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St Thomas Catholic Primary School

History Curriculum 



"History, the study of the past, is all around us; we are continually making history through our thoughts, words and actions. History is personal and global; it is everyday life and momentous occasions. History is about people.”

Historical Association



The world we live in is shaped by the events of the past, this is why at St Thomas Catholic Primary School our intent for the History curriculum is to foster a passion and thirst for knowledge about our past focusing on our locality, Canterbury, Britain as a whole and the wider world using relevant artefacts and trips to enrich our children’s learning experience. 


Our children will learn that our history is based on diverse communities migrating and settling in Britain over time and the impact this had in shaping Britain of today.



During their time at St Thomas’, our children’s historical knowledge and understanding of the past will develop focusing on four key areas:


  1. Chronology
  2. Knowledge and Understanding of the past
  3. Historical Interpretation
  4. Enquiry.


Chronology is the starting point for all the topics covered so that children can build on their previous learning and develop a clearer understanding of chronological time periods in British history from Stone Age Britain up until 1066. In addition, by referring back to previous learning children can start to understand the history does not happen in isolation in Britain but concurrently with other civilizations e.g Bronze Age Britain and Ancient Egyptians. 

It will also help link topics together so that children can learn about continuity and change over a longer time period. 


The history topics are based on the National Curriculum units of study. 


In our Reception class, children will begin to understand the concept of the past linked to events in their own lives and that of their families.  


In Key Stage1 the focus is for the children to begin to understand the concept of time passing. They will be studying changes in living memory and starting in the present day and working backwards. E.g in Year 1 children will look at how technology (television programmes) has changed over time- and to study significant local people Peter Firmin, Mary Tourtel and Thomas Becket. Then followed up in Year 2 where they will study  significant events beyond living memory e.g. Gunpowder Plot and Great Fire of London. 


In Year 3 the children will study the Stone Age to Bronze Age- this will then be used  for the basis of comparison topics in Year 4 and Anglo Saxons in Year 5.  Each year group in Key Stage 2 will be able to make comparisons on learning from the previous year, for example comparing life in Britain at different times and encouraging children to use evidence to explain their reasoning. Comparisons will also be made to other Ancient Civilizations such as the  Ancient Egyptians and the Greeks so that children develop a sense of how Britain compares to other countries in the world. Year 6 will study about migration in a post 1066 study and learn about Early Islamic CIvilization. All topics covered in both Key Stage 1 and 2 have links to our Gospel Values and used to help frame enquiry questions.


The ‘golden threads’ running through our curriculum are: empire, settlement, migration, democracy, invasion and society. These threads are important to help our children foster a deeper understanding of how and why things have changed over time and how some aspects of life have remained the same. 


Our locality of Canterbury is rich in history and has seen much change over the centuries. We firmly believe that our children should understand how Canterbury has changed from a Roman town, to an important centre for Christianity during the Anglo-Saxon period to the devastation caused by the bombing in WW2 which led to the discovery of Roman remains. 




How will we know if our History curriculum is effective?


Pupil Voice:


Our children will be able to articulate and express their ideas and opinions using appropriate vocabulary and historical reasoning.  They will be confident to use a range of primary and secondary sources and state what those sources demonstrate to answer the enquiry question. 


High Quality work:


The children will produce high quality age appropriate work that is linked to the enquiry question.