“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Why we teach your child history:

Each of us and the areas in which we live are defined by events of the past. Studying history helps us to understand how those events made things the way that they are today. It enables us to better perceive not only our lives, but the lives of others as well. We have each been sculpted by the decisions of governments who were in power decades or centuries before we were born. The education we receive, the housing choices available to us, the street names that surround us; we are who we are because of our past.

It is our hope that, through our history lessons, children at Langford and Wilberforce learn to examine evidence, think critically, critique complex events from history, and develop the ability to recognise and avoid mistakes.

What our curriculum looks like:

Our history curriculum is ambitious, and this starts right from Nursery. Using the content from the National Curriculum and the Early Years Framework we have carefully sequenced our history curriculum, so children engage meaningfully with the past, with rich knowledge of the past: people, events and ideas.

In history we have six big ideas (macro concepts): historical significance, cause, continuity and change, similarities and differences, historical evidence and chronology. Our curriculum is sequenced so that our pupils’ schemata can grow through the connection of new knowledge with previous knowledge.

We have carefully mapped our curriculum, carefully considering some of the following:

  • How do historians learn about the past?
  • What are the consequences of historical events and how does it impact modern life?
  • How can pupils secure a ‘mental timeline’ of the past?
  • How do pupils build their understanding of the macro concepts, such as change and continuity, cause and chronology?
  • Are we enabling children to remember what is most important?
  • How does our EYFS learning set the foundation for history?
  • Are children exposed to a wide range of texts and other sources to develop their knowledge of the past?

This is underpinned by a medium-term plan which set out the core knowledge and skills children will be learning in their learning.

Each unit of learning begins with a ‘thinking square’, which assesses the existing knowledge and misconceptions children may have against the core knowledge they need to learn. This then supports and informs the teaching of that unit. At the end of each unit, children will revisit this thinking square to build on existing knowledge and apply what they have learnt. Additionally, children will complete a ‘conceptual’ question which challenges them to apply their new learning in a more open historical context – this supports children to retain what they have learnt.


How we teach history:  

As with every subject, we recognise what makes history unique, and as a result make pedagogical choices to ensure teaching is the best it can possibly be.

We have captured our pedagogical choice for history in our history principles which can be seen below:

Principles of Teaching and Learning for History.

How you can help your child at home:

EYFS and Key Stage 1

  • Talk with your child about things being in the past, present and future
  • Help your child to recognise changes between the present and the past (around your local area, at the seaside, at school etc)
  • Encourage your child to put things into chronological order – “first you had breakfast, then you went to school, next you did your learning, after that you came home, and finally it’s now time for bed.”
  • Visit the London Transport Museum and discuss how vehicles have changed over time https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/
  • Look around the Great Fire of London gallery at the Museum of London https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/great-fire
  • Walk around areas with castles and palaces in London - Hampton Court Palace, The Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace
  • Observe some of the ways our homes have changed over the past 400 years at Museum of the Home https://www.museumofthehome.org.uk/

Key Stage 2


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