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History at St Denys


Our History curriculum includes termly topics for all children from EYFS through to Year 2. We aim to offer a high-quality history education that 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. It also helps children gain a sense of their own identity within a social, political, cultural and economic background. Because of this, we feel it is important for the subject to be taught discretely as well as incorporated within other curriculum subjects such as English and Art.


How History is taught at St. Denys:


Our History curriculum aims to excite the children and allow them to develop their own skills as historians. We encourage regular references to timelines and how topics fit together as well as a hands-on approach involving artefacts and outreach programmes where appropriate so as to bring history alive to our young learners. As part of a topic lead programme, it allows opportunities for cross curricular links to be made to ensure the children have many occasions where by they can apply their knowledge and understanding.


The Process for teaching history at St Denys should include:


  • Begin with action timeline that should include add-ons from previous years teaching/ start with learning the basic timeline so that it is known by the time the history topic begins. By doing this, we are using timelines as a teaching strategy that can help students construct an understanding of historical events over time, even the youngest students. Literature can be used to show, model, and help students develop concepts about time, continuity, and change in social studies as a basis for developing timelines. Also, by asking the children what actions to include for the period of time studied, they are making their own mark on history as the timeline moves through school.
  • Reinforce a history narrative through school. In KS1, the children use consistent scales to reinforce the difference between now, within living memory and then beyond it. Every time a new ‘topic’ is introduced, it is added on to the overall timeline to build up understanding over time. 
  • Knowledge Organiser – used throughout the topic to develop vocabulary, reinforce timeline knowledge and record what the children have learnt after each lesson.
  • Use artefacts throughout the topic wherever possible. This will encourage the children to become history detectives by getting them to think about what the artefact is for, where it is from and how old it is. Artefacts help pupils question and understand the past and encourages the use of historical language.
  •  Outreach intervention: inviting people into school to talk about; demonstrate or re-enact aspects or periods in history has the effect of bringing history alive to the children and provides them with a more visual view of the topic they are covering.
  • Use of ICT to support learning and make the curriculum accessible for everyone.
  • End the topic with the adapted action timeline so that the children know where their topic fits in history and in relation to other episodes in history.