Thornham St James’ C.E Primary School

History Policy

February 2018


Aims and objectives

The aim of history teaching is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past.

The aims of teaching history in our school are:

  • to foster in children an interest in the past and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that history has to offer; • to enable children to know about significant events in British history and to appreciate how things have changed over time;
  • to develop a sense of chronology;
  • to know and understand how the British system of democratic government has developed and, in so doing, to contribute to a child’s citizenship education;
  • to understand how Britain is part of a wider European culture and to study some aspects of European history;
  • to have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world;
  • to help children understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage;
  • to develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation.

Teaching & Learning Style

History teaching focuses on enabling children to think as historians. We place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources. Where appropriate, children are given the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance. We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past. We recognise and value the importance of stories in history teaching and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past. We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and that they are encouraged to ask searching questions.

We recognise the fact that there are children of different abilities and we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by:

  • Setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses.
  • Setting tasks of varying difficulty, enabling all children to work to their full potential.
  • Providing a range of challenges using different resources.
  • Using teaching assistants to support the work of individual children or groups of children.

History Curriculum Planning

We use the national curriculum scheme of work for history as the basis for our curriculum planning in history and have related this to the local context.  Our curriculum planning is in three phases (long-term, medium-term and short-term).  Provision for history activities is part of the overall topic planning completed for each class termly.  The subject leader for history oversees the curriculum coverage and ensures that requirements are met.  We plan the topics in history so that they build upon prior learning.  Children of all abilities have the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit and, through planned progression built into the scheme of work, we offer them an increasing challenge as they move through the school. 


Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) We teach history in reception class as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year and we relate the history side of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals.  History makes a significant contribution to the ELG objectives of developing a child’s understanding of the world.


Teaching History to children with SEN

At our school we teach history to all children, whatever their ability. History forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children.  We enable pupils to have access to the full range of activities involved in learning about history.



Teachers assess children’s work in history by making assessments as they observe them working during lessons.  They record the progress that children make by assessing the children’s work against the learning targets from the national curriculum.  This allows the teacher to make termly assessments of attainment and progress for each child.



There are sufficient resources for all history teaching units in the school. There is a good supply of topic books and we use a range of websites to support children’s learning. 


Monitoring and Review

The history subject leader is responsible for monitoring the standard of the children’s work and the quality of teaching in history.  The history subject leader is also responsible for supporting colleagues in the teaching of history, for being informed about current developments in the subject, and for providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school