At Jericho Primary School, we are historians! Right from the start children in Nursery and Reception begin to learn that History and Historians study the past – learning about people, places and events. Our curriculum aims to inspire in pupils 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. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.

History helps pupils 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.

The history curriculum at Jericho Primary School enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which have our core values of nurture, achievement, respect, adventure and creativity embedded within the learning sequences.

Our Curriculum

It is our intention that pupils become a little more expert as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating and connecting substantive and disciplinary historical knowledge. Our curriculum has been underpinned by the following knowledge:

Substantive knowledge - this is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used to learn about the content.

Disciplinary knowledge – this is the use of knowledge and how children become a little more expert as a historian.  At Jericho, we have identified the disciplinary knowledge as:

  • Historical Significance: The importance assigned to a particular aspect of the past such as events or sites.
  • Continuity and change: Aspects of the past that have remained the same over a period of time or have changed over time.
  • Cause and effect: 'Cause' refers to the range of reasons for an historical event or development and 'effect' to the range of subsequent outcomes or results.
  • Historical enquiry: The process of developing knowledge and understanding by posing questions about the past, and applying skills associated with locating, analysing, evaluating and using sources as evidence to develop an informed argument or interpretation.
  • Historical Evidence and Interpretations: The information contained within a source that tends to support an historical argument or provides information for a specific historical inquiry. A way of understanding and explaining what has happened in the past. The discipline of History acknowledges that there is often more than one view of what has happened in the past.
  • Similarity and Difference: Helping pupils understand beyond stereotypical assumptions about people in the past and to recognise and analyse the diversity of past experience.

We have designed our curriculum so that children:

Build upon prior learning:  For example, in the EYFS, pupils may learn about the past and present through daily activities, exploring through change, and understanding more about the lives of others through books and visitors as well as their own experiences. These experiences are drawn upon and used to position new learning in KS1.

Cumulate Knowledge: History is planned so that the retention of knowledge is much more than just ‘in the moment knowledge’. The cumulative nature of the curriculum is made memorable by revisiting concepts over time to ensure that they culminate in out end of unit, year and key stage outcomes. 

Build on their Substantive Knowledge: Our curriculum equips pupils to become ‘more expert’ with each study and grow an ever-broadening model of the subject. We have identified clear knowledge that is to be taught for each unit of work.  This knowledge is carefully sequenced so that each piece of knowledge builds on the previous piece of knowledge so that children become ‘more expert’ in the subject. Golden nuggets of knowledge have been identified clearly in each lesson so that teachers can easily check whether children know more and remember more.

Develop their Historical Vocabulary: Historical vocabulary is planned sequentially and cumulatively from Early Years to Y6. High-frequency, multiple-meaning words (tier 2) are taught and help make sense of subject-specific words (tier 3).

Knowledge Retention: The cumulative nature of the curriculum is made memorable by the use low stakes quizzes that help children to remember the golden nuggets.

How our Curriculum develops


Our curriculum is designed to give children firm foundations in History.  Children begin their historical learning by talking about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society. They learn some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;


The sequence in KS1 focuses on young children developing a sense of time, place and change. It begins with children studying changes within living memory through the unit “Who am I! to develop an understanding of what has changed within the living memory of the community. This chronological knowledge is foundational to the understanding of change over time. Children then move on to thing about learning about events beyond their living memory.  Children learn about what life was life in Castles in the past.  This links local history through significant events, people and places. The locality is further understood by knowing about the places, the buildings, the events and the people that tell a story of the past. Moving into Year 2, children expand on the idea of events beyond living memory but learning about how significant events have moulded and shaped the way in which the world changed. The Great Fire of London and Space Race seek to draw together the disciplinary concepts of significance and cause and effect.  Finally children learn about the lives of significant individuals, focusing on Neil Armstrong and Katherine Johnson.


In lower KS2, children begin to study historical periods looking at the cultural and technological advances made by our ancestors as well as understanding how historians think Britain changed throughout the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. Children build on this by looking at how the world developed through the Ancient Civilisations of the Shang Dynasty  and Ancient Greek Societies.

Substantive concepts such as invasion, law, civilisation and society are developed through explicit vocabulary instruction. Studies of how Britain was settled by Anglo-Saxons and Scots gives a focus on cultural change and the influence of Christianity. Pupils study how powerful kings and their beliefs shaped the Heptarchy of Anglo-Saxon Britain. Our curriculum also focuses on the struggle for throne of England through a study of the Vikings, their origins, conquests and agreements with English Anglo-Saxon kings to settle and dwell in the region known as Danelaw.


As children move into Year 5, children look again to Ancient history, bringing together prior learning from the Shang and Greek civilisations and thinking about how Ancient Mesopotamia developed and the importance of Bagdad and its achievements. Children learn about the influence this civilisation had on the western world. The understanding of culture, people and places are central to these studies. In Year 5 children also study recent history in the context of how conflict changed the 20th Century.  This looks at the changing nature of Europe and the struggle for power within the backdrop of World War 1 and World War 2.

As children move into Year 6 they link the study of the Ancient Benin and local history. They look slavery and how the injustice of the past helps us to understand why events happened and how these pioneers faced racism, discrimination and prejudice. PSHE and SMSC are vital components of the history curriculum - challenging racism and prejudice in all its forms. This is further developed through Modern History by looking at the Civil Rights Movement building on why respect for other cultures and diversity is vital.

Key Content of our History Units