Willow Grove, Milton Keynes, MK19 6AZ


Old Stratford Primary School


Old Stratford Primary School History Curriculum Rationale


Our History curriculum aims to inspire pupils to be curious and creative thinkers who develop complex knowledge of local and national history and the history of the wider world. The curriculum has been organised into exciting themes where a clear pedagogy of historical skills are explicitly taught and built upon, ensuring a strong focus and progresssion. Through our scheme of work, we aim to buid an awareness of significant events and individuals in global, British and local history and recognise how things have changed over time. History content will support children to appreciate the complexity of people's lives, the diversity of societies and the relationships between different groups. Our history curriculum allows children to appreciate the many reasons why people may behave in the way that they do, supporting children to develp empathy for others while providing an opportunity to learn from mankind's past mistakes. We also aim to support pupils understanding of chronology-secure knowledge of History.

We hope to develop pupils' understanding of how historians study the past and construct accounts and the skills to carry out their own historical enquiry. 

Old Stratford History curriculum enables pupils to meet the end of Key Stage attainmnet targets in the National Curriculum.



In order to meet the aims of the National Curriculum for History our currciulum is delivered through and supported by the Kapowprimary History scheme of work. Through this curriculum, the following key strands have been identified:

Substantive knowledge strands - Topic knowledge/Chronological awareness/substantive concepts

Disciplinary strands - Historical Knowledge/Disciplinary concepts

Our curriculum emphasises the importance of historical knowledge being shaped by disciplinary approaches. These strands are interwoven through all our history topics so that our children can investigate history as historians do.

Each topic within the curriculum has a focus on chronology to allow children to explore the place in time of the period they are studying and make comparisons in other parts of the world. Children will develp their awareness of the past in Key Stage 1 and will know where people and events fit chonologically. This will support children in building a 'mental timeline' they can refer to throughout their learning in Key Stage 2 and identifying connections, contrasts and trends over time. 

Over the course of the history curriculum, children develop their understanding of the following key disiplinary concepts:

  • Change and Continuity
  • Cause and Consequence
  • Similarities and differences
  • Historical significance
  • Historical interpretations
  • Sources of evidence

These concepts will be encountered in different contexts during the study of local, Britsh and world history. Accordingly, children will have varied opportunities to learn how historians use these skills to analyse the past and make judgements. They will confidently develop and use their own historical skill set. As the cildren progress they will create their own historical enquiries to study using sources and the skills they have developed.

Substantive concepts such as power, trade, invasion and settlement, are introduced in Key Stage 1, clearly identified in Lower Key Stage 2 and revisited in Upper Key Stage 2, allowing knowledge of these key concepts grow. These concepts are returned to in different contexts, meaning that pupils begin to develop an understanding of these abstract themes which are crucial to their future learning in History. 

Lessons are designed to be varied, engaging and hands on, allowing children to experience the different aspects of a historical enquiry. In each lesson, children will participate in activities involving disciplinary and substantive concepts, developing their knowledge and understanding of Britains role in the past and that of the wider world. Children will develop their knowledge of concepts and chronology as well as their in-depth knowledge of the context being studied.

Differentiated suppport is provided in each lesson to ensure that activities and learning can be accessed by all pupils and opportunities to stretch pupils where necessary. Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of facts, concepts and vocabulary.


After the implementation of the curriculum, pupils should leave school equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education. They will be enquiring learners who ask questions and can make suggestions about where to find evidence to answer balanced judgements basd on knowledge of the past.

The expected impact of following the history curriculum is that children will:

  • Know and understand the history of Britain, how people's lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
  • Develop an understanding of the history of the wider world, including acient civilisations, empires, non-Europian societies and the achievements of mankind.
  • Develop a historically-ggrounded understanding of substantive concepts- power, invasion, settlement and migration, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of mankind and society.
  • Form historical arguements based on cause and effect, consequence, continuity and change, similarity and differences.
  • Have an appreciation for significant individuals, inventions and events that impact our world both in history and from the present day.
  • Understand how historians learn about the past and construct accounts.
  • Ask historically-valid questions through an enquiry-based approach to learning to create structured accounts.
  • Explain how and why interpretations of the past have been constructed using evidence.
  • Make connections between historical concepts and timescales.
  • Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National Curriculum for History.