At St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School we feel that a high-quality history education will help our pupils to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We aim to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching will equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. We know that having an understanding of 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.

Our History curriculum is underpinned by the Essentials Curriculum by Chris Quigley. This is aligned to the National Curriculum and goes beyond National Curriculum requirements. The Essentials Curriculum focusses on learning specific subject knowledge, together with a progression of skills, through repetition. We feel that this combination enables our pupils to develop a greater understanding and therefore ensures that they are able to achieve a deeper level of learning.

Our curriculum builds on from the learning in the Foundation Stage. It is split into three milestones – milestone one, two and three. Milestone one is for year one and two, milestone two is for year three and four and milestone three is for year five and six. Each of these milestones provides specific subject knowledge, with a progression of skills for various topics and individuals. These milestones are repeated in two consecutive year groups, meaning that children learn about each topic or individual on two separate occasions, applying their skills to a basic level the first year and then to an advancing, and possibly deeper level, the following year. It is our expectation that by the end of years one, three and five children will be working at the end of the basic expectations in order to be described at Age Related Expectations. Children at the end of years two, four, and six will be working at the end of advancing in order to reach Age Related Expectations. To enable children to reach these expectations we use questioning, peer partner work, practical and written tasks.


In line with the National Curriculum, as a school we aim for the History curriculum 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.

Attainment targets

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.