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History Curriculum Statement


  • At St James’s C of E Junior School, we have produced a two-year rolling programme and curriculum which is both interesting and varied.
  • By linking learning to a range of topics, children have opportunities to investigate and interpret the past, understand chronology, build an overview of Britain’s past and the history of Gloucester as well as that of the wider world.
  • We believe that high-quality history lessons inspire children to want to know more about the past and to think and act as historians.

Our curriculum drivers


Children at St James’ often join the school with English as an additional language and/ or with poor language acquisition. Children will be encouraged to listen actively and contribute articulately to a discussion during History lessons and discuss their ideas and historical critical thinking – Why do you think that? How do you know? What impact does that have? Children are encouraged to explain their thinking and use sentence stems when answering questions. Historical vocabulary will be explained, displayed and used accurately by teachers.


Children are encouraged to have a ‘Have a go’ attitude. Each class has an Access to Learning area which the children can use at their own choice to help them with their learning. Children are encouraged to be independent learners; to help themselves, to identify their own targets and areas they need to work on, and edit their own work. Children are encouraged to ask and answer their own questions to further their own independent learning.


The teaching and learning of history has a significant impact on the children’s futures. Learning about what has happened in the past and how it affects our living now allows children to think about their actions and how it will affect the future of the world around them and their own personal future. We want our children to be productive, valuable members of society and therefore, they need the skills and knowledge equal to their peers to access employment and to flourish as a member of society.

Opening doors to the wider world

Our topic approach means that our history is directly linked to the real world and events that are happening or the local environment when possible. We want our children to gain amazing real world life experiences and will provide as many opportunities that we can through visitors and school trips. We want the children to believe that they can aspire to be anything they want. Our children do not know about the opportunities the world can offer them, so we will expose them to as many as possible and give them the skills to access them.

Keeping Safe and Well

History is fun, interesting, puzzling and intriguing. We want all children to feel that they are valued, successful and are enthused. Our curriculum and lesson design ensures all children work together through the objectives but with support and challenge where needed. Pupils with SEND are engaged with the learning and make progress at their own level.

Essential characteristics for all children to become historians:

  • An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events, and contexts from a range of historical periods and of historical concepts and processes.
  • The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas very confidently in styles appropriate to a range of audiences.
  • The ability to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using detailed, appropriate and accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources.
  • The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry. 
  • A passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and their understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways. 
  • A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make robust and critical use of it to support their explanations and judgements.
  • A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high quality research across a range of history topics.


  • As a staff, we maintain strong links to the National Curriculum guidelines to ensure all aspects, knowledge and skills of History are being taught across the year group. As children progress through the key stage, they will begin to make comparisons and connections between people and events in the past. Children will develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • All learning will start by revisiting prior knowledge. This will be varied and scaffolded to support the children to recall previous learning and make connections.  
  • Learning will be supported through the use of knowledge organisers that provide children with the scaffolding that supports them to retain new facts and vocabulary.
  • Teachers to continually assess children in the topic to ensure all lessons are relevant and will help to plan for next steps. When planning, teachers will also refer to the progression maps which will ensure progression across the year groups.
  • Children to be taught the knowledge and skills mentioned in the knowledge organisers to ensure children can recall key historical facts.
  • Key vocabulary which is included in both the planning and on the knowledge organisers, so that children are immersed in the historical language. Staff will model explicitly the subject specific vocabulary throughout lessons.
  • Strong links to the drivers; Oracy, Initiatives, Opening Doors to the World, Futures and Keeping Safe.
  • We have identified a set of key historical concepts or ‘golden threads’, that children will repeatedly revisit throughout their time at St James’ C of E Junior School. This will enable them to identify trends over time. Our golden threads are: legacy/achievements, buildings and structures, invasions/warfare and daily life (which will include beliefs, trade and society).
  • Every unit will include the historical skills of chronology, interpreting the past (sources) and communicating historically. Teachers will use the progression of skills document to aid their planning.
  • Children and teachers will continue to develop deep subject knowledge and key skills.
  • Trips and visiting experts will enhance the learning experience of all children in the school.


  • Children will enjoy History lessons and look forward to finding out more.
  • Evidence of work will show the range of topics covered, cross-curricular links and differentiated work.
  • End of unit assessments will take place after every unit to establish how much the children can recall from the unit. They will also have an assessment in a following term to assess how much they have retained.
  • Standards in History will be high and will match standards in other subjects such as English.
  • Pupils will talk confidently and positively about their learning in History.
  • SLT are kept informed through feedback from moderations, book scrutinies and subject action plans.
  • End of unit assessments and follow-up assessments (both written outcomes and mini-quizzes) will show that children have retained the key knowledge, vocabulary and skills outlined in each unit.