How do we teach History at Abbeyfield?

The National Curriculum

The national curriculum for history aims to ensure 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 Abbeyfield, we  understand that history is a subject that forms our understanding of the society in which we live in as well as the wider world around us. As pupils progress, they will increase their understanding of the present in the context of the past. Our history curriculum will encourage children to ensue their skills in enquiry, analysis, evaluation, and argument,


Our history scheme of work is based upon the requirements set out in the framework of the 2014 National Curriculum. During pupils’ time at Abbeyfield, topics are sequenced to ensure that all National Curriculum expectations are met and that children build on prior learning of core historical concepts. They Abbeyfield Curriculum Map outlines the history topics taught throughout a child’s time with us. Each term, all year groups carry out half a term of history lessons which they then alternate with geography. All topics are based around a central historical enquiry in order to set the children up for further historical learning in KS3. These include world history, British history and local history topics. This is to ensure that children build up a coherent, chronological narrative of Britain and the wider world from the earliest times to present day. Teachers use medium-term plans co-created with the history subject leader in order to ensure there is clear progression as the children move through school. Lessons and units are carefully sequenced to build on prior learning and that substantive knowledge if frequently revisted.


Our history curriculum will ensure that children leave primary school with the necessary skills in order to be successful historians at KS3 and beyond. This encompasses both the necessary subject knowledge and disciplinary skills to develop a  love of history. This will be evidenced in the way that pupils talk about history and in their topic books.

Core Concepts

We have broken down our history curriculum into the following core concepts.

Curriculum Overview

We have then used these strands to map out our curriculum overview.

Learning Journeys

We send out learning journeys to families at the start of each half-term. Here is an example of a Y4 learning journey for Anglo Saxons. Click on the link below to see the detailed medium-term plan: