The History curriculum at Nelson aims to ensure that all children develop a broad and balanced understanding of the History of Britain and that of the wider world. It is ambitious and motivating, inspiring pupil’s curiosity to know more about the past, make links with the present and consider change in the future. As well as this, we endeavour to help the children appreciate the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups. In turn, this encourages children to consider their own identity and the challenges of our current time.

In History lessons, pupils are encouraged to ask questions, think critically, make use of a range of evidence and artefacts, and reflect and discuss with increasing depth. Pupils learn how events from the past impact on modern-day life, with British values threaded throughout our units of study. Cross curricular links with texts used in English and other subjects including Music, Art, DT and PE, help to enrich our children’s learning experiences and ensure that History is an engaging and accessible area of study for all our pupils. Alongside this, we celebrate and deepen our understanding of history through themed days and invite a range of visitors to the school, who further enrich our children’s learning through presentations, re-enactments, and first-hand reports about life in the past.

As pupils move through Nelson school, they utilise timelines to position key events, individuals and periods, increasing and embedding their chronological awareness. At the start of each unit, Knowledge Organisers are shared and placed in books, enabling children to readily access the key dates, vocabulary and facts relating to that topic, and helping them to secure this knowledge. Abstract historical terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’ are interwoven into the curriculum at appropriate times, leading to a progressively deeper understanding of these concepts. Where terms may be too abstract – particularly for our younger learners – tangible and real-life contexts are sought to compound them. For example, class voting helps to provide a context from which to introduce and consolidate the concept of ‘democracy’.
What We Study

In the Early Years, pupils are encouraged to observe changes in their own lives, talking about past and present events they have experienced whilst building up vocabulary related to the passing of time.

In Key Stage 1, children study changes within living memory, as well as learning about significant events and individuals in the past. They consider the contributions these individuals have made to national and international achievements, and make comparisons between them.

By the end of Year 6, our children will have developed a chronologically secure knowledge of British, local and world history, noting connections, contrasts and trends over time. They will be able to address questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance through thoughtful selection of historical information. They will also understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources, and how to be discerning and analytical when interpreting these.

Foundation Stage

  • The lives of people around them and their role in society.
  • Similarities and differences between things in the past and now.
  • Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books and stories.

Year One

  • Toys: Similarities and Differences. Comparing toys and games in living memory
  • Kings and Queens: People in History. Who are the Royal Family?
  • Holidays: Past and present.

Year Two

  • The Great Fire of London
  • The Space Race
  • Christopher Columbus and the Age of Exploration
  • Famous people e.g., Neil Armstrong, Samuel Pepys, Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole.

Year Three

  • Britain during the Stone Age
  • British history: Roman invaders and settlers
  • A world history study: Ancient Egypt; an overview of the ancient civilisations 

Year Four

  • The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England
  • Britain and the wider world: Tudor times
  • A world history study: The Maya

Year Five

  • European history study: Ancient Greece
  • Victorian Britain.

Year Six

  • Local history study / Britain since 1930: Life in Kingston during World War Two
  • A world history study: Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

Knowledge Organisers
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6