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History Statement 


The study of history at WRPS is fundamental in engaging pupils to explore enquiries about past people and events, fostering an understanding crucial for their present lives and future roles as informed citizens. This exploration not only equips them with historical knowledge but also cultivates critical thinking skills, enabling them to discern between 'fact' and subjectivity, essential for making informed judgments about the past. Aligned with this vision, our school has meticulously devised a history curriculum plan, based on ‘Connected History’ by David Weatherly, accessible to all pupils, aspiring to instil in them a drive for academic excellence and a deep-rooted comprehension of core historical principles. This plan is characterised by its aspiration to provide progressively challenging objectives in line with pupils' evolving capacities, clearly delineating what they should know, understand, and accomplish.

Our History curriculum is meticulously crafted to encompass all the skills, knowledge, and understanding delineated in the National Curriculum. We aim to fulfil the core purpose of the National Curriculum, inspiring curiosity and facilitating a coherent comprehension of Britain's past and that of the wider world. In its design, our curriculum is both logical and comprehensive, encompassing a broad spectrum of subject content that mirrors the National Curriculum's guidance and demands. It spans representative enquiries into British history, ranging from the Stone Age to the Norman invasion of 1066, alongside explorations of ancient civilisations like the Maya, Shang Dynasty, and Ancient Greece.



To ensure that pupils develop a secure knowledge that they can build upon, our History curriculum is organised into a progression model that outlines the disciplinary and substantive knowledge and vocabulary to be taught in a sequentially coherent way. Historical Investigation; Chronological Understanding; Historical Understanding; Historical Enquiry; Interpretations of History and Organisation and Communication are all mapped out to ensure that pupils build on secure prior knowledge. When covering each of these strands, the content is carefully organised for each year group through a long-term plan.

We aim to focus specifically on historical enquiry, to show examples of this and help the children develop their skill set so that they know how to ask relevant questions, select and evaluate evidence to make judgements about the past and open up the discussion from multiple perspectives. 

Content knowledge, vocabulary and skills are then planned for at a greater level of detail in medium-term unit plans. History is delivered through subject specific teaching organised into blocks under a theme / topic. Meaningful links with other subjects are made to strengthen connections and understanding for pupils.

Opportunities are also planned to strengthen children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, including through our school GRACE values.

All learning starts by revisiting prior knowledge. This learning is scaffolded in a way that supports children to recall previous learning and make connections. Staff model explicitly the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning to allow them to integrate new knowledge into their ongoing investigations.

The teaching of History at Withycombe utilises Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction (2010). The four strands (Reviewing Material, Questioning, Explaining and Modelling and Practising) suggested by Rosenshine are embedded throughout the History curriculum, helping children to avoid overload of their short-term memories and to make connections to prior learning. This allows children to develop their own schema, committing learning to their deep processing and semantic memory. Whenever possible and suitable, our History lessons begin with a ‘review’ activity which encourages children to retrieve and recall their prior learning, vocabulary, skills and/or knowledge. This is carefully thought-out and designed by teachers, allowing them to draw upon previous successes and content (whether in the previous lesson, the previous week, the previous term or the previous year), preparing children for what they are about to learn in the current teaching session. We are also careful not to overload children’s thinking by presenting them too much content in one session; using a small steps approach ensures that children can fully understand and access their learning.

Teachers deliver content in a way that considers principles of ‘Cognitive Load Theory’ in order to support children in their ability to know more and remember more, making learning more efficient by using teaching and learning methods which:


  • Measure and review existing knowledge and confidence and adapting teaching accordingly.

  • Reduce the ‘problem space’ by breaking problems down into parts, and by using partially completed problems and worked examples.

  • Extend the capacity of working memory by using both visual and auditory channels. Merging together multiple sources of visual information whenever possible.

  • Identify which knowledge is most significant – for example, the use of knowledge organisers to detail some key historic dates and vocabulary.

  • Ensure that pupils have sufficient time to repeat and practise so that knowledge is remembered and stored in their long term memory.  ‘Learning is defined as an alteration in long-term memory.  If nothing has altered in long-term memory, nothing has been learned’ (Sweller et al 2011)

  • Use retrieval practice to revisit learning and bring information back to the forefront of the mind to enhance and improve learning opportunities.


Our historians will be given a variety of experiences both in and out of the classroom, where appropriate, to create memorable learning opportunities and to further support and develop their understanding. We also aim to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement by learning both about and from the past. At Withycombe Raleigh C of E Primary School, this is enhanced by educational enrichment opportunities such as visits to historically significant sites within the local vicinity, on-site re-enactments, museum visits, as well as many other opportunities.



History assessment is ongoing throughout the relevant cross-curricular themes and informs teachers with their lesson planning and with differentiation required. Summative assessment is completed at the end of each History topic, via pupils’ responses to ‘a range of key outcomes’.

Pupil voice shows that pupils are confident and are beginning to talk knowledgeably about what they have learnt in History, using subject specific vocabulary.  Pupils are able to recall their learning over time. Pupils’ work demonstrates that History is taught at an age-appropriate standard across each year group with opportunities planned to challenge pupils working at greater depth.  Work in children’s books is of good quality and demonstrates the breadth of their learning.

We aim that children make outstanding progress over time from their own starting points and that teachers endeavour to clearly know and assess what children have learnt, including securely, and what might need to be reviewed or re-taught as they progress.


Pupil voice also demonstrates that pupils enjoy history and by instilling such a positive attitude to the subject, they should have every opportunity to progress in the subject and apply their learning more widely.

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