History is a study of past events, their causes and consequences. The past influences all aspects of our lives. It shapes the customs and beliefs of the communities to which we belong. History is all around us. The study of history ignites children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Through finding out about how and why the world, our country, culture and local community have developed over time, children develop an understanding of how the past influences the present. History enables children to develop a context for their growing sense of identity and a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. Their learning of history can influence the decisions they make about personal choices, attitudes and values. Learning about how people lived in the past, can influence the life choices that children make today. The aim of history teaching at St Mary’s is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children a sense of chronology and, through this, they develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. We aim to help children to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain.


Aims/ Intent

At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, we aim for children to:

  • Learn about a range of historical issues and events and how these events may have influenced one another.
  • Be introduced to what is involved in understanding and interpreting the past.
  • Develop history specific skills.

e.g. sequencing, thinking chronologically, looking for evidence, a sense of empathy, reconstruction, asking and answering historical questions, using historical language, an awareness of change.

  • Develop a better understanding of historical concepts.

e.g. chronology, monarchy, invasion, war, religion.

  • Understand that events could have one or more causes.
  • Distinguish between historical fact and the interpretation of those facts.
  • Identify a sequence of events and talk about why they happened.
  • Develop a sense of identity through learning about the development of their local area, Britain, Europe and the world.


Through our history teaching, we endeavour to foster the following qualities:

  • curiosity, perseverance, open-mindedness, sensitivity and care to others from different cultures, adaptability, co-operation, an understanding of the complexity of people’s lives and the diversity of societies



History is taught throughout the year, so that children achieve depth in their learning. Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each topic. By the end of year 6, our wish is for the children to have developed a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. They will be encouraged to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of both local and world history. Planning is informed by and aligned with the national curriculum. 



Assessments of children’s development in history are made through:

  • Observation
  • Listening
  • Questioning


A record is kept of children’s experiences and achievements in history through:

  • Teachers’ own records (including planning)
  • Photographs
  • Topic books


We aspire for the children to:

  • Develop a love of learning about the past
  • Gain a better knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to stimulate pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past
  • Ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence and develop perspective and judgement
  • Begin 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


St Mary's Learner Leaflets (Progression of Knowledge)

We are members the Historical Association