Why and Why are we teaching History?

As historians, our children will gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We have designed our curriculum to include the wide range of local history available to us on our Lancashire doorstep, including Salemsbury Hall, Pendle Witches & Houghton Tower.
Our aim is to inspire children’s curiosity so they know more about the past and are able to use this knowledge to challenge different sources they are presented with. As historians children should ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Historians should 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.
We encourage and promote a love of learning throughout our curriculum, with history being no exception. We are focussing closely on subject specific vocabulary, meaning children are able to explain, talk about and use this vocabulary appropriately and in a historical context.

How are we teaching History?

To support the teaching and learning of history we have become members of the Historical Association and Key Stage History webpage. There are continuous professional development opportunities for staff to develop their own subject knowledge with online modules. These are available within these websites so staff are able to develop their teaching and therefore impact positively on pupils’ progress and attainment. Through the new design of our curriculum there is a clear progression of historical skills and vocabulary which ensures children are being challenged in their learning.


Planning formats have been introduced alongside the Historical Association and Key Stage History planning & resources to ensure continuity throughout the school. A clear assessment structure is now in place across the school which all staff have been trained in. Regular monitoring of the subject is in place by our Subject Lead and members of our Senior Leadership Team. There has been termly training for all staff alongside the subject leader and also the History Lancashire Consultant to ensure continuity in planning and the delivery of our History curriculum.

Assessment in History

Assessment in history is being developed in 2019/20. At the end of each topic the children are given a historical question to answer based on the topic they have been studying. The term’s work will build up to answer this question and children will be exposed to knowledge mats to help them contain the information needed for the end of topic assessment piece. The children will then be given time to answer this question using the work they have done over the term, this will then be marked in detail by a teacher and given back to the children with areas for development. The teacher will then model how to answer the question, including the use of key vocabulary. The children will then be provided with the opportunity to edit and improve their piece of writing to develop this further and consolidate their understanding.

A message from our History Lead

My name is Miss Smith and I am the history lead here at St Silas. I have developed a love and interest in history over my time as lead and have developed this interest with staff also. I studied history myself up to G.C.S.E. level. To develop history within our school I have attended many history courses in order to gain knowledge and understanding around this subject so that our new curriculum can be designed, implemented and evaluated effectively in line with the National Curriculum but also taking into account the needs of our children and staff.
I enjoy learning about all periods of History but my two favourites have to be the Great Fire of London & the Romans. I particularly enjoy learning about local history, especially the Pendle Witches and our Year 5 Remembrance topic.

Foundation Stage

Foundation Stage teachers use the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) documentation to provide opportunities for children to:

  • Listen, comment and show sensitivity towards other children’s experiences which may be the same or different to their own.
  • Develop their curiosity and interest about how such things as transport have changed over time.
  • Discuss, notice changes and look at pictures of themselves growing up in addition to investigating the experiences they have had so far.

During Key Stage 1 pupils learn about:

  • Changes within living memory.
  • Significant events beyond living memory.
  • The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.
  • Significant historical events in their locality.

During Key Stage 2 pupils learn about:

a local history study

  • a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • the achievements of the earliest civilisations – an overview of where and Ancient Greece
  • a non-European society