Success in History

Purpose of study


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. 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 national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
  • gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts: understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales


At St Cuthbert’s, we aim for our History Curriculum to inspire children to be curious about the past and to think and act as historians.


Our History Curriculum allows children to:

  • Investigate and interpret the past.
  • Understand chronology.
  • Build a secure overview of Britain's past, as well as that of the wider world.
  • Communicate effectively using acquired historical vocabulary.
  • Make judgements from primary and secondary sources.
  • Gain a sense of personal and national identity. 
  • Develop a sense of what it means to be human.
  • Appreciate difference and similarity and significance. 
  • Develop a sense of continuity and change. 
  • Appreciate different cultures, periods and times.
  • Develop the social and intellectual skills to analyse and interpret the situations that children find themselves in. 


At St Cuthbert’s, the teaching and implementation of the History Curriculum is based on the National Curriculum, and supported by 'Progression in History' ladders. These ladders ensure a well-structured approach to progression in history. 


  • Using the National Curriculum as a guide, our History Curriculum has been broken down across year groups from Nursery to Year 6, to ensure good coverage of knowledge, concepts and skills. 
  • The children are taught History termly and in Key Stage 2, topics are taught in chronological order across the key stage to ensure the children have a coherent knowledge of the past. 
  • Each topic draws on prior knowledge and makes links/comparisons/contrasts to other topics or eras previously taught. 

History Progression Ladders

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