the world used to live and how these interpretations may differ. Pupils will be taught to make links between these areas of learning, with the aim of developing engaged, motivated, aspirational and curious learners that can reflect on the past and make meaningful links to the present day.

Our History curriculum has been designed to cover all of the skills, knowledge and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum. The National Curriculum states that ‘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.’


To ensure that pupils develop a secure knowledge that they can build on, our History curriculum is mainly organised chronologically. Whenever possible, we link the Geography and History teaching to provide a fuller understanding of the people and communities involved. Along with Geography, History provides a basis for themed learning where meaningful links with other subjects are made to strengthen connections and understanding for pupils. The History units taught have been developed to help children appreciate their own identity and the challenges in their time. It will help them understand the process of change over time and significant developments.

We adopt an enquiry focused approach to learning and teaching in History which develops our pupils as young historians. Through enquiry our pupils not only build subject knowledge and understanding but become increasingly adept at critical thinking, specialised vocabulary and their grasp of subject concepts. We aim to structure learning in History through big question led enquiries about relevant historical topics, people and themes. Our curriculum is therefore ‘knowledge rich’ rather than content heavy as we recognise that if we attempt to teach historical topics, people, themes and issues in their entirety we restrict opportunities for pupils to master and apply critical thinking skills and achieve more challenging subject outcomes.

We adopt a policy of immersive learning in history that provides sufficient time and space for our pupils not only to acquire new knowledge and subject vocabulary but also to develop subject concepts and understand the significance of what they have learned. Our learning and teaching in history are interactive and practical allowing opportunities for pupils to work independently, in pairs and also in groups of various sizes both inside and outside of the classroom.

Curriculum Impact

Each enquiry which forms our programme of learning and teaching in history sets clear objectives and outcomes for the pupils in terms of knowledge and understanding and skills acquisition. We ensure that when assessing our pupils, evidence is drawn from a wide range of sources to inform the process including interaction with pupils during discussions and related questioning, day to day observations, practical activities such as role play drama, debates and the gathering, presentation and communication of and writing in different genres. The outcomes of each enquiry serve to inform the teacher’s developing picture of the knowledge and understanding of each pupil and to plan future learning accordingly. We do not make summative judgements about individual pieces of pupil work but rather use the outcomes to build an emerging picture of what the pupil knows, understands and can do. At the end of each year we make a summative judgement about the achievement of each pupil against the school’s assessment grids indicating whether they are working at the expected level for the year, towards the expected level, or at greater depth. This decision draws upon the professional knowledge and judgement that teachers possess about the progress of each pupil, developed over the previous three terms which allows an informed and holistic judgement of attainment to be made. Achievement against the learning goals for history at the end of the year is used as the basis of reporting progress to parents