The History Curriculum at St Thomas'
Knowledge Rich and Academic
At St Thomas’, we deliver an ambitious, knowledge-based history curriculum that aims to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. It helps pupils gain a coherent, chronological knowledge and understanding of the past and enables them to use core knowledge of dates, events and people to talk confidently about a range of historical periods in Britain and the wider world. The history curriculum builds upon prior knowledge in a carefully sequenced curriculum, both within and between year groups, and makes links to other subject areas. Pupils develop an understanding of key substantive concepts (parliament, civilisation, empire, democracy and monarchy) that act as threads throughout the history curriculum from the beginning to the end of the pupils’ primary education.
Reading and Vocabulary
Because we believe that reading is the key to all learning, every history lesson contains an element of reading that pupils use to understand more about the past. Each lesson also begins with introducing the STAR words: these are key words for the lesson that help build pupils’ vocabulary and historical understanding. They are displayed within the classroom on the history working wall, and pupils are expected to use them in written tasks when applying their knowledge in the lesson.
Within the history curriculum, pupils develop a respect for other cultures and eras in time. They learn thankfulness in relation to sacrifices that people have made in the past that have helped us get where we are today, as well as the significant impact of past societies and periods of time.
Our curriculum ensures that pupils learn about, and develop empathy for, people from the past with a range of backgrounds, such as when learning about the Victorian era in Year 5, and the Suffragettes in Year 6.
Experiences and Life Skills
Pupils will have opportunities to go on school trips that enhance their learning in history, such as the slavery museum in Year 5.
Our curriculum is ambitious, setting the highest standards of pupils’ learning and expecting excellence in pupils’ work. As pupils progress throughout the school, they are expected to apply their knowledge and understanding via substantial written tasks, therefore strengthening not only their learning in history but also their written communication.