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History across the School

In history, children 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 Pupils gain understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.

Every year we hold a Black History Week where we look at key figures both in the past and current.

The Journey

As one of our inspirations for our Creative Curriculum topics, History has an important role in our learning at Shepherd Primary. We take an active part in national events like the Jubilee, the coronation, and Black History Month to foster an appreciation of History as relevant to our lives.


Our understanding and interest in History begins in Early Years where Nursery and Reception think about and discuss their families and communities. This helps children gain a sense of the past and time before them in a familiar context. Through looking at characters in stories, children begin to think about monarchy and pre-history.


As they move into Year 1, children further develop their understanding of events within living memory and beyond living memory, again within the familiar context of family. They begin to work as historians by looking at artefacts to make observations and question the past; and start to put events (such as the Gunpowder Plot into timelines. Also in Year 1, children begin to make comparisons of different eras and learn about the lives of significant individuals by looking at Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II. They develop their understanding of the concepts of power and monarchy.


In Year 2, children consolidate their understanding of time periods ‘living memory’ and ‘beyond living memory’ and begin to consider change through the topics of William Penn (a local study), The Great Fire of London (a significant event) and Sir Christopher Wren (a significant individual). They further develop skills in enquiry and chronology by using timelines and artefacts.


Moving into Key Stage 2, children begin to look at history through a different lens: British and World History. They move on a chronological journey starting in Year 3 looking at the changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age and then the earliest civilisations with a focus on Ancient Egypt. They use artefacts and other evidence to ask questions about life at the time and suggest causes of main events and changes. Children begin to recognise concepts such as empire, slavery and invasion.


In Year 4, children develop their understanding of early British history by studying the impact of the Roman invasion. They continue to develop how they work as historians and use chronology, enquiry, comparison and consider the impact of early peoples on our lives. Through the topic of Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, we begin to encourage children to compare and evaluate sources and consider events in history from different perspectives.


Children in Year 5 start to consider historical concepts. They begin with a study of Ancient Greece and ideas of democracy. They then look at the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian era. Finally, children study the concept of slavery, linking it to previous eras they have studied.


Finally, in Year 6, children consolidate their history journey by studying conceptual topics of the Battle of Britain as a significant turning point in British history, and the rise and fall of the British Empire. These topics see them hone and evidence their skills in working chronologically; investigating and enquiry;  comparing eras, societies, cultures and beliefs; and communicating their understanding clearly.