Plaistow Hill Primary and Nursery School

Plaistow Hill Infant and Primary School

Everyday my daughter is very eager to tell me what she has learnt and is always excited to be going to school

Year 2 Parent

  • "Staff are kind, calm and encouraging - Ofsted, April 2022"
  • "Children flourish in an environment of genuine warmth and care - Ofsted, April 2022"
  • "Pupils in Key Stage 1 are confident, listen to each other, share and take turns - Ofsted, April 2022"
  • "Parents and carers praise the work of the school - Ofsted, April 2022"
  • "One parent expressed the view of many with the comment 'the atmosphere and attitude of all the staff is incredible' - Ofsted, April 2022"
  • "The outdoor learning environment is used effectively to help children co-operate with each other and practise their number knowledge and skills - Ofsted, April 2022"
  • "Pupils are happy at Plaistow Hill Infant and Nursery School - Ofsted, April 2022"
Life at Plaistow Hill Primary and Nursery School Life at Plaistow Hill Primary and Nursery School Life at Plaistow Hill Primary and Nursery School Life at Plaistow Hill Primary and Nursery School Life at Plaistow Hill Primary and Nursery School

Principles of the History Curriculum


Intent: Why Do We Teach What We Teach?

The United Curriculum for History provides all children, regardless of their background, with:


Coherent and Chronological Knowledge

  • Building Understanding: Knowledge of the history of Britain and the wider world is built to help children understand three key vertical concepts. These concepts help children study and contextualise history using small steps to understand complex ideas:
    • Quest for Knowledge: Exploring how people understand the world, what they believe, know, and what scientific and technological developments are made. How is knowledge stored and shared, and what shapes people’s views about the world?
    • Power, Empire, and Democracy: Investigating who holds power, how it affects different people in civilisations, how power is wielded and legitimised, and how people’s rights differ in various historical contexts.
    • Community and Family: Understanding what life is like for different people – men, women, and children – in various societies, how these societies are structured, and how family and community roles and relationships differ in different historical contexts.


Inclusive and Expansive Curriculum

  • Reflecting Diversity: Providing opportunities for all children to see themselves reflected in the curriculum while also learning about civilisations from around the world, including the experiences of ethnic minorities in the history of Britain.


Core Disciplinary Knowledge

  • Thinking Like a Historian: Teaching core disciplinary and procedural knowledge to help children approach challenging, historically-valid questions, and develop the skills to think, read, and write like a historian.


Inspiring Curiosity

  • Excitement for History: Fostering a curiosity to learn more about the past and understand its relevance.


Concepts in History

Our History Curriculum is rooted in key concepts, which guide the learning process.

Implementation: What Do We Teach and When?

Structured Content

  • Contextual Learning: Every unit begins with the chronological and geographical contexts to help children situate new knowledge within their broader understanding of people and places in the past.

Connecting Civilisations

  • Vertical Concepts: These are used within lessons to link learning about different civilisations. For example, learning about Ancient Maya step-pyramids includes reviewing the stone structures of Stonehenge, Egyptian pyramids, and Greek temples.

Extended Writing

  • Writing as Historians: Opportunities for scholarly writing are provided throughout the curriculum. For instance, after studying the subjective nature of historical significance, children might write to the head teacher explaining why it is important for Year 4 classes to learn about the Early Islamic Civilisation.


Impact: How Do Children Show That They Know and Remember More?

Measuring Progress

The progression model is based on careful sequencing and building of concepts over time. If children keep up with the curriculum, they are making progress.

Formative Assessment

  • Lesson Questioning: Teachers check understanding to fill gaps and address misconceptions.
  • Pupil Conferencing: Subject leads and SLT talk to children about their learning, discussing both substantive and disciplinary knowledge and how it connects to vertical concepts developed in previous years and other subjects. For example, Year 4 pupils might discuss how Ancient Maya city-states compare with Ancient Greek city-states and their belief systems.
  • Post-Learning Quizzes: End-of-unit quizzes assess knowledge retention and identify any remaining gaps, with questions focusing on recall, such as key features of belief systems in prehistoric Britain or significant reasons for historical events.
  • Pre-Learning Quizzes: These quizzes assess prior knowledge required for new content, helping teachers plan to fill any gaps. For example, in a unit about the Roman Empire, children might need to recall knowledge about Ancient Greek gods to understand Roman religion.

By maintaining a well-structured curriculum and using effective assessment methods, we aim to ensure children develop a deep, lasting understanding of history.