At Pencoys, we value history as an important part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. The periods studied enable pupils to make connections in local and world history by developing the key concepts of: cause and consequence, continuity and change, similarities and differences and significance. We aim to provide a high-quality history education which will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Inspirational blocks foster the children’s curiosity and desire to know more about the past. Pupils are encouraged to ask perceptive questions, think critically, develop perspective and to analyse and question evidence. Our History curriculum will enable our children to understand the diversity of societies, relationships between different periods, historical events, significant figures and how these have shaped the modern world. Cultural heritage is a key driver in our curriculum and through these blocks children develop understanding of their own identity both at a local and global level. Every block of work links explicitly to what pupils have learnt before to enable them to develop a chronological framework, enrich historical language and deepen understanding of history’s key concepts.


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 Pencoys, History is taught over three half terms per year. Medium Term Planning (MTP) is supported by a ‘small steps in progression’ document for each block. This ensures a progression in both concepts and content. Teachers use key concepts from the Oxfam Curriculum for Global Citizenship encourage children to reflect on global historical issues and their legacy today. We also use local expertise, visits and organisations to support and inspire our children’s learning.
The History ‘Progression Overview’ is based on the National Curriculum and covers all statutory aspects of this. As a school, we have added extra blocks, personalised and adapted the MAT curriculum to meet the needs of our learners and the importance we place on the Global Citizenship aspects of our curriculum. Where relevant, the previous Geography block is linked to provide deeper understanding of the area and its geographical features.  Where this is not possible each history block starts with a geography lesson to build understanding of the location, climate and other key physical features that will be relevant to pupils’ historical understanding.

Each history block begins with a launch day which engages and reactivates prior learning linked to the block. During this day a ‘never heard the word’ vocabulary assessment and knowledge harvest is also undertaken. At the end of each block a ‘pop task’ is used to assess children’s understanding and learning. Assessments against end points inform planning for the next history block.


  • Our children are ‘thinking like historians’, able to examine, question and enquire as historians would.

  • Are excited and engaged by history.

  • Make links between different periods in history and their lasting impact.

  • Question historical injustice and its relevance today.


By the end of their primary education:

  • Our children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day.

  • Our children will know and understand the history of the UK from the earliest times to the present day: how different people have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.

  • Our children will know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world including the nature of ancient civilisations, the expansion of Empires, the impact of invasions and periods of conflict.

  • Our children will value and demonstrate pride in their Cornish cultural heritage, making links to Cornwall’s role in global history.

  • Our children will understand and question methods of historical enquiry and evidence.

  • Our children will develop a passion for history and the skills to prepare them for KS3.

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