At William Byrd Primary Academy, we deliver the National Curriculum objectives through topics carefully selected from the Cornerstones scheme, ensuring breadth and balance across all subject areas. We aim for a high quality history curriculum which should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We want children to enjoy and love learning about history by gaining this knowledge and skills, not just through experiences in the classroom, but also with the use of fieldwork, educational visits and experience days to build children’s cultural capital. We aim to prepare children for the next stage in their education by providing them with the opportunity to develop and work as historians and ensuring they have the required level of knowledge, understanding and skills:

  • To instil in the children a curiosity and understanding of events, places and people in a variety of times and environments.
  • To develop an interest in the past and an appreciation of human achievements and aspirations
  • To understand the values of our society
  • To learn about the major issues and events in the history of our own country and of the world and how these events may have influenced one another
  • To develop a knowledge of chronology within which the children can organise their understanding of the past
  • To understand how the past was different from the present and that people of other times and places may have had different values and attitudes from ours
  • To understand the nature of evidence by emphasising the process of enquiry and by developing the range of skills required to interpret primary and secondary source materials
  • To distinguish between historical facts and the interpretation of those facts
  • To understand that events may many causes and that historical explanation is provisional, debatable and sometimes controversial


In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in history, we implement a curriculum through Cornerstones that is progressive throughout the whole school. History is mapped out across the curriculum using the Cornerstones topics focusing on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. At William Byrd Primary Academy, we ensure that history has the same importance given to it as the core subjects, as we feel this is important in enabling all children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences. We ensure that all foundation subjects receive dedicated, high quality teaching time and we teach geography and history in half-termly blocks. We use the ‘WB4’ pedagogical strategies in all subjects across the curriculum and each lesson has a focus on developing subject-specific vocabulary and oracy. Retrieval and spaced practice are a key part of every lesson.

Non- Negotiables when teaching History

At the start of a new unit

  • Immersion or experience day must take place to build children’s cultural capital and ‘level the playing field’ of prior knowledge and experience

Within each lesson:

  • Each lesson should begin with retrieval practice linked to prior learning in this topic or a previous one
  • Key vocabulary linked to unit displayed, practiced through MTYT and used clearly within each lesson. Expectations for pupils’ use of key vocabulary should be embedded in each lesson
  • Overarching key or enquiry question to be displayed at the beginning of each unit and key questions for each lesson discussed and shared with the children
  • WB4 and oracy strategies


  • High expectations at all times are essential. Children must use DUMTUMs
  • Knowledge and skills title must be clearly displayed in books and learning assessed against these.
  • Front cover sheets stuck in books at the beginning of a new unit with coverage sequence clearly displayed.


  • When teaching a history unit an engaging, interactive, and immersive display must be within each classroom.
  • Each display must include key vocabulary, key question of the unit and celebration of children’s work.


At William Byrd Primary Academy, children have the opportunity to record their learning in different ways. Evidence is dependent on the lesson objective, year groups and key knowledge and skills being developed. Progression maps ensure children develop key Historical knowledge and skills over time.  Plans have been developed to indicate the key learning, vocabulary and skills required for that particular unit of work. Teachers use a range of assessment tools, including summative and formative assessments, to indicate the progress children have made and the key knowledge they have gained.

The impact of our history curriculum will ensure that children:

  • Develop a chronologically secure knowledge of history;
  • Use appropriate Historical terms;
  • Identify historically significant people;
  • Describe and make links between events, situations and changes within and across different periods and societies.


History Overview


Children explore History through the EYFS goals within Understanding the World.

These objectives include:

  • Talk about significant historical people and events
  • Sequence events in the right order
  • Recall historical facts
  • Compare similarities and differences
  • Use time vocabulary
  • Ask questions to find out more
  • Talk about myself in a historical sense e.g. this year I am 4, next year I will be five, last year I was 3
  • Use information in books to talk about life in the past
  • Use comparative language of the past, present, and future
  • Talk about the roles people have in society
  • Draw conclusions about what I have found out


Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.

Pupils should be taught about:

  • Changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life
  • Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries]
  • The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods [for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and LS Lowry, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell]
  • Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality [William Byrd]


Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Pupils should be taught about:

  • Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
  • The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain
  • Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots
  • The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor
  • A local history study