History Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact 




Our intent at Thirsk Community Primary School is that our teaching of History will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. 


Our intent for our History approach is:  

  • To inspire children’s curiosity about the past and to recognise its significance today.  

  • To teach children 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.  

  • Achieve their absolute potential by having the highest expectations of their learning  

  • Be confident to ask questions, take risks and extend their historical knowledge.  


At Thirsk Community Primary School, children are encouraged to develop an appreciation and understanding of the past, evaluating a range of primary and secondary sources. Our historians will also be able to explain clearly how these sources give us an insight about how people around the world used to live and how these interpretations may differ. Pupils will be taught to make links between these areas of learning, with the aim of developing engaged, motivated and curious learners that can reflect on the past and make meaningful links to the present day. Our History curriculum has been designed to cover all of the skills, knowledge and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum. The National Curriculum states that ‘a high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past.’ To ensure that pupils develop a secure knowledge that they can build on, our History curriculum is organised into a progression model that outlines the skills, knowledge and vocabulary to be taught in a sequentially coherent way. Chronological Understanding; Historical Understanding; Historical Enquiry; Interpretations of History; Organisation and Communication are all mapped out to ensure that pupils build on secure prior knowledge. When covering each of these strands, the content will be carefully organised by each year group through a long-term plan. Content knowledge, vocabulary and skills will then be planned for at a greater level of detail in the medium term plan. History is delivered through subject specific teaching organised into blocks under a theme. Meaningful links with other subjects are made to strengthen connections and understanding for pupils. The History units taught have been developed to help children appreciate their own identity and the challenges in their time. It will help them understand the process of change over time and significant developments. 


Statement of Implementation 


The National Curriculum provides a structure and skill development for the History curriculum being taught. Learning across the curriculum is sequentially planned to build on knowledge and skills.  


  • In EYFS, we implement History through exploring key historical vocabulary and learning key calendar events, remembering our learning through vocabulary floor books.  

  • Across Key Stages 1 and 2, learning will begin by revisiting children’s prior knowledgeThis will be scaffolded to support children to recall previous learning and make connections. 

  • Teachers have extensive subject knowledge on the period of History being taught.  

  • Our first History lesson in a teaching block addresses the period of time covered by the History topic and revisits the class timeline to place the chapter of history into chronological order.   

  • Staff will model explicitly the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning to allow them to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.  

  • Topic books and floor books are high quality and evidence the highest expectations of learning.  

  • Topic displays cover the current History unit and objectives currently being taught in every classroom, to provide constant scaffolding for children.  

  • Subject specific vocabulary is displayed on the learning wall along with key facts and questions, and model exemplars of the work being taught. 

  • Regular curriculum quizzes are used to review learning and check that children know more and remember more, supporting them to retain new facts and vocabulary in their long-term memory. 

  • Learning is reviewed also on a termly basis, so that teachers can check and assess learning retained.  

  • History assessment is ongoing throughout the relevant cross-curricular themes to inform teachers with their planning lesson activities and differentiation.  

  • Further assessment is completed at the end of each topic where history objectives have been covered; an objective tracker is used to inform leaders of school improvements or skills that need to be further enhanced. 

  • Our children will be given a variety of learning experiences using a wide range of historical sourcesboth in and out of the classroom to create memorable learning opportunities and to further support and develop their historical skills, curiosity and understanding. 



Statement of Impact 

The successful approach at Thirsk Community Primary results in a fun, engaging, high-quality History education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the significance of History in the world as well as its impact on, and relevance to, modern times and on our own lives and experiences. 


Pupil voice shows that pupils are confident and able to talk about what they have learnt in History using subject specific vocabulary. It also demonstrates that pupils enjoy History and are able to recall their learning over time. Pupil voice is also used to further develop the History curriculum, through questioning of pupils views and attitudes to History, to support the children’s enjoyment and to motivate learners. Pupils’ work demonstrates that history is taught at an age appropriate standard across each year group with opportunities planned in for pupils working at greater depth. Work is of good quality and demonstrates pupils are acquiring knowledge, skills and vocabulary in an appropriate sequence. As we introduce the new format of assessing the wider curriculum, children will be graded as emerging, expected or exceeding within objectives learnt through their History unit