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At Riverside Primary, we aim for a high quality history curriculum that inspires a curiosity and fascination within children about Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Our curriculum draws from and makes full use of resources within the immediate and wider local area, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their locality. We provide a broad, balanced and inclusive curriculum that fulfils the requirements of the National Curriculum for History and encompasses the British Values throughout. This ensures the progressive development of historical concepts, knowledge and skills.

The history curriculum is planned and structured carefully to ensure that the current learning is linked to previous learning and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy. The curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to stimulate pupil’s curiosity to know more about the past;
  • Are encouraged to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement;
  • Begin 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.


As part of our curriculum design led by Cornerstones, History at Riverside Primary is taught in and as part of topics throughout the year so that children can achieve depth in their learning. The key knowledge and skills that children acquire and develop throughout each topic have been mapped to ensure progression between year groups throughout the school. At the beginning of each new history driven topic, teachers refer to classroom timelines to develop children’s understanding of chronology. Each topic is introduced with reference to the chronology of previous topics, including those from previous years. Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each history topic and this process informs a programme of study that is responsive to children’s interests. Key knowledge is reviewed by the children and rigorously checked and consolidated by the teacher. By the end of Year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Egyptians.

Opportunities for visits to places of historical interest and learning outside the classroom are planned for, identified and embedded in practice. Visits to the local area and use of local artefacts such as the use of maps and photographs of bomb damage to the local area in WW2 also support contextualised learning as well as the acquisition of key knowledge and systematic development of key skills.

Planning is informed by Cornerstones and aligned with the National Curriculum. In addition, staff have access to the Hamilton Trust and the Historical Association for further guidance and resources. The history curriculum is designed to ensure appropriate diversity in the significant figures that children learn about including the celebration of Black History Month and Art Week.

In EYFS, the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance informs the planning, teaching and learning that takes place. This aims for all children in Reception to have an understanding of the world; people and communities, and the world and technology by the end of the academic year.


Our topic books evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning, children demonstrating a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world and that children are curious to know more about the past. Through the study of History, pupils will ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement. Regular educational visits provide further relevant and contextual learning.

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following strategies:

  • Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary
  • Children’s contribution to class discussions
  • Verbal and written outcomes from learning
  • Initial and final assessment of learning sheets
  • End of topic quizzes

Teacher judgements are formed as to whether pupils are emerging, expected or exceeding for their conceptual understanding, knowledge and skills. As part of monitoring carried out by the History lead, pupils are interviewed to moderate teacher based assessments. This is also supported by the scrutiny of pupil’s books, lesson observations and environment checks to ensure that there is correct delivery of the curriculum and to highlight areas for improvement.

As historians, children’s learning will influence the decisions they make in their lives and the future. Children will be equipped with the historical skills and knowledge that will prepare them for life as an adult in the wider world. We aim for all our pupils to thoroughly enjoy learning about history and therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future.