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St James' Catholic Primary School'Where we belong, believe and achieve'.

History - Mrs Skeldon

History Subject Leader - Mrs Skeldon

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why we call it ‘The Present’.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt


A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”

― Marcus Garvey

Curriculum Intent

At St James' Catholic Primary School, we view History not only as simple facts and dates but encourage pupils to become detectives who explore the past in an exciting way.

History is taught mainly through a topic based approach and gives pupils a chance to explore a wide range of sources from which the past may come alive.

History allows our children to compare and contrast, to examine how and why things have changed, to learn about historical characters and expand their research skills. We teach children to be open minded and enquiring thinkers who understand cause and effect. We want them to understand how people have lived in the past and compare this to modern life. We encourage first hand experiences through handling real artefacts and wherever possible arranging field work visits to relevant sites of historical interest in the region or bringing in specialists for in-school workshops.

At St James’, we have designed our History curriculum with the intent that our children will:

  • Become increasingly critical and analytical thinkers 

  • Possess a secure understanding of the chronology of important periods of History 

  • To discover links and connections to the History they learn and the wider community and locality 

  • Further their knowledge and explanations of change and continuity over time 

  • Differentiate between source types and explain how interpretations in History may differ  

  • Draw on similarities and differences within given time frames and across previously taught History 

  • Enquire into Historical themed questions and form their own opinions and interpretation of the past 

Curriculum Implementation 


We understand that the children have different backgrounds in terms of knowledge, experience, ability and capability.  We therefore aim to ensure that History throughout the school is accessible by all pupils, regardless of ability, gender, race or belief.  The teaching and learning is to be made relevant to the pupils’ own experience and abilities, including meeting the needs of children with EAL so that they can access the curriculum.  We recognise that some children may need some additional support and they will receive additional support in History. 

Children who have been identified as being more able or gifted and talented will have their work differentiated to provide suitable challenge.


  • To help all children develop a sense of the past and to develop a chronological framework for learning about life in past times.
  • To enable children to learn about famous people and their impact on our lives.
  • To develop children’s knowledge and understanding of the growth and development of our nation and its relationship with the rest of the world.
  • To develop children’s skills as historians to enable them to research and discover the past.
  • To teach children about the history of different cultures, beliefs and backgrounds so that children can develop their understanding and tolerance for others.


  • We will begin the teaching of history in Foundation Stage as the children begin developing their knowledge skills and understanding of the world by starting with the most recent past. We will use photographs, artefacts, visits out into the locality, and by talking to older people about ‘then and now’.
  • We will use quality resources to support teaching including those provided by the Lancashire Museum Loans scheme.
  • As the children move into Key Stage 1 they will build on their earlier work using ‘living memory’, eye-witness accounts’ and the immediate environment of the school as their starting point.
  • Strong links will be made with the teaching of English. Stories, plays and poems set in different periods of history will be shared with the children.
  • History will become a stimulus and a springboard for the development of oracy, writing and for the development of thinking and reasoning skills.
  • As they become older the children will learn about the different periods of history set out in the history guidelines of the National Curriculum.
  • Art, design technology, drama will be closely linked with history as children use these subjects to communicate what they have learnt.
  • On every appropriate occasion teachers will use first-hand experience, visits, visitors, artefacts and the local and wider environment to engage children’s interest and imagination.
  • Through their understanding of the past and of lives in different conditions children will be encouraged to develop their feelings and ‘empathy’ for others.
  • Through their understanding of the past children will be helped to develop an understanding of their identity as a British subject.
  • Children will learn about development of democracy, our government, the Monarchy, citizenship, and the Law. They will learn about rights and responsibilities, moral, social and environmental issues.
  • We will build up a collection of resources, artefacts and books to support the teaching of history.
  • Children will learn about the History of slavery and the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement.



Assessment at St James’ is on-going to ensure that understanding is being achieved and that progress is being made. Teachers monitor progress and adjust their teaching accordingly through their weekly planning and ensure both verbal and written feedback is given to the children as soon as possible. Class teachers will complete assessment grids showing the children's attainment within Geography and use this to monitor specific groups including SEND. The History subject leader will also assess the impact of teaching through incidental monitoring including book looks, learning walks and pupil interviews.

Curriculum Impact

History will be fun. It will be used to promote excellence and enjoyment; it will have a strong presence in the ethos of the school through displays, performances, music, drama and assemblies.

  • Children will become increasingly critical and analytical within their thinking. Making informed and balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past. 
  • Children will become increasingly aware of how historical events have shaped the world that they currently live in. 
  • They will also have a further understanding of History on a local level and on a small-scale.  
  • Children will develop enquiry skills to pursue their own interests within a topic and further questioning. 
  • Where applicable, children will have encountered or participated in high-quality visits/visitors to further appreciate the impact of History. 
  • Children are to retain prior-learning and explicitly make connections between what they have previously learned and what they are currently learning.

History Curriculum Overview and Progression Document