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Clayton St. John C of E Primary School

Growing together in God’s love

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History at Clayton St. John is key to help children build up a clear, chronological understanding of the past of Britain and the wider world. Our teaching inspires children’s curiosity to know more about the past and equips them to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective judgements. As children develop their understanding through school of the complexity of people’s lives from the past, they progress further by building their own understanding of the diversity in societies and relationships between different groups. Their progression through school builds their identity and creates for them an understanding of the past, equipping them with the wisdom to face challenges in their lives.

Throughout school we learn about Bradford and children develop a greater understanding of their homes, communities and the wider world.

Our assessment of History is robust, as we use the progression statements below to support both planning and assessment within each year group. These statements carefully weave together the knowledge, skills and understanding which we believe our learners require in order to become successful historians of the future. At the beginning of each topic, a learning plan is shared with pupils which clearly states relevant prior learning, key knowledge, skills and understanding for the topic, the ‘end point’ of the learning journey and key vocabulary.  

All children use their knowledge organisers as points of reference to support them in their learning and remembering of knowledge and skills. 



By the end of Y6 we want our pupils to:-

  • Have acquired a secure knowledge and understanding the history of the British Isles; how the country was changed and developed by the coming of different peoples right up to the present day. We want them to know how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. 
  • Know and understand the changes that their home town and city have undergone, particularly since 1800 and the birth of industrialisation. 
  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: how the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Islamic Empire came to prominence and faded away. We want them to know how the cultures and beliefs of these empires still influence our lives today.
  • Know and understand some important abstract concepts such as empirecivilisation, parliament and peasantry. 
  • Know that there are different periods of history and have an understanding of basic chronology.
  • Know how our knowledge of the past helps us to understand the present and how things came to be as they are.
  • Know how to find out about the past; to have begun to understand that not all historical sources are equally reliable and that there are different viewpoints to take into account.

Understanding different types of knowledge in History. 


Substantive knowledge 

This is factual knowledge of the past – key events, places, people etc – and includes two types – generative knowledge and fingertip knowledge. 


Generative knowledge is the essential, underpinning, in-depth knowledge of a topic or time period that supports further historical learning and supports pupils to generate more knowledge. This is categorized as substantive concepts such as invasion, empire, society, trade, King, democracy and chronological knowledge. 

Substantive concepts are concepts which are concerned with the subject matter of history, such as rights, peace, invasion, trade, war, empire and monarchy. They are planned into the curriculum so that each one my be encountered multiple times throughout the curriculum. These support the learning of new material. 

Chronological knowledge is also generative knowledge. This specific knowledge supports pupils to build coherent schema for particular topics. 


Fingertip knowledge is the knowledge of key facts and dates which pupils need to be able to recall. This supports our work on metacognition to prevent working memory overload. 



Disciplinary knowledge and Historical enquiry 

Disciplinary knowledge is knowledge about how historians investigate the past, construct claims, arguments and accounts. Pupils are taught this within historical contexts eg Ancient Greece – through the application of substantive knowledge. Units are framed around a big question which focus a unit of work around the key 6 on elements of disciplinary knowledge. 


7 Disciplinary concepts 

Historical enquiry – asking questions, using sources and evidence to construct and challenge the past, and communicate ideas. 

Cause – selecting and combining information that might be deemed a cause and shaping it into coherent casual explanations. 

Consequence – understanding the relationship between an event and other future events. 

Change and continuity – analyzing the pace, nature and extent of change. 

Similarity and difference – analyzing the extent and type of difference between people, groups, experiences or places of historical periods. 

Historical significance – understanding how and why historical events, trends and individuals are thought of as being important. 

Historical interpretations – understanding how and why different accounts of the past are constructed. 

History Long Term Plan

How we teach History at Clayton St John.

History skills and progression

Follow the link to the National Curriculum for history