At Ainderby Steeple CE Primary School we believe that high quality history lessons develop critical thinking, enhance the ability to weigh evidence, generate debate and develop chronological understanding.  Our aim is to ensure that our pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of local history, Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Studying History allows children to appreciate the many reasons why people may behave in the way they do, supporting children to develop empathy for others while providing an opportunity to learn from mankind’s past mistakes. Through the teaching of history, we aim to help our pupils understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups. We believe that learning about history helps our children gain a sense of their own identity within a social, political and cultural and background and alongside our Christian Values which are at the heart of our curriculum, helps them to become compassionate, resilient and responsible citizens.

What does History look like at our school?


Our History curriculum emphasises the importance of chronological knowledge to help develop children’s substantive and disciplinary concepts and enquiry skills through engaging, hands-on and enriched lessons. Our history units start off with an enquiry question and subsequent lessons are taught progressively to equip the children with the knowledge and skills to answer it following this approach: question, investigate, interpret, evaluate and conclude, communicate. Each year children will explore 3 open-ended enquiry questions and our 2-year rolling program has been developed to ensure progression of knowledge is returned to and built upon. This is achieved by children will develop their awareness of the past in EYFS and Key stage 1 and will know where people and events fit chronologically. This will support children in building a ‘mental timeline’ they can refer to throughout their learning in Key stage 2 and identifying connections, contrasts and trends over time.

Within lessons, we should see a clear structure building on the most up to date research on how children learn best. To read our Non-Negotiables for teaching History at Ainderby Steeple CE Primary School, click here.

Each lesson should focus around a mini-enquiry question. By the end of the lesson, children should have gained the knowledge and skills to be able to answer this, thus enabling the class teacher to assess. Following on from the mini-enquiry question, children will complete retrieval practise through the use of ‘Power up in 3’. This is where 3 pre-planned questions will be asked, drawing upon childrens learning from within the topic, from a previous topic and from a subject which has a link. This will solidify children’s working memory and build their schemata. After this, children will recite the 3 core knowledge facts from this topic and explore subject specific vocabulary. Children will then be presented with information to help them gain the knowledge and skills required to be able to answer the initial mini-enquiry question. Activities will be focussed and carefully planned. Where adaptation is needed, teachers can refer to the progression document to enable all pupils to be supported.

To view our long term plan for this year click here.

Cultural Capital

When exploring our enquiry questions, we aim to help develop our children’s local historical knowledge.  The scale of this may vary from speaking to grandparents about changes within living memory to learning about the history of our school: Why is our school called Ainderby Steeple CE Primary School yet is situated in Morton-on-Swale? We also make use of our local Wensleydale railway station at Scruton to help us step back in time to explore what holidays were like and what it was like to be an evacuee in WW2. It is also important for our children to learn about local sites of historic interest such as Fountain Abbey, and Star Carr Mesolithic Stone Age site. Our children will also learn about two famous people who have changed the way we live: Captain James Cook and Amy Johnson.

Opportunities to celebrate history

Where possible, learning is enhanced through drama, educational visits, workshops and visitors to school.


Through the high-quality teaching of History throughout children’s primary education, our children will leave Ainderby Steeple CE Primary School with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education and beyond. We want our children to embrace our strong Christian Values and learn from history to make responsible and compassionate choices in their future lives.

By the time children leave Ainderby Steeple CE Primary School , they will be able to:

  • Know and understand the history of Britain, how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
  • Develop an understanding of the history of the wider world, including ancient civilisations, empires, non-European societies and the achievements of mankind.
  • Develop a historically-grounded understanding of substantive concepts -power, invasion, settlement and migration, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of mankind and society.
  • Form historical arguments based on cause and effect, consequence, continuity and change, similarity and differences.
  • Have an appreciation for significant individuals, inventions and events that impact our world both in history and from the present day.
  • Understand how historians learn about the past and construct accounts.
  • Ask historically-valid questions through an enquiry-based approach to learning to create structured accounts.
  • Explain how and why interpretations of the past have been constructed using evidence.
  • Make connections between historical concepts and timescales.
  • Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the national curriculum for History.

The impact of our History curriculum will be measured at each stage of a child’s primary education: both through formative and summative assessment. During lessons teachers will employ retrieval strategy techniques to help build and develop their schemata. After lessons, teachers will assess children against the key learning outcomes and decide whether children have achieved the outcome or not. This can be seen through discussions, questioning, photos, activities and work produced. At the end of a unit, children will have a quiz or complete a skill catcher to see how much they have learnt. This knowledge will be recorded by the teacher and will inform starting points for subsequent topics. At the end of half terms, we will summatively record children’s attainment on Sonar. Our History Subject Leader will monitor this whole school data to help check the children are making expected progress.

Quotes from our children

“I loved learning about castles. I liked William the Conqueror best because he had a bow and arrow. He killed Harold of Sussex.”

“I enjoyed finding out about ancient Egypt. It was interesting.”


History 2 Year Rolling Programme LTP

History Knowledge Progression Document (R-Y6)

History Vocabulary Progression Y1-6

History Disciplinary Knowledge with SEND (N-Y6)

Knowledge Organisers

Spring 2 2023 – Class 1, Class 2 , Class 3, Class 4

Summer 2 2023 – Class 1, Class 2, Class 3 and Class 4.

Autumn 2 2023 – Year 1, Year 2, Class 3, Class 4.

Spring 2 2024 – Year 1, Year 2, Class 3, Class 4.

Summer 2 2024 – Year 1, Year 2, Class 3, Class 4.

Please see the Long term plan and Progression documents for Reception learning. Please note they do not have a separate Knowledge Organiser.

History Subject Leader: Mrs Emily Thornton-Shaw