History Curriculum

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"We are not makers of history, we are made by history." 
Martin Luther King Jr

In line with our vision of children becoming their best versions, children start their journey in history learning journey from Nursery, focusing on events that are relevant to them and their lives.  During their time at St John’s, we broaden their experience so that children have a variety of opportunities to consider unfamiliar events, periods and themes. Each individual will aim to:

  • Gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to stimulate children’s curiosity to know more about the past.
  • Ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
  • Begin to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

At St John’s, these skills are embedded within history lessons and developed throughout their journey of the history curriculum.  By the end of their primary education, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from Stone Age to present day, so that they can sequence time periods and make meaningful connections.  They are able to draw comparisons and draw parallels between different time periods and their own lives, so that they create a strong historical narrative.  Interlinked with this is the need to look at world history in the context of ancient civilisations, so that they broaden their experience beyond local context.

Content and principles underpinning the history curriculum are taken from the 2014 National Curriculum.  We use the National Curriculum Programmes of study to guide us on the content and focus of each objective to inform our curriculum.  We use a detailed curriculum plan to ensure coverage and progression and teachers are also encouraged to look for additional supporting materials, so that learning experiences are bespoke to our children.  We use a thematic approach to learning and include an emphasis on people and community in our local area where appropriate.  Children learn through enquiry based learning opportunities to gain a greater understanding of history and develop their historical knowledge and skills.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is guided by ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ and ‘Birth to Five’ but follows a curriculum goals that are designed specifically for the children of our school, so that children are gaining experience that enhances their cultural capital.  Guidance aims for all children in EYFS to have an ‘Understanding of the World; past and present, people and communities and the natural world’ by the end of Reception.  Teachers, in parallel classes, plan together to create engaging and informative teaching and learning opportunities which take into account prior learning, plan for opportunities for assessment and identify suitable future targets.


At St John’s we strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning. We provide investigative and enquiry based learning opportunities.  We place great emphasis on analytical thinking which helps children gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We strive to fire children’s curiosity to know more about the past.  

We consistently consider the issue of diversity and ensure that our children’s experience reaches further out that the obvious stereotypes and examples. We consider themes which include a broad representation of society to enrich and benefit the children in a wider sense.

As they move through our school, children have a range of meaningful experiences within History. Through a range of quality teaching experiences, they develop skills to challenge and question the content that they are engaging with.  Therefore, they learn to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement so that they become interested, articulate Historians.


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St John The Baptist Primary School
High Street, Penistone, Sheffield S36 6BS

Infant Site:

Chapelfield Lane, Penistone S36 6FS