Howletch Lane
Primary School

Curriculum – History

In this section of the website, you will find information about our approach to teaching History at Howletch Lane Primary School.


At Howletch Primary School the principal aim of History is to explore think critically about the facts and opinions of people and events to gain a sound understanding of how historical events and significant figures have shaped the modern world and importance and impact Britain has played throughout these changes in time.   

In line with the 2013 National Curriculum: History Programme of Study, Howletch Primary school 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. 

At Howletch Primary School, we are committed to providing our children with an exciting and positive learning environment, in which they have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the history of their selves as well as the history of Britain and the wider World.  


At Howletch Primary School, we are historians. Our teaching enables children to think like historians, examine and enquire as historians would. Exploring artefacts and sources children are inspired to extend their knowledge of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Teaching in line with the National Curriculum as well as incorporating cross curricular topics, children come to understand that History and specific events have influenced many aspects of our culture, beliefs, routines, and developments of today. By the end of their primary education, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from Stone Age to present day.   

As within the History Programme of Study for KS1 and KS2, At Howletch Primary School, by the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified.  

Key stage 1- Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They should 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 should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They should 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 should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.   

In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching about the people, events and changes outlined below, teachers introduce pupils to historical periods that they will study more fully at key stages 2.   

Pupils are taught: 

  • Changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life 
  • Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries] 
  • The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods [for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and LS Lowry, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell]
  • Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.  

Key stage 2 – Pupils should 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 should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They should 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.   

In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching the British, local and world history outlined below, teachers combine an overview and in depth study to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content.   

Pupils are taught:  

  • 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.  
  • A local history study – ‘The Mayflower 400’ • A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066 – The Mayan Civilisation 
  • The achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China  
  • Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world  
  • A non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300. 

We use the National Curriculum Programmes of study to guide us on the content and focus of each objective to inform our curriculum. These units are enriched by cross curriculum work when appropriate. We will also have access to the Hamilton plans and teachers will be encouraged to look elsewhere for additional material including the on-line resources, which we have purchased, and the History Association, which we are members of.  

Children focus on three History themes a year at Howletch Primary School. Whilst they portray a period of History children are encouraged to compare with other periods. Our experiences and opportunities for children to; ask perceptive questions, think critically, develop judgement and argue their beliefs inspire children to be curious and find out more about the past.  

It is important for us at Howletch to ensure that all children are provided with opportunities to experience and visit sites of historical significance as well as engage with the wider community and visitors who can re-enact or relive their own experiences of past events.  


At Howletch, we ensure that our children can begin to understand the complexities of people’s lives through changes in time. We strive to create a good understanding of the diversities of societies and how the relationships between different groups have also changed throughout History. Through a cross curriculum, and historical topic assemblies’ children are given the opportunity to frequently think about their identity and how we can be grateful we can be for the impact significant figures have had on the world we currently live in.  

History Education in the Early Years:  

History is encompassed in the EYFS through ‘Understanding of the world’. At Howletch Primary School, Children begin and continue to develop and understanding of History through Topic based learning. In addition we encourage children to reflect on their own special events and express their own past experiences through imaginative play.  

Children have a leaning environment enriched with topic based historical objects to enhance children’s senses and curiosity, and to incorporate into their imaginative play. Furthermore, the children have both fictional and non-fictional prints and texts in their surrounding environment which they can explore and vote for, for their daily Whole Class Read.   

In Early Years Children begin each year with the child centred topics ‘Marvellous Me’. This subject help children to develop an understanding of their own identity, similarities and differences in both appearance and cultural routines. Furthermore, SMSC at HOWLETCH allows children to discuss with each other their feelings and understanding of the world through their own experience.  

In addition, the Characteristics of Effective Learning within the EYFS, encourages children to explore their world around them. By engaging with objects and environments that they see, teachers encourage children to explore, question and develop curiosity about the history and significance surrounding them. These skills are fundamental in the development of our historians. 

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