Subject Leader: Miss Tracey Ewer

Our Vision

At Hartwell, History is recognised as a portal into understanding, enjoying and appreciating the world in which we live. Fun and engaging lessons are vital for bringing history to life and allowing the children to become historians. We pride ourselves in delivering a high-quality education which values the place of history within the curriculum, allowing children to gain a cohesive understanding of Britain’s past, alongside that of civilisations from across the wider world.

The staff at Hartwell value enquiry based learning in which we foster opportunities that inspire the children to become inquisitive and take charge of their learning. Children are eager and confident to ask their own questions to extend their understanding, whilst using a range of primary and secondary sources to build their own informed responses to the questions they ask. Through the application of a variety of teaching and learning styles, pupils are motivated to enquire, weigh evidence to support arguments and think critically as they focus on recent eras of history, significant individuals and ancient civilisations from all around the world, whilst considering how these have impacted our modern lives.

Subject Leader

As history subject leader, my aim is to support and enrich an inclusive and engaging whole-school history curriculum. In order to ensure that history is taught effectively across Hartwell Primary School, I monitor teaching and learning through learning walks, lesson observations, book scrutinies and conversations with our pupils. This enables me to celebrate strengths and successes from history across the school, whilst also support where there are areas that need further development. As a subject leader, I ensure that staff feel comfortable to come and speak to me regarding the history curriculum, both around what they feel is going well and what they need more support with. I also make sure that pupils have access to relevant and up-to-date resources to support their learning, as well as exploring CPD opportunities for myself in order to develop my understanding and share with our staff team. All of this work enables me to establish a learning environment in which history is celebrated, investigated and appreciated.

Pupil Voice

As a school, we believe that it is important to gather the children’s views and opinions about history in order to really understand what is working within our history curriculum and effectively consider where to go next. Below are the most recent results of our pupil voice survey:

Please click here to see our Pupil Voice analysis from Autumn 2021.

Please click here to see our SMSC in History.

The History Curriculum at Hartwell

At Hartwell, our history curriculum focuses around four key skills that we incorporate into our teaching and learning in order to allow the pupils to become true historians. These skills include: developing chronological understanding, historical interpretation, historical enquiry and organisation and communication. These skills are integrated into a breadth of topics across the school, from looking at changes in living memory (Toys – Year 1) to exploring different ancient civilisations like the Ancient Egyptians (Year 4), the Ancient Greeks (Year 3) and the Mayans (Year 6). As well as this, there is consideration for where other opportunities can be taken to explore history, whether this is through Geography units, our reading and writing, or even curriculum areas such as Design & Technology or Art.

Below is an overview of the National Curriculum for History across Key Stages 1 and 2:

Key stage 1

Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.

In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching about the people, events and changes outlined below, teachers are often introducing pupils to historical periods that they will study more fully at key stages 2 and 3.

Pupils should be taught about: 

  • changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life  
  • events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally  
  • the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods  
  • significant historical events, people and places in their own locality. 

Key stage 2

Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching the British, local and world history outlined below, teachers should combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content.

Pupils should be taught about: 

  • changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age 
  • the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain 
  • Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots 
  • the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor 
  • 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 civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China  
  • Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world  
  • a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300. 

Early Years Foundation Stage

History is taught in reception as an integral part of the topic work that they cover throughout the year. The historical side of the EYFS curriculum is set out within the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) which underpin the curriculum that’s planned for ages 3 to 5. History makes a significant contribution to a child developing their understanding of the world; this can be done through activities such as talking about things that they have done or experienced in the past, and referring to concepts using vocabulary such as ‘old’ and ‘new’. Children are regularly exposed to wider world concepts such as buildings, jobs and places with links to history within them too.

Useful Documents

Please click here to see Hartwell’s Long Term Map.

Please click here to see our Progression Document.

Please click here to see our Vocabulary Lists.

Useful Website Links