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When learning history at Palfrey Infant school, we want to inspire pupils to be curious and creative thinkers. Our curriculum allows all children to begin to develop a rich knowledge of local and national history and the history of the wider world. It also supports our children to become inquisitive about the past and begin to ask questions. Furthermore, it helps them to develop confidence in being able to make simple interpretations of historical evidence.

We aim to build an awareness of how certain people and events have shaped the world we live in today and how past events and struggles have made their lives better today. We aim to build an awareness of significant events and individuals in global, British and local history and recognise how things have changed over time. Studying History at Palfrey infant school allows children to appreciate the reasons why people may behave in the way they do.

Through teaching history, we place great importance in supporting our children’s developing vocabulary. We explain, apply and revisit subject specific vocabulary in different contexts throughout our history curriculum so it becomes embedded in the children’s long-term memory.

Our KS1 curriculum enables pupils to meet the aims and attainment targets set out in the National Curriculum.


Our history curriculum teaches children historical knowledge which is shaped by disciplinary knowledge. Thus, we use an enquiry-based model so that children learn knowledge about the past; people, events and ideas (substantive knowledge) alongside acquiring knowledge about methods that historians investigate the past (disciplinary knowledge). This allows us to create enriching and engaging learning experiences which allow the children to investigate as historians do.

Our children study three six-lesson units of history in Year 1 and a further three six-lesson units in Year 2. Each unit we teach has a focus on chronology to allow children to explore the place in time of the period they are studying. Children will develop their awareness of the past in Key stage 1 and will know where people and events fit chronologically. This will support children in building a ‘mental timeline’ they can refer to throughout their learning in Key stage 2 and identifying connections, contrasts and trends over time.

Our curriculum follows a spiral where previous skills and knowledge are returned to and retrieved, and built upon. Children progress by developing their knowledge and understanding of concepts by experiencing them in the range of historical contexts they study. We regularly revisit knowledge that has been taught through ‘retrieval quizzes’ at the beginning of lessons to help children retain the key knowledge they have been taught, so it becomes embedded in their long-term memory.

Lessons are designed to be varied, engaging and hands-on. They are well sequenced with content and skills, allowing us to build children’s knowledge in small manageable steps that build upon prior knowledge in each lesson, children will participate in activities involving disciplinary and substantive concepts, developing their knowledge and understanding of British and world history. Children will develop their knowledge of concepts and chronology as well as their in-depth knowledge of the context being studied.

Differentiation of activities and scaffolding allow all children to access learning.


Teachers are able to assess the impact of learning in history through assessing children against the learning objectives and National Curriculum expectations for history in KS1. Each of our enquiry-based units allow this.

The expected impact of our curriculum by the end of KS1 is that children will:

  • Begin to understand the history of Britain
  • Begin to develop an understanding of the history of the wider world.
  • Begin to have an appreciation for significant individuals, inventions and events that impact out world in the past and present day.
  • Begin to understand how historians learn about the past.
  • Begin to gain an understanding of key historical terms such as empire and monarchy.
  • Begin to ask valid questions about the past.
  • Begin to make connections between historical timescales.
  • Begin to understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference

By the end of Key stage 1 children will have had repeated opportunities to be enquiring learners who can ask questions and make suggestions about where to find evidence to answer questions. Pupils should leave Palfrey Infant School equipped with a range of secure, basic historical skills to enable them to succeed in history in Key Stage 2 and onwards.