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Highfields Primary School


Introduction: History at Highfields


A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils 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.


At Highfields, we view History not only as simple facts and dates but encourage pupils to become detectives who explore the past in an exciting way. History is taught mainly through a topic-based approach and gives pupils a chance to explore a wide range of sources 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.


The National Curriculum for history aims to ensure that 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.


Please see the Curriculum Overview below to see what your child will be learning about each term.

What do the children at Highfields think about History?


‘I love finding out about the things that we could not experience ourselves'.


‘It’s great to learn about things that happened in the past in detail'.


‘I think it is important to learn about history so that we understand what it was like to live before we were born’.


‘It’s also important that we understand why things are the way they are now. The things that happened in the past make the world what it is today’.


‘I really like the way that my teacher uses drama. We created news reports – and we were the presenters - about Matthew Hopkins’ witch hunts’.


‘I liked it when we went outside to create a giant timeline!’



What do Ofsted think of curriculum leadership?


"Subject leadership is well developed. Leaders work exceptionally well together and have a considerable impact on improving outcomes across the curriculum for all pupils."


"The skilfully planned curriculum provides wide-ranging opportunities for pupils to deepen their knowledge and develop their understanding across many subjects."


"Subject leaders, together, play a central role in the continuing improvement of the school. These highly motivated leaders closely monitor the quality of teaching and its impact on pupils’ progress in their individual subject areas."


"School leaders have skilfully planned an interesting and balanced curriculum. This not only provides equality of opportunity for all pupils, but also is laced with activities designed to deepen pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills across a range of subjects. Topics are well chosen to enable pupils to delve deeply into differing cultures from Britain and around the world. Pupils talk with confidence about how this information is helping them to ‘understand what other people experience’ and ‘to respect different cultures’. "


Ofsted Report - July 2016

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