"History, the study of the past, is all around us; we are continually making history through our thoughts, words and actions. History is personal and global; it is everyday life and momentous occasions. History is about people.

Through our study of the past, we can understand how our own world works. We can also understand how and why things happen to us. For example, had you ever wondered why the polar ice caps are melting? The answer partially lies in history. The Industrial Revolution caused the birth of industrial towns and factories, belching out smoke and pollution. It also caused the mechanisation of society, adding to the pollution. Could this partially explain the pollution problems that we face today? History is not just about the past!"

Historical Association


History at Arnside National School

Intent, Implementation & Impact 



Our Curriculum Intent for History

At Arnside, we provide a high-quality history curriculum that has been carefully designed and sequenced to equip our children with a secure, coherent knowledge about British, local and world history. Curriculum content is knowledge, vocabulary and experience rich, delivered in a sequenced chronological order, allowing children to develop their understanding of abstract historical concepts as they move through school. Our curriculum reflects our locality and endeavours to ensure children are knowledgeable about their locality’s history and the changes it has seen. Our history curriculum promotes curiosity and a love for learning about the past.  Through an enquiry-based approach, children are encouraged to ask and explore historically valid questions and report their findings by drawing on skills from across the curriculum. Alongside the development of substantive knowledge, children will develop their disciplinary skills as they learn the fundamental elements of what it is to be a historian.  Children will study a range of cultures and historical perspectives enabling them to be respectful, tolerant and empathetic. Children will leave Arnside National School being knowledgeable about key people, events and time periods from the past and will weave these together to form informed, overarching historical narratives.



Knowledge at the Heart of the Curriculum

Learning knowledge is not an endpoint in itself, it is a springboard to learning more knowledge. Each unit in our curriculum maps is underpinned by rich, substantive knowledge and ambitious vocabulary, whilst also ensuring children are developing their disciplinary knowledge (historical skills). As well as developing a breadth of historical knowledge, we want our children to become skilful historians. Each unit of work has an emphasis on historical enquiry where children investigate historically framed questions whilst also developing historical enquiries of their own. In addition to substantive and disciplinary knowledge, children will develop their experiential knowledge through museum visits, handling artefacts and engaging in carefully planned fieldwork. 

Key historical concepts sit at the core of our curriculum to ensure the defining characteristics of the subject are ever-present. 













‘Golden Threads’

Our curriculum is refined yearly, but it maintains a consistent knowledge base to ensure conceptual progression. We have identified a set of key historical concepts or ‘golden threads’, that children will repeatedly revisit throughout their time at Arnside National School. Our golden threads are: local identity; migration, journeys and diversity; law and justice; community and culture.  (See ‘Golden Threads Through History’ for further details)


Linking Curriculum and Pedagogy

We have developed our pedagogy and curriculum to make learning stick. At the heart of our approach is retrieval practice and recapping. Retrieval practice involves deliberately recalling knowledge from memory to make learning more robust and flexible.  Each time a memory is retrieved, it is strengthened and less likely to be forgotten. If we wish our curriculum to build over time, then we need to teach in a way that makes knowledge ‘stick’. Units of work refer to learning from previous units to enable children to grapple with historical concepts such as 'continuity and change', and 'similarity and difference'. Our teaching of history is driven by an enquiry approach that seeks to capitalise on children's curiosity and prior learning. Units of work are structured around an overarching historical enquiry to ensure teaching is focused and children are working towards a clearly defined outcome. The overarching enquiry is often broken down into small sub-enquiries to give children a sense of incremental progression and make learning large chunks of content more manageable.   



By the end of their time at Arnside National School:

  • our children will know the stories of our communities and the events that have formed our place.
  • They will have broad and deep knowledge of regional, national and international history and well-developed historical thinking.
  • Their ability to investigate, consider, reflect and review events of the past will have enabled a detailed understanding.
  •  They will use with ease their understanding of change and continuity, similarity and difference, cause and effect, chronology and significance to interpret events and developments.
  • They will ask and answer challenging historical questions that make links between events, developments, peoples and periods in the past.
  • They will know of and select from a wide range of historical sources when using their skills of research, analysis and evaluation.
  •  They will use historical terms accurately in their effective communication of ideas and judgements.
  • They will select and apply their knowledge and skills from other subjects to draw conclusions and communicate their findings.
  • They will enjoy learning, regard history as fun and want more challenges and success.
  • They will have a mindset that accepts that tentative conclusions are the norm.
  • They will confidently carry out their own historical investigations.
  • They will have memories for life from visitors, visits and rich experiences.
  • They will have a sense of social responsibility, respect for diversity and a willingness to engage with sensitive and controversial issues.
  • They will feel prepared for the next stage of their history education and part of their adult life.
  • They will feel proud of themselves, their communities and their place.

Pupil Voice

We believe that if children have become knowledgeable historians, then they will be able to articulate their understanding with confidence. This is why pupil voice is an important tool in assessing whether children have made progress. If a child is able to confidently formulate and explain their own responses to an overarching enquiry, then the curriculum and its delivery have been successful.



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Updated: 03/05/2022 225 KB

History Curriculum Maps

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Below is the whole school mapping of history knowledge and skills for Year B
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