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At Sunny Bank, we believe that children need to have a greater understanding of the world in which they live in. History inspires children’s curiosity to know more about the past. In order to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, we aim to offer a high-quality history education that equips pupils with the skills to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.

History helps children to develop their understanding of the complexity of people’s lives, the challenges of their time, the diversities of societies and relationships between different groups as well as their own identity and the process of change. 

The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • 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.

 Our History curriculum aims to excite the children and allow them to develop their own knowledge and skills as historians. History is used as a topic focus or a driver for the term (as is Geography) but we also aim to ensure that it is integrated into other areas of the curriculum and the basic skills are taught throughout the year through cross curricular work.

Children are taught chronological understanding, knowledge and interpretation and historical enquiry in order to organise and communicate their learning in a range of different way including opportunities for English (reading, writing and oracy), Maths and computing. These are weaved throughout each Learning Challenge to ensure children know the audience and purpose for their work. In addition to this, opportunities for learning outside the classroom are planned when appropriate.


The EYFS framework is structured very differently to the national curriculum as it is organised across seven areas of learning rather than subject areas. The most relevant early years outcomes for History are taken from the area of learning: Understanding the World.

The World

  • To look closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change.
  • To know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. To talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.

People and Communities

  • To talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members.
  • To know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.


Based on the National Curriculum 2014, the Learning Challenge Curriculum concept is built around the principle of greater children’s involvement with their work. The concept requires deep thinking and encourages learners to work using a question as a starting point. As part of a Learning challenge curriculum, it allows opportunities for cross curricular links to be made to ensure the children have many occasions whereby they can apply their knowledge and understanding. Individual subject skills progression ensures our children are taught a broad and balanced range of skills across subjects. Skills and knowledge ensure that learning is progressive and continuous.

Key Stage One

Pupils develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.


Pupils are taught :

Changes within living memory: when parents were young- Why are ipads more fun than Grandparents toys?

Significant people from history- Who was famous when Mum and Dad were little?

Local history - Bury

Changes and events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally.- The great Fire of London

Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality - The Victorians.

The lives of significant individuals from Britain or abroad- Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks.


Key Stage Two

Pupils continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.


Pupils are taught:

Stone Age to 1066

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 to the time of Edward the Confessor

Ancient civilizations

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

Ancient Egypt

Early Islamic civilisation c900 - the achievements of the earliest civilizations

Significant Themes in British history

A local history study

World War II - Battle of Britain

Leisure and entertainment in the 20th Century - theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066

Norman culture and the establishment of the feudal system - theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066

 A non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – Early Islamic civilisation c900


The Learning Challenge concept is built around the principle of greater children’s involvement with the work using a variety of different teaching methods. The concept requires deep thinking and encourages learners to work using a question as the starting point. Learning Challenges then link directly to the History knowledge, skills and understanding to ensure that learning is progressive and continuous.

In designing the curriculum, our class teachers and children use a prime learning challenge, expressed as a question-led approach to learning. Engagement in learning is encouraged through a ‘Wow’ moment - a starting lesson that sparks curiosity and creates memorable and exciting events which have a positive impact on the children and their learning. In addition to the relevant knowledge and skills to be taught, opportunities are identified for English (reading, writing and oracy), Maths and Computing. These are weaved throughout each Learning Challenge to ensure all children know the audience and/or purpose for their work and are using Computing to research and/or present their work. In addition to these, opportunities for learning outside the classroom are planned for as much as possible including using the local environment and other visits linked to curriculum areas.

The study of history ignites children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Through finding out about how and why the world, our country, culture and local community have developed over time, children will be equipped with the knowledge and understanding of how the past influences the present. History enables children to develop a context for their growing sense of identity and a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. What they learn through history can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values.

Children will have a secure knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from the historical periods and the ability to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using detailed, appropriate and accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources to deepen their understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways.

Throughout each year, the children’s learning is assessed against the age-related expectation Key Learning Goals that are based on the 2014 National Curriculum statements for History. Within the Learning Challenge Curriculum, we aim for the final subsidiary learning challenge to be handed over for children to reflect on their learning. Children present their learning back to the rest of the class or another appropriate audience making the most of their oracy and computing skills to do so. This might be through a whole school exhibition of work, an assembly, a musical performance.