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History at St Oswald's



At St Oswald’s School we want every child to be interested and inquisitive learners of History. We follow the national curriculum programmes of study for each year group. We aim to create the very best historians, well equipped to continue their studies in history as they move throughout their education. We challenge pupils to think, act and speak like those working in the field would. We do this by developing a consistent approach across all year groups.



At St. Oswald’s, the Early Years it is the first opportunity to introduce pupils with vocabulary associated with History.  Staff follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework which aims to guide children, to make sense of their physical world and their community.  Listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world, which has changed over time.  Pupils are introduced to vocabulary associated with history as they explore the passing of time in their own lives and learn about significant events in the past, e.g. Remembrance – this is the first step of becoming a historian.

 In KS1 and KS2 learning will start by revisiting prior knowledge.  This will be scaffolded to support pupils to recall previous learning and make connections. Staff will model explicitly the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning to allow them to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.

  • Frequent curriculum quizzes will review learning and check that pupils are understanding and retaining knowledge.  Learning is also reviewed on a termly basis, after a period of forgetting, so that teachers can check whether information has been retained. History assessment is ongoing and informs teachers with planning lesson activities and differentiation; it will be tracked against the History progression of skills objectives.
  • Our historians will be given a variety of experiences both in and out of the classroom where appropriate to create memorable learning opportunities, foster curiosity and enthusiasm for history, and to further support and develop their understanding. 
  • Each topic commences with an overriding enquiry question to focus pupils and foster curiosity.  Topics are compiled of a series of lessons planned for progression and depth. 
  • Planning has been reviewed to ensure chronology and progression.  To ensure coverage, planning will consider the progression of skills, knowledge and understanding as outlined in the National Curriculum. In KS1, the Historical skills will focus on the world around them and their living memory of History before moving to events that go beyond living history. This will ensure a firm foundation for KS2 History.  In KS2, the History curriculum is set out in chronological order to allow pupils to reference the previous events in time and to refer to this prior learning year-on-year and within the year.  All pupils will be required to make connections and historical links with prior learning of people, events, societies and epochs.  Where possible, a cross curricula approach is adopted to maximise rich opportunities for learning and to provide further consolidation and depth of learning.  Further relevance is provided when possible, where pupils can explore significant figures and locations in their local area, allowing them to achieve a sense of relevance and belonging through local history.
  • Lessons include historical enquiry.  Pupils are encouraged to evaluate primary and secondary sources to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving which will develop knowledge and understanding and prepare them for the next phase in their education.  Challenge questions are used to allow pupils to consolidate knowledge and understanding where necessary or to apply learning in a philosophical/open manner.
  • Trips and visiting experts are used where possible to enhance the learning experience.



At St. Oswald’s Catholic Primary School, the impact of quality first teaching in History fosters a love and enthusiasm for the subject.  Pupils are able to talk with confidence and enthusiasm about what they have learnt in history using subject specific vocabulary. Book scrutinies demonstrate that history is taught at an age appropriate standard across each year group with some opportunities planned in for pupils working at greater depth. Work is of good quality and demonstrates pupils are acquiring knowledge, skills and vocabulary in an appropriate sequence.  Assessment ensure pupils can demonstrate knowledge and understanding, use key vocabulary and are covering all skills in the progression of skills tracker

Progression of Skills



“We walk in the footsteps of Jesus so that we may have life in all its fullness”

John 10:10

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