BerkswichCE Primary School

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Berkswich CE History Policy

Click on the file below to download our history policy. Alternatively, scroll down to read an online copy. Please do feel free to speak to our history lead or your child's teacher if you would like to discuss any aspect of this policy.

Legal framework

This policy has due regard to statutory guidance, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • DfE (2013) ‘History programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2’ (please see The National Curriculum page found via the Learning tab on the school website (
  • DfE (2017) ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage’ (please see Early Years area found via the Learning tab on the school website (


The intent of the history curriculum

At Berkswich, we strive to inspire our children to become young historians and promote a curiosity and secure understanding about Britain and the wider world’s rich and exciting past. 


Our history curriculum breadth is shaped by the drivers that we feel are pertinent to our children’s backgrounds, beliefs and values. We are ambitious with the opportunities that we provide: teachers aim to equip each child with the vital background knowledge required to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence sift arguments and to develop perspective and judgement. This ensures that each child, including SEND children, gain the cultural capital they deserve to play an integral part of our community.


Our aim is to ensure that by the end of each key stage, children have a long-term memory of a purposeful body of procedural and semantic knowledge. Teachers build a working culture where encouraging children to ask questions and think critically leads children to develop perspective on the process of change. Our students will be able to relate previous learning to their current studies in order for their knowledge of the past to be strong and meaningful.


Through deep questioning and high-quality history subjects, our children will leave Berkswich being able to understand the complexity of people’s lives and the diversity of societies. By effectively communicating their ideas about the past, children will demonstrate their understanding of how the past has helped to shape our world today.


The implementation of the history curriculum


  • Meeting the aims of the National Curriculum (NC)

To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in history, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school; this enables all children to gain real-life historical experiences. Our history curriculum focuses on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum which provides a framework outlining those taught in each Key Stage. These 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.


  • Key concepts

Planning in school is structured systematically and has been tailored to the needs of our children using the Chris Quigley History Curriculum Companion: this ensures that units are in line with our school approach of a concept-driven curriculum. Although a unit may have a particular focus, the learning progress is based on the historical concepts:

  • settlements,
  • beliefs,
  • culture and pastimes,
  • location,
  • main events,
  • food and farming,
  • travel and exploration,
  • conflict,
  • society,
  • artefacts.

We recognise that these will strengthen the schema as the basis of all historical knowledge.


  • History in the Early Years (EYFS)

In Nursery and Reception, all children are taught history as an integral part of the learning covered during the academic year. All historical objectives within the EYFS are underpinned by the objectives of the early learning goals (ELGs). The history curriculum in the EYFS enables children to:

  • Talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members.
  • Know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this.
  • Know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.

This provides an excellent foundation for learning into Key Stage One and beyond.

In planning and guiding children’s activities, our teachers constantly reflect on the different ways that children learn and this is seen in their practice. It allows the teaching staff to provide all children with rich historical opportunities through playing, exploring and active learning. Children are continually encouraged to make meaningful connections in their learning.


  • Teacher subject knowledge

The needs of our children are met through a range of resources built on the Quigley History Curriculum Companion. The support materials that have been chosen ensure that teachers have full access to expertise when planning; these can maintain the integrity of the history curriculum whereby the children’s historical skills and knowledge remains at the heart of all planning.

Through CPD provided by the history lead and self-learning, teachers are equipped with the necessary subject knowledge.


  • Learning sequence and repetition

Teachers know their children’s prior learning and are mindful of their own end points in relation to the expectations contained in subsequent years. Please see the school website ( for further overviews of the curriculum, including the children’s learning journey resource that enables children, parents and carers to understand the progression of units throughout the years.

A coherently planned and sequenced set of lessons is taught using our progression of knowledge and skills document which consistently builds on previous understanding to embed key concepts in the long-term memory. This repetitive approach ensures that historical concepts are woven throughout every year group to encourage purposeful repetition to ensure the progressive development of historical concepts, knowledge and skills. Children have opportunities to revisit, apply and extend what they have already covered to ensure that learning is both cumulative and permanent. We believe that this is the best way for children to develop the knowledge and skills needed for mastery of a subject.


  • The language of history

Teachers have high expectations of children to use discussion to further learning. Children are increasingly expected to give precise explanations, using technical and historical terminology appropriately. Teachers model this practice, using the correct language within all learning. Each ‘Breadth of Study’ is started with a Knowledge Organiser where children have access to key vocabulary and concepts to understand and readily apply their skills in a purposeful context. The promotion of a language rich history curriculum is essential to the successful acquisition of knowledge and understanding in history.


  • SEND

We are ambitious for all children. Teachers will adapt lessons to ensure access for all and to provide tailored support for individuals with SEND. Examples of adaptations can be seen in blue on teacher’s planning. The SEND and history lead are available to guide and support teachers in ensuring that all children are included, and skilfully supported and appropriately challenged.


  • Equal opportunities

All children will have equal access to the history curriculum. Gender, learning ability, physical ability, ethnicity, linguistic ability and/or cultural circumstances will not impede pupils from accessing history lessons. All efforts will be made to ensure that cultural and gender differences are positively reflected in lessons and the teaching materials used. Where there is underrepresentation of a group of people within an associated area (i.e., very few women in a particular role within the field of history), then a positive representation will support future equality.


  • Diversity

At Berkwich CE, we ensure that we teach a balanced history curriculum which reflects diversity. Children gain an understanding of the past through learning about the individual experiences from different backgrounds, ethnic groups and periods of the past. Teachers will be mindful about representing children equally in school; for example, representing all groups of children in the recording of the children’s learning on the school website. Teachers are also mindful about unjust actions and attitudes seen throughout history. Whilst these will not always be directly taught, where age-appropriate, children will be encouraged to challenge historical bias and oppression, in order to question and stand up for individual and collective rights now and in the future. A restorative approach is used to allow children to learn from past mistakes and develop life-long skills to prevent future conflicts from reoccurring.


  • Cultural capital

Children regularly access a range of resources to acquire new knowledge through the use of timelines, books, artefacts pictures and photographs. Regular educational historical visits from external providers, teachers, parents and members of the wider community provide vital opportunities for children to enhance their cultural capital by integrating their knowledge into larger concepts and applying this to the real-life world.



  • Greater Depth

Berkswich CE is ambitious for all pupils; challenge is a part of every child’s learning. We provide Greater Depth pupils with the opportunity to extend their historical thinking through planned opportunities to broaden and apply their learning within contexts of increasing complexity. Greater Depth pupils also benefit from providing peer support and by articulating their own understanding to encourage and supportively scaffold learning in others.


Roles and responsibilities

  • Governors

Berkswich CE Primary has a designated link governor who meets with the history lead at least once a year to find out about:

  • progress towards whole school improvement priorities.
  • the school’s systems for planning units, supporting staff and monitoring progress.
  • the allocation, use and adequacy of resources.
  • the attainment and progress of all children.
  •  the children’s experiences of history and attitudes towards the subject.


The curriculum governor will report back to the governing board.


  • The headteacher will:

Overall responsibility for monitoring the teaching of geography throughout the school lies with the headteacher who will support the subject lead in continuing to develop:

  • how geography should support, enrich and extend the curriculum
  • staff development through in service training and provision of resources.


The headteacher will also be responsible for overseeing the review of this policy with the subject leader.



  • The history lead

The subject leader is responsible for:

  • modelling best practice
  • preparing and reviewing policy documents, curriculum overviews and progressions for the subject which support the challenging demands of the national curriculum, the school’s curriculum intent and drivers, as well as the Berkswich CE Charter.
  • ensuring the continuity and progression from year group to year group and that learning is cumulative and ambitious.
  • supporting staff in offering support and challenge to their class when tackling injustice, inequality and underrepresentation in the past. 
  • ensure that the library supports units appropriately and offers opportunities for children to use texts to extend their knowledge and understanding of the past.
  • keeping abreast of current thinking, research and policy changes which impact history in school and helping to develop colleagues’ expertise in the subject by leading staff training and providing staff members with the appropriate professional development.
  • liaising with the high school history lead to ensure that provision is also tailored to the children’s needs when they move to their next school setting.
  • liaising with the named governor to report on progress and attainment in history.
  • monitoring the learning and teaching of history, providing timely support for staff where necessary and ensuring that learning time is maximised.
  • carrying out audits of all history-related resources and organising their effective deployment and the purchase of additional resources as necessary.  
  • advising on the contribution of history to other curriculum areas, including cross-curricular and extra-curricular activities.
  • ensuring common standards are met for assessing children’s attainment and progress.
  • collating assessment data and setting new priorities for the development of history in subsequent years.



  • Responsibilities of the teacher

The classroom teacher, in collaboration with the subject leader, will ensure that the needs of all children are met by:

  • acting in accordance with this policy.
  • instilling a love of the subject and the confidence in each child as a historian.
  • being ambitious for every learner, including SEND and other vulnerable groups.
  • aiming to develop technical proficiency and conceptual understanding in parallel.
  • taking responsibility to strengthen subject knowledge and seek support as necessary.
  • having a working understanding of the prior learning of children and the needs of subsequent years.
  • writing and constantly reviewing short-term plans, considering pupils’ needs and outcomes.
  • ensuring that planning is progressive and cumulative over the year and that it meets the wider curriculum intent for Berkswich CE.
  • focusing on the key concepts in history to enable the development of a deep structural knowledge and the ability to make meaningful connections.
  • providing opportunities for repetition to build long-term knowledge and skills.
  • guiding teaching assistants to ensure that pupils are effectively supported.
  • monitoring the progress of pupils in their class and reporting this on an annual basis to parents.
  • reporting any concerns regarding the teaching of the subject to the subject leader or a member of the senior leadership team.




  • Responsibilities of The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo)

The SENDCo is responsible for:

  • advising staff how best to support pupils’ needs.
  • organising and providing any necessary training for staff regarding the history curriculum for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
  • advising staff on the inclusion of historical objectives in pupils’ individual education plans as necessary.
  • advising staff on the use of teaching assistants in order to meet pupils’ needs.


  • History across the curriculum

In the school, history is taught both as a discrete lesson and as part of cross-curricular learning. When beneficial to both subjects, the history curriculum will provide opportunities to establish links with other curriculum areas. The integrity of the history curriculum is upheld and furthered through meaningful, purposeful connections. 


The impact of our history curriculum

  • Assessment

Throughout the year, teachers will plan on-going assessment opportunities to gauge whether pupils have achieved the key learning objectives. Teachers constantly assess the children’s understanding, correcting misunderstandings. Teachers are responsive and alter planning accordingly to help children embed and use knowledge fluently and develop interconnected understanding rather than memorise isolated facts within a unit.  Formative assessment, which is carried out throughout the year, enables teachers to identify pupils’ understanding of subjects and inform their immediate lesson planning. Summative assessments may also be used at the end of a unit. Teachers will make a judgement about the learning of each pupil in relation to the national curriculum – the outcome of which will be recorded using OTrack (used by school to analyse and act on attainment and progress) and used to inform future planning.

The progress and development of pupils within the EYFS is assessed against the early learning goals outlined in the ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage’. For further information about assessment in EYFS, please visit our Early Years area found via the Learning tab on our school website (

Assessment will be undertaken in various forms, including the following:

  • talking to pupils and asking questions.
  • discussing pupils’ work with them.
  • assessing children’s written outcomes against the learning objectives.
  • pupils’ self-evaluation of their work.
  • end of unit assessments.

Parents will be informed about their child’s attainment in history during the Summer term every year. This will include information on pupils’ attitudes towards history. Verbal reports can be provided during informal meetings with parents throughout the year. The progress of pupils with SEND will be monitored by the SENDCo.


  • Where are we headed?

By the time children leave our school, they will have a deep understanding of Britain’s past and the wider world and they will feel inspired to know more about the past. 

This will be evident in our children through:

  • secure knowledge of a chronological narrative from the earliest times to the present day whilst understanding that Britain has been influenced by the wider world.
  • an understanding of significant aspects of the wider world.
  • understanding historical concepts such as continuity and change and use these to make connections and analyses. 
  • a love and passion for history and the world we live in.


  • Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
  • pupils learn to work effectively with their peers and others, and build positive relationships and confidence.
  • pupils develop an understanding of other cultures and develop positive attitudes through appreciating traditions and beliefs from other societies.
  • pupils develop a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them and they reflect on their experiences.
  • pupils will learn to understand and appreciate the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage.


Policy Review

The history policy is reviewed bi-annually or sooner if required. Any changes made to this policy will be communicated to all teaching staff.