At Usworth Colliery Primary School we view History not only as simple facts and dates but encourage pupils to become detectives who explore the past in an exciting way. By teaching History through The Learning Challenge Curriculum, we give pupils opportunities to explore a wide range of sources, both primary and secondary, from which the past may come alive.

History allows our children to compare and contrast, to examine how and why things have changed, to learn about historical characters and expand their research skills. We teach children to be open minded and enquiring thinkers who understand cause and effect. We want them to understand how people have lived in the past and compare this to modern life. Wherever possible, we encourage first hand experiences through handling real artefacts and visiting relevant sites of historical interest in the region, as well as bringing in specialists for in-school workshops.

History in the Early Years Foundation Stage

In the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, History forms part of the learning pupils acquire in the area of ‘Understanding the World’. Through active learning, and playing and exploring, pupils are encouraged to understand the world around them. Children are given lots of opportunities to talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. Through discussion and role play, pupils are regularly encouraged to ask questions and use the language of time to find out about events in each other’s lives. A range of resources such as photographs, books and historical artefacts are provided to develop their knowledge and understanding further. Stories and non-fiction texts are also used to introduce a sense of time, people and events from the past. Whenever possible, visits and visitors are planned to encourage pupils’ interest and understanding of life in the past and how it is different now.

Year 1

  • Changes within living memory: When parents/grandparents were young – technology, music, etc. (Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life).


  • Significant people from history: The lives of significant individuals from Britain or abroad who have contributed to national and international achievements.


  • Local history: significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.


Year 2

  • Changes and events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally.

E.g. The Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries.


  • Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.


  • Significant people from history.

The lives of significant individuals from Britain or abroad who have contributed to national and          international achievements. These are used to compare aspects of life in different periods.

E.g. Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong.


Year 3

  • Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. This could include: hunter gatherers and early farming; Bronze Age religion, technology and travel; Iron Age hill forts, tribal kingdoms, farming, art and culture.


  • Local History. A study of Local History taking account of a period of history that shaped the locality, e.g. mining.


  • Ancient Greece. A study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world.


Year 4

  • The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain. This could include: Julius Caesar’s attempted invasion; the Roman Empire and the power of its army; Hadrian’s Wall; British resistance e.g. Boudica; Romanisation of Britain including the impact of technology, culture and beliefs.


  • A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066. E.g. the changing power of monarchs using case studies such as John, Anne and Victoria; changes in an aspect of social history, such as crime and punishment from the Anglo-Saxons to the present or leisure and entertainment in the 20th Century; the legacy of Greek or Roman culture (art, architecture or literature) on later periods in British history, including the present day; a significant turning point in British history, for example, the first railways.


Year 5

  • Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots. This could include the Roman withdrawal of Britain; Scots invasions from Ireland to north Britain; Anglo-Saxon invasions, settlements and kingdoms (place names and village life); art and culture; Christian conversion (Iona and Lindisfarne).


  • The achievements of the earliest civilizations. A look at where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.


  • A Study of an aspect or theme in British history, beyond 1066. (optional)


Year 6

  • The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor. This could include: Viking raids and invasion; resistance from Alfred the Great and Athelstan; further Viking invasions and Danegeld; Anglo-Saxons law and justice; Edward the Confessor and his death in 1066.


  • A non-European society that provides contrasts with British history. E.g. early Islamic civilization, Mayan Civilization or Benin.


Exploring Historic Newspapers

The school have recently linked up with http://www.historic-newspapers.co.uk/ who provide historic newspapers from the world’s largest archive. They have kindly agreed to send us some free examples to help inspire our children when studying different periods.

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