Henry Cavendish Primary School

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History Curriculum Intent

  1. Our History Curriculum helps the children to become confident, articulate communicators – we want to hear our children talking passionately about their historical learning, expressing their opinions and ideas about people, events and sources from the past, using correct terminology as they do so. 
  2. Our History Curriculum challenges the children’s thinking, ideas and thoughts about the past. We want them to ask the big questions, and value highly them pursuing and finding their own ideas through historical enquiry.  
  3. Our children enjoy History, because their topics are engaging, exciting, diverse and immersive.  We want to see them dressing as historical characters, re-enacting events and benefitting from the range of out-of-class learning experiences that being a London school offers.
  4. Our children express themselves and their own ideas creatively through their historical learning, and use their inspiration from history topics in other subject areas.  They know that their creativity is valued in the work they produce from their History learning.
  5. Learning about ideas, traditions, cultural developments and achievements in the past helps our children to grow personally and understand their roles further as modern-day community members.  
  6. Our History curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning.



Curriculum Implementation

Our History Curriculum is organised into half-termly topics – the children study one History topic per term.

One topic per year is focused on studying an element of British History.

Another topic is focused on studying a period of history from the wider world.

The final topic is focused on studying an aspect of significant change from the past.

This ensures breadth and balance to what is covered in each year group.


  1. a) Progression in Vocabulary sets out the vocabulary to be taught in History – this is displayed in the learning environment and taught explicitly in lessons.

b) Talk and debate is planned for within lessons.

c) Class Assemblies, one per term, give children opportunities to share historical learning with an audience.

d) Lessons regularly use different sources of historical evidence, which the children interrogate using their inference skills.

  1. a) Skills Progression document sets out high expectations for what children in each year group will achieve, and informs teacher’s planning, ensuring the children build on what has been taught in previous year groups.   

b) Questioning in lessons promotes thought, debate and challenging of ideas – teachers use open-ended, enquiry questions.

c) Through historical enquiry, the children are challenged to find out their own answers to questions, and devise their own ways to pursue these.

  1. a) History topics include Immersion Days, which provide new and exciting experiences to launch topics and engage the children immediately.

b) Educational trips are used to deepen and contextualise learning, using the breadth of opportunities that London offers.

c) Historical learning is used as a stimulus to fuel children’s writing in English, particularly when writing in non-fiction genres.

d) A depth of knowledge is promoted through the use of Knowledge Organisers for topics – the ‘Big Ideas’ are the key ideas that run through the teaching sequence as a whole. The children are expected to learn the key facts and vocabulary from the Knowledge Organiser at home. The ‘Big Ideas’ are the key concepts that the children are expected to retain and transfer to their wider historical learning.

e) Wherever possible, speakers or guests from the school or local community are invited into classes to share their knowledge or experience, to further enrich the learning experience for children.  

  1. a) Children explore their historical learning through drama, often shared during their class assemblies.

b) Opportunities are provided for the children to write creatively, in the context of their historical learning, e.g. writing in role or as an observer to historical events.

c) Art work characteristic of time periods studied is often used as stimuli for the children to create their own pieces.

  1. a) RRS ethos is embedded through considering the access that different groups of people had to their rights in the past, and how this compares to modern society and the communities the children live in.

b) Major developments (political, social, cultural) in the past are examined and discussed, alongside their impact.

c) British Values are promoted through making meaningful links, e.g. between the development of democracy in Ancient Greece to democracy in today’s society.

  1. a) Our History Skills progression sets an expectation of what a learner will look like at key end points, e.g. Year 2 and 6.

b) Historical skills, e.g. interrogation of artefacts and sources, are covered at progressively more challenging levels in each year group, consolidating and building on prior learning.

c) ‘Big Ideas’ are re-examined as and when a new topic is introduced that relates to them, so that the children understand how what they are learning relates to what they have learnt before.

d) Themes of ‘Legacy’ and ‘Diversity’ run throughout topics, and the children build on what they know about these by recapping what they have learnt before and then examining their present topics through these lenses.

e) The chronology of topics studied is reinforced through the use of timelines in classrooms and in the wider school environment.