History

Learning hero image graphic

Curriculum Design

at West Didsbury CE Primary School


History Aims

History is the story of human civilisation and we aim to ensure that children understand a broad narrative of historical events – both of a certain time period but also within a much wider chronological understanding of British and world history. With this in mind, each topic (in Years 3-6) starts with an overarching timeline that draws on their knowledge of when other eras happened. This also reminds children that history isn’t just one thing after another, but rather a much more complicated series of overlapping and connected narratives. This timeline builds on one introduced in Early Years and Key Stage 1 which places events and people within ‘living memory’ and ‘beyond living memory’.

Children progress through historical enquiries of each era, with British history taught chronologically in order to provide children with a coherent narrative of who occupied Britain, when and for how long. History is driven by enquiry. Teaching through an enquiry approach is not only an effective means of teaching substantive knowledge (of chronology, events and individuals) as it also provides children with disciplinary knowledge. This is knowledge of how historians undertake historical enquiries to make comparisons and historical judgements about continuity and change, cause and consequence and similarity and difference. These history skills are embedded in learning objectives and independent tasks over the course of our seven-year curriculum.

Knowledge Threads – what we teach and why

A dilemma in planning a history curriculum is deciding what to teach and what to leave out. Each era we study is steeped in fascinating stories, people and events but if the knowledge we expect our children to learn is too broad or links between each era are unclear, this could lead to confusion, misconceptions and a lower level of retention overall.

Instead, we have set out clear ‘threads’ of knowledge which are continually revisited within each unit so children gain an increasingly secure understanding of concepts and terminology. 

Community
& Culture
Conflict
& Rebellion
Exploration
& Invention
Hierarchy
& Power
Beliefs and values
Architecture
Socil groups and hierachies
Invasion
Military
Trade and industry
Discoveries
Travel
Systems of government
Comparing the lives of the rich and poor

 


Timeline

Our Learning Journey in History

Below is an overview outlining the units children will study from Reception to Year 6. Topics in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are designed to introduce children to key concepts, vocabulary and some skills that underpin the Key Stage 2 curriculum. Local history serves as a bridging unit from Year 2 to Year 3 and from then on, children will learn about world and British history, the latter in chronological order:

  Autumn Spring Summer
Reception

Humanities
Members of our community

Comparing figures of the past
Observing seasonal changes

Geography
Hot & cold environments

Observing seasonal changes

History
Transport past & present

Picture maps of classroom
Observing seasonal changes
  Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Year 1

Geography
West Didsbury
(+ weather & seasons)

History
Homes from the past
History
Toys & games from the past
Geography
The United Kingdom
(+ weather & seasons)
Geography
Our school & parks
(+ weather & seasons)
History
The Great Fire of London
Year 2 Geography
How we can improve our school environment
History
The first people who took flight
Geography
Manchester & Nairobi: comparing & contrasting
Geography
UK seas & coasts 
History
Communication through time
History
Important Mancunians from the past
Year 3 Humanities
The Victorians, the Industrial Revolution & how Manchester has changed over time
Humanities
The Victorians, the Industrial Revolution & how Manchester has changed over time

History
The Stone Age

Humanities
Comparing early civilisations
History
Ancient Egypt
Geography
Rainforests
Year 4 Geography
Mountains, Volcanoes & Earthquakes
Geography
Italy
History
The Romans
History
The Romans
History
Anglo Saxons
Geography
Manchester: city & suburbs
Year 5 History
Vikings
Geography
Rivers & coasts
History
Ancient Greece
Geography
Migration
Geography
The Americas
Geography
The Americas
Year 6 History
Early Islam
Geography
Spain
History
World War II
History
World War II

Geography
Biomes in a changing climate

Geography
How we can improve our local area

Each of these units come with knowledge organisers alongside them which can be found via the link below.

grass background layer