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There is an ambitious curriculum set for History, supporting teachers to implement it through high-quality lessons and checking that everything is helping children to know more, remember more and do more.

If you would like more information in addition to that published on this page, please contact your class teacher.


Purpose of Study

A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past.

Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.

History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.


The National Curriculum - History key stages 1 to 2

  • 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.

Oakfield's Approach

Inspirational People

At our school, we believe in using the power of inspiration to help shape the thinking and curriculum design of our students. That's why we have taken inspiration from successful and influential people who have made a significant impact in their respective fields. By studying their stories, we aim to inspire our pupils to aim high and achieve their own goals. We have carefully curated a list of inspirational figures, including scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, and activists, to name a few. We have analysed what made them successful and incorporated their values, principles, and strategies into our curriculum design to provide our students with the tools they need to succeed. By doing so, we hope to empower our students to dream big and achieve greatness.


We are setting out to help our pupils be ...

  • Understanding. To understand the impact History has on their lives today.
  • Critical. Children enjoy opportunities to ask questions, think critically and develop perspective.
  • Empowered. Children are empowered to develop their curiosity and resilience, through practical learning experiences.
  • Creative. Learn to use their growing knowledge to develop and gain an Historical perspective and apply this in different contexts.


We will do this by ensuring ...

  • Children are taught a broad curriculum that includes enrichment opportunities.
  • Children are taught to form their own opinions through Historical enquiries.
  • A range of resources are used to support children experience History and make connections.
  • Skills are taught progressively across all year groups.
  • A range of resources are used to help children analyse and make connections to the History they learn.


We will have made a difference when ...

  • As Historians, children learn lessons from History that influence the decisions they make in their lives in the future.
  • Children will be engaged in their lessons and want to learn more.
  • Children demonstrate a respect for evidence and explain how it can be used to unlock the past.
  • Children will be able to share their thoughts and opinions demonstrating their value and engagement with the curriculum.


Threshold Concepts

These are our big takeaways called ‘threshold concepts’ - an overview of what we want pupils to know. They are the same for every year group and help us to ensure we build learning on the same ideas, that way we help children to be able to remember more meaningful connections rather than remembering isolated facts.

  1. Everyday life changes across time and can be influenced by invasion, conflict and past civilisations.
  2. Hierarchy is a way of organising people according to how important they are.
  3. Civilisations and their invasion of Great Britain, had an impact on life for the indigenous people.
  4. Historical information can be presented in a range of ways.
  5. Historical terms such as year, decade and century, can be used to describe different periods of time.
  6. A range of historical sources or artefacts, can be used to build a picture of a historical event or period of time.
  7. National and international events can have an impact on a locality.
  8. There are similarities and differences between periods of history.
  9. Significant events affect the lives of many people over a long period of time.
  10. A person who is historically significant, has made big change in their lifetime.
  11. Changes over time can happen rapidly or slowly and are affected by the desire for people to change.
  12. Individual events linked to themes, all show changes in British life over time.
  13. Key changes and events of historical periods can be placed on a timeline.


Progression on a Page ...

Here is an overview of what we expect children to be taught, know and do by the end of each year group.

Year R

  • Children are taught about the people and society around them. They learn to talk about the different roles people have in their community and understand the importance of each role.
  • Through exploring history and the past, children develop an understanding of the differences between things in the past and now. They learn to identify some key differences in society, such as changes in technology, clothing, and customs.
  • Children are taught about the past through settings and events encountered in books read in class and through storytelling. They develop an appreciation for different cultures and traditions, and learn to understand how people in the past lived and worked.
  • Through this learning, children develop their language and communication skills, as well as their understanding of history and society. They learn to think critically about the world around them and develop an appreciation for the past and its impact on the present.

Year 1

Children will be able to describe an aspect of everyday life within or beyond living memory. They can understand that historical events, people and periods can be represented in stories, pictures, writing or role play. Children will be able to use words and phrases such as here, now, yesterday and last week, to communicate ideas and observations of passing time and will be able to identify similarities and differences between ways of life within or beyond living memory.

Year 2

Children will be able to describe the everyday lives of people in a time period and the hierarchy of a past society. They can present historical information in a simple non-chronological report and use historical sources to begin to identify viewpoint. Children can describe, in simple terms, the importance of local events, people and places and explain why past events are significant. They will be able to describe how an aspect of life and changed over time and explain the importance of a significant individuals achievement as well as sequence information in chronological order.


Year 3

Children will be able to describe the everyday lives of people from historical periods and how past civilisations or lives of people in Britain, developed during the Stone, Bronze and Iron ages. They can identify the best ways to present historical accounts and information and can make deductions about the reliability of a historical source or artefact. Children can analyse a range of historical information to explain how national and international events impact locality. They will be able to explain similarities and differences between two periods of history and the cause and effect of a significant event.


Year 4

Children will be able to create and present a thoughtful selection of relevant information including aspects of British history beyond 1066, in a historical report or in-depth study. They can describe the hierarchy of different roles in ancient civilisations and will be able to explain the cause and consequences of the Roman invasion on Britain. Children can use more complex historical terms and identify bias in primary and secondary sources. They will be able to compare and contrast two civilisations and describe and explain the impact of a past society on a local community.


Year 5

Children will be taught how everyday life changed for people after invasions and this will help them understand the importance of past or ancient civilisations. They will explore the validity of a range of historical reports and articulate and organise important information using historically related vocabulary. Children will be able to find evidence from a range of sources, identify bias and form balanced arguments and will be able to compare and contrast an aspect of history across two or more periods studied. Children will then explain why aspects of history, or the acts of historical people, make them significant.


Year 6

Children will evaluate the human impact of war, oppression, conflict and rebellion on everyday life of a past society. They will think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and present a perspective on an aspect of history and then include abstract terms to express ideas and information. Children will identify different types of bias and then present and examine detailed historical narratives of significant people and events, producing a clear chronology of world history.


Units of Learning ...

Year 1 - Autumn


This teaches children about everyday life and families today, including comparisons with childhood in the 1950s, using artefacts and a range of different sources.

Year 1 - Spring

Significant Event - Great Fire of London

Describe a significant historical event in British history. The children will learn about the Great Fire of London.

Year 1 - Summer

School Days

This project teaches children about their own school and locality, both today and in the past. They compare schooling in the Victorian era to their experiences today.

Year 2 - Autumn

Movers & Shakers

This project teaches children about historically significant people who have had a major impact on the world. They will learn to use timelines, stories and historical sources to find out about the people featured and use historical models to explore their significance.

Year 2 - Spring


This project teaches children about the physical and human features of coastal regions across the United Kingdom, including a detailed exploration of the coastal town of Whitby, in Yorkshire.

Year 2 - Summer

Magnificent Monarchs

This project teaches children about the English and British monarchy from AD 871 to the present day. Using timelines, information about royal palaces, portraits and other historical sources, they build up an understanding of the monarchs and then research six of the most significant sovereigns.

Year 3 - Autumn

Through The Ages

This project teaches children about British prehistory from the Stone Age to the Iron Age, including changes to people and lifestyle caused by ingenuity, invention and technological advancement.

Year 3 - Spring


This project teaches children about a significant event in history, what caused it and the consequences - both long and short term. Children will learn about Pompeii, an ancient Roman city that perished when Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79. The archaeological site of Pompeii is historically significant because it provides a large amount of information about Roman life.

Year 3 - Summer

Emperors & Empires

This project teaches children about the history and structure of ancient Rome and the Roman Empire, including a detailed exploration of the Romanisation of Britain.

Year 4 - Autumn


This project teaches children about life in Britain after the Roman withdrawal. Children will learn about Anglo-Saxon and Viking invasions up to the Norman conquest.

Year 4 - Summer

Ancient Civilisations

This project teaches children about the history of three of the world’s first ancient civilisations: ancient Sumer, ancient Egypt and the Indus Valley civilisation. Children will learn about the rise, life, achievements and eventual end of each civilisation.

Year 5 - Autumn

Dynamic Dynasties

This project teaches children about the history of ancient China, focusing primarily on the Shang Dynasty, and explores the lasting legacy of the first five Chinese dynasties, some of which can still be seen in the world today.

Year 5 - Spring

Dig for Victory

The children will learn about how food was rationed during WW2 so communities were encouraged to use their gardens, allotments and common spaces to grow and harvest vegetables.

Year 5 - Summer

Groundbreaking Greeks

This project teaches children about developments and changes over six periods of ancient Greek history, focusing on the city state of Athens in the Classical age, and exploring the lasting legacy of ancient Greece.

Year 6 - Autumn

Britain at War

This project teaches children about the causes, events and consequences of the First and Second World Wars, the influence of new inventions on warfare, how life in Great Britain was affected and the legacy of the wars in the post-war period.

Year 6 - Spring


This project teaches children about a local history study that had a great impact on Southampton and maritime safety of the future. They learn about life aboard the Titanic, the mistakes that led to its sinking, write from the point of view of a passenger and consider the impact the event had on maritime safety.

Year 6 - Summer


This project teaches children about Africa past and present and the development of the slave trade. It also explores Britain’s role in the transatlantic slave trade, the causes and consequences of the European colonisation of Africa and the worldwide communities that make up the African diaspora.



Detailed Progression in History

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