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West Denton Primary School

‘A Stepping Stone into the Future’

History Intent, Impact and Implentation


At West Denton Primary School (WDPS) we believe our children are entitled to develop their curiosity and enthusiasm about the past. Our History curriculum engages pupils in investigating and enquiring into people and events in the past. Through their understanding of the past, our children will become resilient, empathetic, tolerant and accepting of others. This will ensure they adapt and thrive as they grow. They will be better prepared to embrace the ever-changing world around them.

Life skills and resilience – Throughout the History curriculum we draw children’s attention to people’s resilience and how that has had an impact on their lives and the lives of others.

Lifelong learners- Our exciting History curriculum will develop a thirst for learning and knowledge in our children. The curriculum is enhanced with outside expert visitors, educational trips and hands on resources.

Core Values- Positive contributors and citizens - Through our History curriculum children will come to understand the complexity of people's lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as the child's own identity and challenges of their time.

When studying a historical period, event or individual they will demonstrate their curiosity by asking thoughtful historical questions. They will grow in knowledge as they use and analyse a range of historical sources. They will be open-minded as they view historical events from different perspectives. 

The history curriculum strongly supports many of our core values, encouraging the children to become: enquirers, thinkers, communicators, knowledgeable, principled, reflective, confident, curious, independent, respectful, enthusiastic, tolerant, integrate, empathetic and adaptable.

Academic commitment- Our high quality History education supports our pupils in gaining a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain's past and that of the wider world. We want our pupils to not only gain a deeper knowledge of the past, but also to develop their historical skills, being able to justify their views and make reasoned judgments.

The History curriculum is planned to ensure full coverage of the National Curriculum, making maximum use of our own local heritage. The curriculum is planned on a two year rolling program to accommodate our mixed age classes. Through the organisation of the units there is also cohesion between Phases, allowing the children to develop their previous knowledge and apply it further, or to make comparisons between two different periods/places/civilization’s. Progression is seen through the historical skills and through the development of the following substantive concepts: Significant people, Empire, Civilisation, Invasion and innovation.


Significant people- The children will study people who are important to society or who have contributed to society. This is introduced in the Early Years setting as the children make comparisons between historical figures. In Phase 1, the children explore a variety of historical figures: Guy Fawkes, Ranulph Fiennes, Amy Johnson, Christopher Columbus, Neil Armstrong, Malala Yousafzai, Margaret Thatcher, Grace O’Malley, Marie Curie, Elizabeth 1. This continues in Phase 2 as the children explore significant people in the Romans and in Phase 3, the children study significant people in the Vikings, the Maya, Ancient Egyptians and in World War 2.

Empire- Empire is an extremely important concept because it is integral to British and world history. Empire is an abstract idea and hard to comprehend. Therefore, we introduce this concept slowly and carefully. In KS1, we begin by identifying the British monarchy and what it means to be a ruler of one country. In KS2, we begin to explore why countries, civilisations and rulers have felt the need to expand their empires. Furthermore, as the children progress through the school they begin to develop their understanding of empire and are able to apply it to the historical periods that they are studying.

Innovation – History has been driven by innovation and we believe it is important that our children recognise this. The children will study how innovation has affected and changed society throughout the different eras. This will help the children to assess the impact of new inventions and consider how new technologies may affect and change in our society today.

Civilisation-Through the History curriculum the children are exposed to a diverse range of civilisations. We believe this is key to expanding their understanding of the world. This broad study enables children to make effective comparisons between the civilisations they study, as they move through the school, they will gain a greater understanding of how different people have lived during history. The children are able to evaluate what makes a civilisation successful by drawing on their knowledge of the civilisations they have studied. Furthermore, they can link this to their own civilisation, in order to asses how they can make their world a better place.

Invasion - The children will explore invasion throughout their time at WDPS. They will be able to discuss why rulers and people invaded, what it achieved and what lasting impact it has had.


Enquiry based learning curriculum

At WDPS each unit is an enquiry. This enquiry based approach gives our children ownership of their learning and encourages them to be investigators, gaining knowledge for themselves and developing their thinking skills.



We adopt an enquiry focused approach to learning and teaching in history which develops our pupils as young historians. Our skills progression ensures that whilst at WDPS children develop their historical skills thoroughly, building upon them each year.  Through enquiry our pupils not only build subject knowledge and understanding but become increasingly adept at critical thinking, the use of specialised vocabulary and their grasp of subject concepts.   We structure learning in history through big question led enquiries about relevant historical topics, places and themes.  Our curriculum is therefore ‘knowledge rich’ rather than content heavy as we recognise that if we attempt to teach historical topics, places, themes and issues in their entirety we restrict opportunities for pupils to master and apply critical thinking skills and achieve more challenging subject outcomes.   Our learning and teaching in history is interactive and practical allowing opportunities for pupils to work independently, in pairs and also in groups of various sizes both inside and outside of the classroom.  Wherever possible we provide our pupils with contemporaneous historical evidence including narratives, paintings, photographs, artefacts, and data in the form of censuses and films to analyse and from which to reach conclusions and make judgements.  Similarly we provide varied and differentiated ways for pupils to record the outcomes of their work including the use of PowerPoint, concept mapping, annotated diagrams, improvised drama and the application of a wide range of writing genres.  Only in this way will knowledge become embedded and ‘sticky’ and ensure that our pupils can build on what they know and understand from one year to the next. Our learning and teaching in history also recognises the importance of the local area with investigations involving observation, recording, presentation, interpretation and the evaluation of historical information outside of the classroom e.g.a significant people, places and events locally.    



At the end of each year, we make a summative judgement about the achievement of each pupil against the subject learning criteria for history in that year.  At this point teachers decide upon a ‘best fit’ judgement as to whether the pupil has achieved and embedded the expected learning objectives, exceeded expectations or is still working towards these objectives.  These decisions are based on the professional knowledge and judgement that teachers possess about the progress of each pupil, developed over the previous three terms, which allows an informed and holistic judgement of attainment to be made.   Achievement against the learning objectives for history at the end of the year is used as the basis of reporting progress to parents