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Sowing seeds of success: Growing courageous learners

Growing Courageous Learners.

- History Subject on a Page here



At Sowerby Primary Academy, we want to develop a love of history and a curiosity about the past and how it has shaped the world that we live in. This is done throughout our broad and balanced curriculum which interests and intrigues learners whilst meeting/supporting the needs of all of our children.

Alongside the National Curriculum, we aim to ensure that all children:

  • 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
  • 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.

We aim to ensure that our history curriculum enables our children to be ambitious and courageous within lessons and that knowledge taught supports children to know more, and remember more.


History is planned across a two year cycle and the whole school follow an overarching theme which the History unit is linked to. Cross-curricular links can often be made within this, for example, Ancient Greeks in year 5/6 – Geography map work, writing linked with historical learning, telling mythical stories through dance and so on.

At the start of each history unit, there is a strong focus on chronology and the use of timelines. Here, links to previous learning can be made to support retrieval practise. Links to geography can be made as children explore ‘when’ and ‘where’ in the world they are learning about, and develop their coherent and concurrent historical understanding. Key vocabulary is discussed and explored with children and knowledge organisers are shared and referred to throughout units of learning to support understandings.

Our history curriculum is designed to deliver a progression in skills through the three milestones, 1,2 and 3 which are key stage 1, lower key stage 2 and upper key stage 2. In History we ensure to follow the breadth of study outlined in the National Curriculum.

In order that children retain the skills and knowledge in their long term memory, they are taught through four main threshold concepts:

  • investigating and interpreting the past,
  • building an overview of world history,
  • understanding chronology,
  • communicating historically.

Lessons are planned in a sequence to build on prior knowledge and skills. The same four concepts are taught throughout school and they underpin the substantive knowledge (knowledge about the past) and the disciplinary knowledge (knowledge about how historians investigate the past and knowledge about how historians construct historical claims, arguments and accounts). These skills are interwoven throughout their historical education at Sowerby to ensure that children revisit and develop them over time.


At Sowerby, we ensure that we support children with SEND by providing appropriate scaffolding within lessons as necessary and ensuring that all children have access to a wide range of learning opportunities. We often find that pupils with additional needs, thrive in History lessons where they can talk about subjects they have a passion for.


The impact of our History curriculum at Sowerby Academy will be seen throughout school. Through pupil voice, children will be able to clearly articulate their historical findings and understandings they have acquired. Children will be engaged in history lessons and show a positive attitude and enjoyment towards the subject.

Through looking at books, work will display the range of skills and knowledge taught through topics and where possible, cross-curricular links to further develop schema. It will show that children of all abilities are able to access the work set and that children have high expectations of themselves in their quality, presentation and understandings.

Assessment in history will show that most children are making expected progress in the subject and that appropriate opportunities are planned in for pupils working at a greater depth.  At the end of a unit, children create a double page spread, presenting in their own way what they have learned throughout the term. This way, teachers are able to assess children’s understandings of historical knowledge, concepts and vocabulary used.  Low-stakes quizzes are often used as a fun way to further assess knowledge, often used later in the year to draw back on prior learning, supporting retrieval skills and ensuring they remember more.