History Rationale:

At Pensilva we provide a high -quality history education that starts pupils on a life long journey of curiosity and inquiry. Our pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We are incredibly lucky that our school gets to share in Cornwall’s rich cultural heritage. We ensure that our curriculum offer allows children to learn about, explore and question the history of their local landscape, culture and heritage.

In our historical learning we encourage pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence and develop perspective and judgement. Our topic-based curriculum allows children to explore history as part of their ever widening understanding of the world around them and their place in it.


History end points:


For pupils to:

  •         Be aware of the passing of time and have an understanding of history as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day.
  •         To understand where the people and events that they study fit into the chronological framework of time.
  •         To have an awareness that there are similarities and differences between ways of life in different time periods.
  •         To build up a rich bank of historical vocabulary including: chronology, civilisation, empire, features, society and parliament.
  •         To know that historians use sources to gain an understanding of the past and to begin to use sources themselves and ask and answer questions.




For pupils to:

  •         Have a solid understanding of chronology and place a wide variety of historical events into the narratives of local and world history.
  •         To be able to describe the features of past societies and make links between the features in different time periods.
  •         To be able to confidently discuss and explore the reasons for, and results of, events and changes.
  •         To understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources and to approach these sources critically with an understanding that they have varying degrees of accuracy.
  •         To confidently and accurately use historical vocabulary including: chronology, civilisation, empire, features, society, parliament and invasion.


Essential characteristics

• 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.



History is taught in termly blocks throughout the year, so that children develop a deeper understanding and depth to their learning.


Teachers understand the key knowledge and skills of each topic and our 2 year rolling program has been carefully planned to ensure progression throughout each year group across the school. By the end of year 6, children will be secure in:

  •         Investigating and interpreting the past.
  •         Building an overview of world history.
  •         Understanding chronology and where the topics that they study fit into a timeline of historical events.
  •         Communicating historically with an emphasis on appropriate historical vocabulary.


We start each new topic by talking with the children about what they might already know about that topic and what they would like to find out. This helps teachers to challenge any misconceptions that the children might have and also plan their lessons to ensure the children are engaged and interesting in the topic.


History is taught both as an isolated subject and also is sometimes incorporated into a wider class topic. History provides excellent opportunities to support all learning abilities through investigations, outdoor learning and analysing sources. We are incredibly fortunate to have a vast amount of outdoor space, including woodlands to allow children to be hands on with history, this helps to support our commitment to inclusive learning.   




Our history curriculum offers high quality and well planned lessons which encourage progression. Continuity and progression in the curriculum is built around our progression points and coverage grid.

Furthermore, good historical questioning helps pupils to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding the past. Through our curriculum, pupils learn to think critically, ask perceptive questions and evaluate evidence. In order to ensure our aims have been met, we scrutinise topics through:

  •         Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught.
  •         Pupil conferencing.
  •         Sharing good practice in staff meetings.
  •         Displays both in the corridors and in the classrooms.
  •         Marking of written work in books against the schools marking policy.
  •         Teachers to input data on I-track.