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Oak Tree Primary School


At Oak Tree we know history at primary level helps children to gain knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It involves understanding the process of change, the complexity of people’s lives, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and society today.


History allows children to develop the following key skills: ask perceptive questions, think critically, evaluate evidence and examine arguments. Our history curriculum allows children to develop their cultural capital. Purposeful and natural links to British values and discussions around being good UK and global citizens are threaded through the curriculum. Our history curriculum promotes the rich diversity of the world, Britain and an appreciation of our locality.


National Curriculum

The national curriculum for history 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 Oak Tree Primary School, we believe that children should learn about history in a way that inspires their curiosity to know more about the past. By the time they leave primary school, children need to have knowledge about the history of Britain and the wider world and have a coherent understanding of historical concepts and historical enquiry. Children need to be able to use history to understand the world and society today and make links to British values.



We plan units of work that will challenge prior knowledge in order to construct a secure, new understanding of substantive knowledge. In addition to this, disciplinary knowledge is developed through historical enquiry and interpretation. Prior knowledge must be re-visited before introducing new ideas, and misconceptions are actively diagnosed and discussed.


Pupils are encouraged to contribute their own enquiries into our planning process.



The impact of our History curriculum will be reviewed periodically throughout each topic and again when the unit is complete. Our pupils will actively engage with the process of assessing their own knowledge and skills. We use exit tickets, key questions and recap session to ensure key knowledge is retained and links are made. Children answer the enquiry question at the end of a unit using their new knowledge and skills.


We ensure that children at our school are equipped with historical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world. Children are able to talk about events that have happened in the past, but more importantly, how these have impacted Britain and the world as we know it today. By the end of Key Stage 2, pupils will have a thorough understanding of chronology, historical concepts, interpretation, enquiry, and historical vocabulary and communication.


Class teachers will have a thorough understanding of where pupils are in their learning and will be able to track their progress over the year.  Parents will also be informed as to where their child is and their next steps. Pupils will have built upon prior knowledge and skills and acquired new knowledge and skills throughout the process. The impact will be reviewed in various ways including through book looks, pupil voice, learning walks, and assessment data.  We will review the impact of our history curriculum yearly.


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