Our history curriculum aims to inspire our pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. History helps children to understand the process of change and the diversity of societies, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time. Children at Whiteknights will have the ability to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgment.

Progression in history at Whiteknights School involves developing historical perspective through:

  • Children acquiring a wider, more detailed and chronologically secure knowledge through the historical topics they are taught.
  • Children developing sharper methods of enquiry and communication by creating opportunities for conducting both primary and secondary research, and through cross-curricular links with other curriculum subjects.
  • Children obtaining a deeper understanding of more complex issues and of abstract ideas.
  • Closer integration of history’s key concepts.
  • Children will achieve greater independence when applying all these qualities as they move further up the school.

There are 5 main strands of History which children will work on through different historical topics from Year 1 to Year 6:

1. Chronological Understanding

Year 1 - Sequence some events in order and remember parts of stories and memories about the past

Year 2 – Recount changes in own life over time and use the past and present when telling others about an event.

Year 3 – Use timelines to place events in order and understand they can be divided into BC and AD.

Year 4 – Name and place dates of significant events from past on a timeline.

Year 5 – Use timelines to place and sequence local, national and international events; sequence historical periods and identify changes within and across historical periods.

Year 6 - Use key periods as reference points: BC, AD Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Tudors, Victorians Describe main changes in a period in history using words such as: social, religious, political, technological and cultural.

2. Knowledge and understanding of past events, people and changes in the past.

Year 1 – Tell the difference between past and present in own and other people’s lives.

Year 2 – Recount main events from a significant time in history and use evidence to explain reasons why people in the past acted as they did.

Year 3 – Describe similarities and differences between people, events and objects, and use evidence to describe past such as Houses and settlements, culture and leisure activities

Year 4 – Identify ideas, beliefs, attitudes and experiences of men, women and children from the past. Give reasons why changes in houses, culture, leisure, clothes, buildings and their uses, ways of life, beliefs and attitudes may have occurred during a time period.

Year 5 – Identify social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversities of societies studied in the UK and the wider world. Give causes and consequences of main events, situations and changes in the periods studied

Year 6 - Choose reliable sources of factual evidence to describe: Houses and settlements, culture and leisure activities, clothes, buildings and their uses, beliefs and attitudes, differences between rich and poor. Describe how these may have changed during a time period and give own reasons why.

3. Historical interpretation

Year 1 – Begin to identify and recount some details from the past from sources (eg. pictures, stories)

Year 2 – Look at books and pictures (eye-witness accounts, photos, artefacts, buildings and visits, internet). Understand why some people in the past acted as they did.

Year 3 – Look at 2 versions of same event and identify differences in the accounts.

Year 4 – Give reasons why there may be different accounts of history.

Year 5 – Give clear reasons why there may be different accounts of history. Know that people (now and in the past) can  represent events or ideas in ways that persuade others.

Year 6 - Understand that the past has been represented in different ways. Suggest accurate and plausible reasons for how/why aspects of the past have been represented and interpreted in different ways.

4. Historical Enquiry

Year 1 – Find answers to simple questions about the past from sources of information (eg. pictures, stories)

Year 2 – Look carefully at pictures or objects to find information about the past. Ask and answer questions such as: ’what was it like for a ….?’, ‘what happened in the past?’

Year 3 – Use printed sources, the internet, pictures, photos, music, artefacts, historic buildings and visits to collect information about the past. Ask questions such as ‘how did people ….?

Year 4 – Understand the difference between primary and secondary sources of evidence. Use documents, printed sources, the internet, databases, pictures, photos, music, artefacts, historic buildings and visits to collect information about the past.

Year 5 – Choose reliable sources of evidence to answer questions. Realise that there is often not a single answer to historical questions.

Year 6 - Evaluate the usefulness and accurateness of different sources of evidence. Select the most appropriate source of evidence for particular tasks and form own opinions about historical events from a range of sources.

5. Organisation and communication

Year 1 – Show knowledge and understanding about the past in different ways (eg. role play, drawing, writing, talking).

Year 2 – Write simple stories and recounts about the past. Draw labelled diagrams and write about them to tell others about people, events and objects from the past.

Year 3 – Use dates and terms with increasing accuracy. Discuss different ways of presenting information for different purposes.

Year 4 – Use dates and terms correctly. Discuss most appropriate way to present information, realising that it is for an audience. Use subject specific words such as monarch, settlement, invader

Year 5 – Present structured and organised findings about the past using speaking, writing, maths, ICT, drama and drawing skills.

Year 6 - Communicate ideas about from the past using different genres of writing, drawing, diagrams, data-handling, drama role-play, storytelling and using ICT.

How Whiteknights History Curriculum matches the 2014 National Curriculum

There is a major focus on children’s understanding of chronological progression through history of Britain from early Britons to Edward the Confessor (up to 1066). Emphasis on developing historical enquiry skills; not rote learning of facts.

KS1: -    Changes within Living Memory with emphasis on change at national level. Space, Our Locality – History of Whiteknights Primary School

-          The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Focus on using them to compare aspects of life in different periods. Queen Elizabeth 1,  Queen Victoria

-          Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally - Great Fire of London, Transport and Travel

KS2: -    Pre-Roman Britain - Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age

-          Roman Britain - Roman empire and its impact on Britain

-          Anglo-Saxons and Scots - Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots

-          Anglo-Saxons and Vikings - Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor

-          Local History - Impact of Huntley and Palmers  in Reading, History of Lower Earley

-          Extended chronological study - study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066 -Crime and Punishment

-          Ancient Civilizations - Ancient Egyptians

-          Ancient Greece - Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world

-          Non-European Study - provides contrasts with British history -Mayan civilization c. AD 900

-          Overview and depth topics – teachers to choose how much time to spend on these (allows for overview of chronology and to focus more closely on some topics).

 You can view and download below an overview of the annual History topic plan.


We are grateful to Historic Newspapers who have provided us with copies of old newspapers to help in our teaching of the History curriculum. Theirs is the largest private archive of old newspapers and newspaper books in the world. If you are interested in accessing old newspapers then click on this link.



Downloadable Files