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At North Lakes School the History curriculum is designed to be engaging and relevant to children growing up in Penrith in the 21st century, developing their knowledge and understanding of local, national and global themes and events. It reflects and examines modern day British Values such as democracy, the rule of law, respect and tolerance over time.


Five vertical concepts have been chosen provide a coherent framework of big ideas, and historical events are taught within this context. Chronology is emphasised with all learning set against a timeline as this gives children an understanding of continuity and change. Not all topics can be taught sequentially for reasons of relevance and links to other curriculum areas.


The five big ideas woven through the curriculum are:


Continuity and Change 

  • Over time, some dimensions may remain stable while others alter. Children can examine the pace, direction and nature of these alterations. What do you notice has changed? Did anything remain the same? How did things change for people?


Similarity and Difference

  • Children are engaged in making comparisons and contrasts between their own experience and times in the past, and also between different times and societies in the past. While some generalisation is essential in making claims about the past, care is taken to avoid and challenge stereotypes: What things look familiar? How is this different? What features do you see in common? How does this differ from…?


Cause and Consequence

  • In historical terms every event has a cause, and is itself the cause of subsequent events. Such consequences can impact on people, societies and beliefs: Why did this happen? What caused this? How did this affect people? What was the result of this?


Beliefs and Values

  • Beliefs refer to the conviction or acceptance that something exits or is true, with or without proof. Values refer to principles or standards of behaviour. Over time and between places, these core beliefs and values change, impacting of people and events: What did they believe? Why did they act like this? What was important to them? How did this affect their actions?


Power, Empire and Democracy

  • This idea looks at who controls power and direction of events in society. Who held power? How were the leaders selected or chosen? What did this mean for people? What freedoms did people enjoy? What rights did people have/not have? How did this affect people’s lives?


Our Knowledge Organisers plan a sequence of lessons to embed core disciplinary knowledge, and encourage children to approach learning using enquiry, questioning and a range of sources. 

In learning about the past, we aim for the children to be engaged, excited, and curious, and to develop key learning attributes including resourcefulness and reflectiveness as they consider impacts on the lives of others and the meaning for their own lives.


History is overseen by a Subject Leader who provides a Long-term plan, Progression map and a Knowledge Organiser. Teachers plan together as to how they will effectively implement this including use of resources, planning visitors and other curriculum enhancement.

  • A sequence of learning which plans and organises content into manageable and concise steps that promote progression and depth 
  • Teachers questioning and challenge, formative assessment and low stakes quizzes are used to support learners’ ability to retrieve and recall knowledge and increase space in the working memory 
  • Deeper questions are asked for pupils to reflect and apply their learning in a philosophical and reflective manner   
  • Learning is enhanced and made more accessible through trips and visits from experts who will enhance the learning experience


Our History Curriculum is carefully planned, well sequenced and planned to ensure progression. The Knowledge Progression Map is designed so that, if children are fully engaged and demonstrate mastery of the key performance indicators within a unit of work, they are making good or better progress.

Teachers measure progress through observation, questioning, discussion, scrutiny of pupil’s books and low stakes quizzes   

We enhance our curriculum especially for the most disadvantaged by organising guest speakers and visitors. We provide additional opportunities such as school trips to enrich pupil’s understanding and provide context through first-hand experiences. 

This curriculum promotes the children’s cultural capital and deepens their understanding of key ideas including democracy, respect, tolerance and the importance of law in a civilised society.

Subject Leader:  Ms C Rollings
September 2022