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Newton Burgoland Primary School

Newton Burgoland Primary School

Together We Can Achieve Excellence


Together We Make Learning A Memorable, Unmissable Adventure

We want to inspire children to be curious about the past; to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s history and that of the wider world.

A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
  • gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.

At Newton Burgoland  Primary School we follow the national curriculum in England for History.

History at Newton Burgoland

In key stage 1 pupils find out about famous people in the past learning about their legacy. Learners make comparisons between the lives of famous people from different periods of time, for example Tim Peake, Sally Kirsten Ride and Neil Armstrong. Care is taken to include a balance of men and women from all demographics.

Key historical events are studied: The Great Fire of London, the first flight to the moon and Armistice Day.

Learners consider their own history and are encouraged to talk to family members about life when they were children. Visits to enhance learning include: our village, a castle, the local church or chapel, the museum of modern childhood, Sir John Moore Foundation and The Black Country Museum. Museum visitors bring historical artefacts for our learners to explore.

In all year groups in key stage 2, History is studied over at least 2 terms to enable learners to study at depth. Key themes are explored: war and suffering, diversity, human rights, leadership, the rule of law democracy and monarchy. Connections are made between time periods by considering, for example the life of a Celtic, Roman and World War II soldier. Local history visits include The Battle of Bosworth and Beaumanor Hall. Visitors bring history to life with artefacts to explore and research. Learners are introduced to and encouraged to read a range of non-fiction texts and works of faction to support learning.

Approximately 30 hours is allocated to history annually in key stage 2, including cross. (20 in key stage 1 so that basic skills development including reading and PSHCE can be prioritised)

A range of texts about famous people and historical events, suitable for young and early readers, are available within our reading scheme.

Periods of study have been chosen for each year group based on opportunities for learning at greater depth. For example, Ancient Greece is studied in upper KS2 as democracy, mathematics and Philosophy are legacies of that era, which are complex and available at greater depth for this age group.

For example learners in class 3 are able to compare the lives of soldiers in WWII, the Roman Army and the Celtic Army using their learning to consider similarities and differences.

We deliver the history curriculum through a range of activities, believing that first hand experiences bring the subject to life for our children. We use genuine artefacts to stimulate discussion and enquiry, visit historical sites and museums and involve the children in  workshops to encourage understanding and empathy. We encourage the children to make cross curricular links, e.g. studying the impact of the River Nile in Geography whilst investigating the Ancient Egyptian Civilisation.

To see the range of history topics studied please visit the curriculum plans pages or read our class newsletters. 

Assessment, recording and reporting progress in history

In all subjects there are three broad areas for assessment:

  • Children’s knowledge and understanding
  • How well children can use  and apply their knowledge, understanding and skills at the end of a unit of work to complete an independent (of an adult) task or challenge.
  • How well learners are developing habits for learning and character

Teachers assess learner’s work, their attitudes, increasing skills, knowledge and understanding, by making informal judgements as they observe them during lessons. This assessment enables planning to be tailored to meet learners needs. Assessment encompasses teacher, peer and self-assessment. In all subjects, opportunities for both Assessment for Learning and Assessment of Learning are built into provision. Learners are supported to reflect on their own learning and, age appropriately, to make judgements about their strengths and needs, beginning to plan how to make progress and set personal targets.

Baseline assessment, in order to understand pupils’ prior learning, is an essential part of planning to ensure new learning is relevant and progress can be assessed.

The learners work, in particular baseline assessments and end of unit assessments, which are recorded within learners’ workbooks are used to make decisions at the end of each unit, and at the end of each year, as to next learning steps and whether or not learners are making strong progress and are on track for end of key stage expectation.

Progress is recorded and reported to parents as part of the child’s annual school report

History in early years foundation stage

Understanding the world (UTW) is one of four specific areas of learning in the EYFS Curriculum Framework.

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment

UTW has three aspects; people and communities being most related to future learning in history.

People and communities: children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.

The world: children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.

Technology: children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.

Learning in history will support learning in expressive arts and design, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and communication and Language.


History is taught to all children, whatever their ability, in accordance with the school curriculum policy of providing a broad and balanced education to all children. Teachers provide learning opportunities matched to the needs of children with learning difficulties.

Prehistoric times

Everyone loves dinosaurs! Class 1 look at fossils and find out about the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth. A highlight of this topic is a visit by Creatureama and the opportunity to make a dinosaur from junk.

In the unit of work learners:

  •  Develop an awareness of the past 
  • Use common words and phrases relating to the passing of time 
  • Begin to know where all people/events studied fit into a chronological framework 
  • Ask and answer questions  
  • Understand some ways we find out about the past 

Stone Age to Iron Age

Our Stone Age to Iron Age workshop starts with a fantastic look at resources, tools and skills of the people in this time. What can we learn from what we find? What items will have decayed over time? What are the limitations of these artefacts?

During this unit, learners...

  • Establish clear narratives within and across periods studied as they put the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age into context by comparing to the Viking and Anglo Saxons,  Romans, Tudors, Victorians and Modern Day. 
  • Understand how knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources as they examine images of artefacts and study the findings of Sutton Hoo. 
  • Be able to consider the utility and limitations of using artefacts in isolation from other historical sources as they play the game 'Rot or Not' to examine how many artefacts from the Stone Age no longer exist due to decomposition over time. 
  • Infer information from archaeological sites about what life was like in the past by examining the findings of Sutton Hoo and conducting their own research about this fantastically informative place. 

The Ancient Egyptians

Come with Class three to discover the pyramids of Egypt. Visit the Nile.

Learners find out about the early civilisations and how they are connected; their achievements and legacies. During this study learners:

  • Find out  about the location, physical features and climate of Egypt: then and now making links with science work on biomes 
  • Locate Egypt on a map
  • Identify some of the similarities and differences between people’s lives  life in the past  
  • Carry out research using secondary sources of written information 
  • Infer information from artefacts about what life was like in the past 
  • Understand that different kinds of sources provide different information  
  • Select and combine information from different sources  


Learning starts with a visit from the museum services to support skills development so that learners could better understand how historians work to uncover the secrets of the past. 



Ancient Greece

Did you know that the athletes in the Olympics used to compete naked!

the Romans

Class 3 study the Romans. Visit Pompeii and put yourselves in the shoes of  a survivor of the volcanic eruption of AD79.

In this unit of study learners:

  • Develop the appropriate use of historical terms
  • Note connections, contrasts and trends over time 
  • Understand how knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources 
  •  Select and organise relevant historical information to form narratives and information texts
  • Understand that different versions of the past may exist, giving some reasons for this- in particular the differences between Celtic and Roman versions of events 
  • Identify and give reasons for, results of, historical events, situations and  changes
  • Develop some understanding that  aspects of the past have been represented and interpreted in different ways  

Vikings and Anglo Saxons

Class four look at the events before The Tudors and how Modern Britain was shaped during The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England. 


By the end of this study, learners...

  • Describe and make links between main events, situations and changes within and across different periods/societies, developing their chronological understanding of History by placing the Viking and Anglo Saxons into Chronological order with the Romans, Tudors, Victorians and Modern Day. 
  • Identify and give reasons for, results of, historical events, situations and changes from this period in History.
  • Understand how knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources, as they examine a mysterious set of images and artefacts from the fantastic Sutton Hoo settlement: what can be learnt from this place?
  • Make links between their learning in English, as learners study Kevin Crossley- Holland's Beowulf. 
  • Summarise what they have learnt about an historical period, culminating in our final show of 'Beowulf  the Opera', using re-written music from Georges Bizet's opera, Carmen. 

Tudors and the Battle of Bosworth

The discovery of Richard III in a car park in Leicester poses many questions:

  • What did Richard III do to be so unworthy of a Royal burial?
  • Is everything we read about him true?
  • Did he really murder the princes in the tower?
  • How did his death change history?

In this unit of work learners:

  • Secure the appropriate use of historical terms 
  • Develop a chronologically secure knowledge of history by making links between this unit of work and all previous learning in history
  • Secure their understanding of bias within sources and reasons for bias
  • Construct informed responses by: selecting and organising relevant historical information 
  • Describe / make links between main events, situations and changes within and across different periods/societies 
  • Identify and give reasons for, results of, historical events, situations and changes 
  • Identify historically significant people and events   
  • Carry out research using secondary sources of written information 
  • Identify some of the similarities and differences between people’s lives  life in the past  
  • Select and sequence information to produce structured work  making appropriate use of dates and terms  
  • Show some understanding that  aspects of the past have been represented and interpreted in different ways  

Class Four Produced visited King Richard III Visitor Centre and wrote recounts of the Battle of Bosworth when setting the context for the Tudor Dynasty. 

the great fire of London

Class 2 study the Great fire of London- answering the question: What was it like to live at the time of the Great Fire? They write diary entries and poetry as part of this. They also investigate how the fire started, through the use of drama. In forest schools they learn about fire safety cooking campfire bread.

During this unit of work learners:

  • Develop an awareness of the past 
  • Use common words and phrases relating to the passing of time 
  • Know where events studied fit into a chronological framework 
  • Identify similarities / differences between periods and people
  • Ask and answer questions  
  • Understand some ways we find out about the past 
  • Choose and use parts of stories and other sources to show understanding of: continuity and change; cause and consequence; similarity and difference and historical significance 
  • Identify similarities /differences between ways of life at different times 
  • Recognise why people did things, why events happened and what happened as a result 
  • Talk about who was important eg in a simple historical account 


The lives of significant individuals


World war i

Class 4 lead us in an act of remembrance. This year we also wrote poetry after reading Michael Morpurgo's fantastic novel Private Peaceful. We developed vocabulary and thought carefully about use of syntax (word order) and enjambment (carrying sentences over onto a new line) to place emphasis on particular words in our poetry.

In this unit of work learners: 

  • Select and combine information from different sources  

  • Describe  and make links between main events, situations and changes within and across different periods and societies 
  • Identify and give reasons for, results of, historical events, situations, changes 
  • Identify historically significant people and events  
Jack worked hard to magpie Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum Est in his piece. 

Harvey drafted, edited and redrafted again until he was happy with the syntax in his piece. 

World War II


The role of Beaumanor Hall during WWII is the focus for our year 3/ 4 residential trip.  We visit the decoding station and find out about rationing and cooking during the war. A highlight of the trip is our visit to the air raid shelter in the cellars of Beaumanor Hall.  In school we build our own air raid shelters, following research.

the Space race

Class 1 enjoy finding out about space travel and this topic is revisited by class 4 when they enjoy a sleepover at the space centre as part of their science topic.