At St Michael’s Junior School, history is fundamental. Topics will inspire and engage the children and will often be used as a stimulus in other areas of the curriculum, such as in writing. Due to the size of the year groups and the nature of the classes (Jaguar Class being a mixed Year 3 and 4 class) history is taught on a 2 year rolling programme. 

Across the school year, all year groups from Year 3 to Year 6 will study the same core historical skills, concepts and processes at the same time. Each of these builds upon the last and becomes increasingly more complex, utilising higher level thinking as the year progresses. Teachers will work collaboratively, with the support of the progression document, to ensure that children’s knowledge is being challenged as they progress from Year 3 to 6.  The core skills, concepts and processes are outlined below.

Term 1&2

Historical Enquiry

Interpreting History

Term 3&4


Similarities and Differences

Continuity and Change


Term 5&6

Continuity and change

Cause and Consequence

Historical terms and chronology will be taught throughout each topic, where appropriate. Children will be able to recognise key themes across time periods, such as trade or peasantry.

Term 1&2

Answer and devise historically valid questions

Understand how evidence is used to make historical claims and evaluations.

Discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.

Term 3&4

Understanding characteristic ideas, beliefs and attitudes.

Understanding significance.

Understanding similarity and difference, continuity and change.

Term 5&6

Make connections, draw contrasts and analyse trends.

Identify and describe reasons for, and results of, events, situations and changes.

Create own structured accounts, including written narrative and analyses

This structure would be repeated for each Year group but by building on previous learning, the children will develop a more sophisticated understanding of each concept as they move through the school.

The Lower and Upper School topics also run broadly chronologically which will foster a coherent knowledge of the past. Years 5 and 6 will compare and contrast time periods, not only to their own experiences, but to other eras previously studied. For example, by teaching the Stone Age at the same time as the Ancient Greeks, children will be able to recall and build upon their knowledge from Lower Key Stage 2, whilst broadening their chronological understanding and awareness.

At St Michael’s, we aim to provide the children with historical skills, such as critical thinking, reasoning, questioning and evaluating among others. We foster curiosity in our children by encouraging them to generate their own questions that they would like to answer about each topic.

By Year 6, our children will be able to independently transfer these skills, not only to other historical eras, but to other subjects across the curriculum. They will use historical vocabulary to express their ideas and present these ideas creatively.


Lessons will be immersive, active and varied. ‘Wow Days’, alongside active lessons, inspire the children and allow them to retain knowledge in their long term memory. Subject specific vocabulary will be displayed in the classrooms and will be specifically tailored to each year group to ensure progression. This vocabulary will be referred to during ‘flashback sessions’ in lessons. Teachers will encourage the children to make connections and see the bigger picture. The school environment will be history rich through working walls, resources and vocabulary. Timelines displayed in every classroom allow the children to independently look back at their previous learning.


Assessment is ongoing through every lesson through verbal feedback and class discussion; the lesson’s LJ (Learning Journey) is also ticked when the objective has been met or achieved. The impact of the lessons is assessed through discussion and pupil voice, during which children can be encouraged to use the correct historical vocabulary. When appropriate, written work will be recorded in each child’s journal. Through marking, pupil’s misconceptions are challenged as they arise. Each term, teacher assessment takes place and the subject leader is provided the names of the children requiring next steps.

Progression Document