What does History look like in our school?

What does it mean to be a Historian? 

The past influences all aspects of daily life, so we hope that by learning about the past, the children will have a good understanding of significant people, events and periods of time that have shaped today’s society, and that they will develop a sense of self-identity through the study of world history and local heritage.

We aim to inspire children’s curiosity and develop skills that enable them to ask questions, make connections and use a wide variety of evidence to develop and challenge their historical knowledge and inquiry skills. 

Our Curriculum and High Quality Resources
EYFS Past and present

  • Comment on images of familiar situations in the past.
  • Compare and contrast characters from stories, including figures from the past.
KS1 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.

Pupils should be taught about: 

  • 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.
KS2 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 should combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content.

Pupils should be taught about: 

  • 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
  • a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • 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

At St Mary’s Lowestoft we cover the main threshold concepts: 

  • Investigate and interpret the past
    This concept involves understanding that our understanding of the past comes from an interpretation of the available evidence.
  • Build an overview of world history
    This concept involves an appreciation of the characteristic features of the past and an understanding that life is different for different sections of society.
  • Understand chronology
    This concept involves an understanding of how to chart the passing of time and how some aspects of history studied were happening at similar times in different places.
  • Communicate historically
    This concept involves using historical vocabulary and techniques to convey information about the past.

Feedback and Assessment

Children receive precise and positive verbal feedback regarding their skills, what is good and next steps where applicable.

Feedback will be given to parents termly at parents evening or if needed more regularly on an individual basis.

Assessment and Tracking Progress
EYFS In EYFS we use the Development Matters Framework to assess children every term to inform their next steps.
KS1/KS2 In KS1 and KS2  we assess children after every term to see who is working towards and working at the national expected level. We also identify children who are working at greater depth in History. We use this formative assessment to inform the next steps for children with a particular focus on SEND and disadvantaged pupils. This information is passed on to the next teacher to ensure progression across the year groups.

Provision for those children who need additional support will be provided on an individual basis.


St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School
Kirkley Cliff, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 0DG
Tel: 01502 565384
Email: office@stmarysrcps.org

Please contact the school office if you require a paper copy of the information on our website or wish to speak to our SENCo - Mr Lambert.