St John's C of E Primary School

"Use your God-given gifts to serve others." 1 Peter 4: 10




At St John’s, we believe that the study of history should be an active learning process, fuelled by children discovering for themselves. It should fire the children’s curiosity and help them develop a love of and respect for the past. High quality lessons are challenging, relevant, innovative and fun! History is about real people who lived, their intentions, activities and achievements in a variety of settings: local, national and global. Our children are taught to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence and reflect on how we construct a knowledge of the past. 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. 


We can break the study of history is down into 4 important strands (National Curriculum Guidance):

Historical Vocabulary

Chronological Understanding

Historical Enquiry: Sources and interpretation

Historical Enquiry: Cause, change and significance


These are reflected in our planning Know Do Understand Grids.




The teaching of history across St John’s follows the National Curriculum through:

  • comprehensive and thorough bespoke planners of topics designed specifically for our school community.
  • breadth of learning from EYFS to KS2, where knowledge and skills are developed progressively and abstract ideas/vocabulary (e.g. empire, evidence, trade, civilisation, slavery) are revisited and built upon with each year group.
  • cross curricular links where children are encouraged to apply other learning e.g. geography, RE and DT. Our topics are cross curricular to ensure excellent links for children.
  • teaching 2 school values within each history topic. This links learning in history (and other subjects) to the wider school focus on British values, communicated namely through collective worships.
  • delivery that allows children to discover, ask questions, research, analyse, present information and draw conclusions of their own.
  • collaborative learning, where children work together towards goals, exploring different roles within a team.
  • explicit teaching of vocabulary for each topic.




We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice) and asking key assessment questions to a range of children.
  • monitoring teacher planning.
  • celebrating images and videos of the children’s practical learning.
  • measuring assessment standards against written evidence in learning journals.

History Whole School Progression


Year Group History Know Do Understand Planners

St John's History Glossary




As we study history, we build knowledge of significant people, periods and events chronologically. We can see this through our St John timeline. This begins with Year 1 and every year events, people and periods are added as we explore them.  Children can then connect learning from different year groups and understand how the history school curriculum fits together.  An example of this progression can be seen in the study of Tudors. The period is introduced in Year 1 as the children learn about Guy Fawkes in Whizz, Bang Pop. Knowledge of this period is then developed as Year 2 discovers the Great Fire of London in 1666. In Year 5, children recall knowledge of Year 1 and Year 2 learning as they study Shakespeare and the Tudors in more depth.


Abstract themes are too built progressively. In Year 3 slavery is studied within a topic about the Ancient Greeks. Children then unpack the concept more as they study the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Year 5 (Fight for Your Rights).  


To see the St John Timeline, please open Year 6.

Children's History Page!


Historians at St John's! Click on this link. Find your year group then enjoy links and quizzes about each of your topics!