History Policy

The aim of history teaching here at Duke Street Primary School is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children a sense of chronology, and through this they develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage.

Classes follow a ‘Creative Hook’ to start the learning of a theme and plan for progression taking into account children’s individual learning styles. This approach enables children to take responsibility for their own learning by suggesting the path we, the teachers’, take when planning our topic based curriculum.


Underpinning all teaching and learning in History is capturing the children’s imagination and curiosity to learn. The start of each theme begins with a hook starter to engage the children and give them a purpose for learning and an enthusiasm to find out more.  Visits, links and comparisons with other schools around the world, and theme days are built into each unit and planned for at the start of each theme.  The skills are revisited and embedded over time to enable the children to gain a deeper understanding, to then apply these skills throughout the curriculum.

We inspire and capture the imagination of the children through the progressive skills which are taught through our two year cycle.

Key Stage 1 topics: 

Cycle A

London and the Great Fire

The Seaside

Cycle B

Pirates and Discoveries

My Place

Key Stage 2 topics: 

Cycle A

Tomb Raiders (Ancient Egypt)

Rotten Roman

Crime and Punishment

Raids and Invasions (Vikings)

The Plague

Cycle B

Rock and Roll (The Stone Age)

Mexico (Mayan civilisation)

No place like home

Inventors and Inventions (Ancient Greece)

A Kingdom United (Anglo Saxons)

We use these ‘topics’ to enable children to develop:

• An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events, and contexts from a range of historical periods and of historical concepts and processes.

• The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas very confidently in styles appropriate to a range of audiences.

• The ability to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using detailed, appropriate and accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources.

• The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry. 

• A passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and their understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways. 

• A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make robust and critical use of it to support their explanations and judgments.

• A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics.


Our Key Indicator objectives for History in KS1 will look at:

Changes within living memory.

Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life.

Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries]

The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods [for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and LS Lowry, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell]

Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.

• Investigate and interpret the past

• Build an overview of world history

• Understand chronology

• Communicate historically


Our Key Indicator objectives for History in KS2 are:

• Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. 

• The Roman Empire and its Impact on Britain.

• Britain’s settlement by Anglo Saxons and Scots.

• The Viking and Anglo Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England.

• A local history study. 

• A study of a theme in British history. 

• Early Civilizations achievements and an in-depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty. 

• Ancient Greece.

• A non- European society that contrasts with British history chosen from: 

    • Early Islamic Civilization 

    • Mayan Civilization 

    • Benin.

• Investigate and interpret the past

• Build an overview of world history

• Understand chronology

• Communicate historically

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