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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. 
Historical Association

At Wadhurst CE Primary School & Nursery, 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. Our curriculum content is knowledge, vocabulary and experience rich, promoting chronological awareness and allowing all our children to build a confident understanding of abstract historical concepts as they move through school. 

From year to year, unit to unit, lesson to lesson, the curriculum supports children in making connections and building on prior substantive and disciplinary knowledge as they learn the fundamental elements of what it is to be a historian. Our history curriculum promotes curiosity and a love for learning about the past.  Children are encouraged to ask and explore historically valid questions and report their findings. We work to ensure that our curriculum reflects our locality and endeavour for children to be knowledgeable about their locality’s history and the changes it has seen. Real life experiences outside of the classroom enable us to fuel our pupils’ fascination and wonder while enriching their cultural awareness, knowledge and competence (cultural capital). We are fortunate to have close connections to the local community (history societies, museums, experts) allowing us to maximize these opportunities.   

We continue to carefully adapt our curriculum across the school so that it is meaningful for our particular school community and context. Children will study a range of cultures and historical perspectives enabling them to be respectful, tolerant and empathetic. We aim to celebrate the diversity within our history by encouraging curiosity about other cultures and societies and by reflecting on the past, a valuable resource that can ‘open doors’ to creating respectful and inclusive world citizens. We are guided by Steve Adcocks  blog  titled 'Curriculum: The mirror and  the Window' (June 2021); The mirror signifying that all pupils should see themselves in our curriculum not only introducing children to a past they can relate to but that of their peers and beyond, and the window representing our ambition to broaden children's horizons beyond their immediate locality and experiences. Children will become knowledgeable about a diverse range of key people, events and time periods from the past and will weave these together to form informed, overarching historical narratives that worries less about balancing perspectives, and more about bringing ALL pupils into a shared story. 

Our curriculum aspires to create curious and knowledgeable young people, who hold a deep understanding and appreciation of the discipline of history, and are able to sift and weigh evidence so that they may begin to formulate and articulate their own viewpoints and perspectives of the world. Children will leave Wadhurst with an understanding of the world around them, 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. 


Why do we use the scheme we use?  At Wadhurst, we use the scheme ‘Primary Knowledge Curriculum’ which has been designed to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum and follows a clear progression of knowledge from Reception to Year 6. As a mixed-year school, we have adapted the overview to fit to our two year cycle. We have worked hard to create a chronological progression as we know that this builds a better understanding of time for our pupils. As chronology cannot always be achieved, lessons start with revisiting a timeline ensuring a secure understanding and ability to relate periods. All adaptations that teachers make to their planning are purposeful and allows for the lessons to be memorable, include small steps to prevent cognitive overload and provide opportunities for children to learn about a range of historical periods, both in Britain and around the world.
The curriculum is designed to provide children with an opportunity to investigate the past by interpreting and analysing a range of historical sources such as pictures and documents. Teachers also use field trips, outreach experiences, role-play, and drama to give children a more immersive experience of learning history. Through these methods, children develop their historical interpretation skills and learn to use evidence to support their ideas.

Throughout our History Curriculum, across the school, substantive and disciplinary Concepts work as building blocks that help children to know more and remember more. Learning knowledge is not an endpoint in itself, it is a springboard to learning more knowledge.We revisit them all the time through a spiral curriculum

Substantive Historical knowledge includes:

  • Topic knowledge of time periods of history and areas studied.
  • Chronological knowledge which includes the understanding of the passage of time, but also how events fit chronologically within a time period.
  • Substantive Concepts

Disciplinary Historical Knowledge is the understanding of the second order concepts. Those concepts which help children to understand how historians investigate the past, and how they construct historical claims, arguments and accounts. These follow the strands:


Our Principles For Great Teaching In History

History Principles

If our children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the reflection on what they know and remember in regards to our mapped knowledge goals for each year group, tracking knowledge in pre- and post-learning challenges and through ongoing formative assessment opportunities in and across lessons. The impact of our History curriculum is that our pupils are equipped with the knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the next stage of their curriculum and for life as an adult in the world outside the classroom.

We expect that when children leave Wadhurst children will be able to:
  • Be able to build a chronological picture of historical events, relating to events locally and worldwide.
  • Articulate their knowledge and understanding of Historical concepts.
  • Find similarities and differences between life in a different historical context, compared to their own whilst using appropriate historical language.
  • Use a range of historical vocabulary to demonstrate their understanding.
  • Begin to ask and answer questions in an historical context as well as learn about the lives of some of history's most influential figures.
  • They will be able to use a range of primary and secondary sources to answer questions, interpret and analyse historical information enabling them to make appropriate judgements and arguments on specific concepts.
We will be able to evidence that children have achieved this through.......
  • Recorded learning
  • Discussion tasks
  • Carefully designed lessons that provide opportunities for adults to continually assess for understanding both in History and across the curriculum
  • Questioning and feedback to support small steps in learning
  • Beginning and end of unit assessment tasks e.g. Quizes, hexagon tasks, enquiry questions
Beyond Wadhurst
We believe that when children leave Wadhurst CE Primary School & Nursery they will possess a broad and deep understanding of British and world history. They will have a passion for learning about history and will be increasingly confident and independent in exploring historical concepts and ideas. They will know how to use historical sources and work collaboratively to explore historical themes. They will talk enthusiastically about their learning, making connections and forming opinions. Children will leave the school with a solid understanding of key historical periods, issues, and people, and they will therefore be equipped to continue their learning journey at Secondary School and beyond with an abiding passion for history that will stay with them throughout their lives.
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