Learning is a change to long-term memory. Our aim is to ensure that our children experience a wide breadth of study and will have committed to their long-term memory an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge (knowledge and skills). In order for children to cement what they have learned, we plan opportunities to revisit and review previous learning through spacing, which promotes long-term retention by spreading learning out into manageable portions over time.


Curriculum Intent

At Leigh on Mendip School, we give our children a high-quality history education which helps them gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We inspire children’s curiosity to know more about the past, which equips children to ask questions and think critically, helping children to understand people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity. Children will develop a well-rounded knowledge of the past and its events, with intention to improve every child’s cultural capital, understanding of the world around them and their own heritage. 


Children will:

  • Become increasingly critical and analytical thinkers.

  • Discover links and connections to the History they learn and the wider community and locality.

  • Differentiate between source types and explain how interpretations in History may differ. 

  • Draw on similarities and differences within given time frames and across previously taught History. 

  • Recognise links across other subjects and develop an understanding of the greater world in which we live. 

  • Enquire into Historical themed questions and form their own opinions and interpretation of the past. 

  • Introduce enrichment trips, visitors and activities that deepen their knowledge, vocabulary and understanding of the topic and also to make links with our wider community and world around us.


Breadth of Study

Key Stage 1

Children will develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They will 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 will use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They will ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. 


Children will be taught about:

  •  changes within living memory.

  • The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.

  • events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally.

  •  significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.


Key Stage 2

Children will 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:

  • Ancient Egyptians and the achievements of the earliest civilizations. 

  • 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 at the time of Edward the Confessor.

  • The changing power of Monarchs. 

  • A local history study.

  • A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066


Our curriculum distinguishes between subject topics and threshold concepts which tie together the subject topics into meaningful schema. The same concepts are explored in a wide breadth of topics. Our forwards and backwards engineering of the curriculum allows children to return to the same concepts over and over again, gradually building their understanding of them.


Threshold Concepts

We have identified threshold concepts, the most significant knowledge in the subject, which form schema to help pupils to assimilate new knowledge and are referred to in a wide breadth of topics. In history, threshold concepts mean knowing about:


Main events and where they fit in 

Causes and changes 

Evidence and artefacts








These are the goals that the children should reach to show that they are meeting the expectations of our curriculum. At Leigh on Mendip School, we help pupils progress in history by:

  • Carefully sequencing the knowledge that they need to understand historical concepts in our long term plans.

  • By providing the vocabulary that they need to articulate their understanding of history.

  • By providing the children with deliberate practice activities that will help them to make progress towards the milestones and remember what they have learnt. 



We assess the outcomes for history through our POP tasks which are built into our planning to assess how well and how deeply pupils know and understand what we have taught. We also assess against the threshold concepts at the end of each unit to help identify any gaps. Through these assessments, we are able to identify children that are on target for meeting the end goals, (milestores) at a basic, advancing or deeper level. This then informs teachers to plan for those not on target and for those at greater depth. 


Please view the progression document here