Witton Gilbert Primary School


In this section of the website, you will find information about our approach to teaching History at Witton Gilbert Primary School.History Subject Progression


At Witton Gilbert Primary School, we aim to inspire confident, competent enquirers and informed citizens of the world, who are at ease with differences.

In History, we seek to:

  • Embed Knowledge
  • Deepen understanding of Chronology – Timelines
  • Teach Vocabulary linked to concepts
  • Share Characteristics – Key people/ places/ time
  • Broaden understanding of Range – Local/ National/ World
  • Deploy knowledge through independent use of skills.
  • Our fundamental aim is that children leave Witton Gilbert Primary School with a range of rich, well-formed memories of History.

These are informed by interesting and engaging experiences that all children are encouraged to participate in. Children are encouraged to develop their own strengths and abilities; thus ensuring that they recognise History as an ongoing process not an isolated event.

It is our intention that children meet the National Curriculum expectations in History, which will be taught by well-qualified, enthusiastic staff who support children to develop mastery of concepts and inspire enthusiasm and interest in the subject.

Opportunities exist for children to experience learning beyond the classroom. This allows them to enrich their knowledge by, for example, visiting places they may not normally consider, such as forts and museums or places of historical interest.

Children will develop a deep understanding of the topics they are studying. They increasingly use their prior knowledge to solve problems and develop a detailed understanding of History. They will increasingly be able to read and interpret timelines to an increasing degree as they progress through the school. Children will understand how British Values relate to History through lessons, assemblies and special weeks.

Characteristics of a Historian

In History, children will develop the skills to appropriately use research and sources to consider historical information and to develop a range and depth of historical knowledge and chronological understanding.

We aspire that they will gain:

  •  An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events, and contexts from a range of historical periods and of historical concepts and processes
  • The ability to think critically about History and communicate ideas confidently in styles appropriate to a range of audiences.
  • The ability to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using detailed, appropriate and accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources.
  • The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry.
  • A passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and their understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
  • A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make robust and critical use of it to support their explanations and judgments.
  • A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics.

Intent Linked to our School Values

Childhood and Play

Through history, we want to provide first hand opportunities for children to explore and investigate the past using a sense of time and change

Respect for Ourselves and our Environment

Through our studies, we aim to develop an understanding of how environments have changed over time and human impact on them.

Through wider learning, we aim to encourage a responsible approach to responsible human use of our environment in the future too.

Equality and Diversity

Our school is committed to ensuring that all children will have access to an exciting, appropriate and inspiring curriculum that will support their progress and achievement.

Children will consider the contribution of people from different backgrounds to history and investigate local people who have had a significant impact on our world.

Perseverance and Resilience

Through investigation, children will learn that historians must show perseverance and experience failure in order to succeed.

Collaboration and Cooperation

Many historical research tasks and activities involve groups of children in collaboration.  The children work together to take on specific roles and cooperation to reach agreed conclusions.


The curriculum hours in History are timetabled in half term blocks over the year. Within those blocks, lessons are taught weekly. These will be followed by all staff and monitored by the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) of the school.

The subject leader for History evaluates provision on a termly basis, feeding back to SLT, in order to ensure that teaching and learning in History is at least Good and continuing to improve at every opportunity. All staff work together and receive appropriate professional development to ensure that they have excellent subject knowledge. Where necessary, staff will receive coaching and training in History.

Carefully designed sequences of learning in History ensure consistency and progress of all learners. Key questions drive learning throughout the term. History is taught through the main question, promoting historical enquiry. Lessons are planned so that subject matter is clearly presented; this facilitates relevant and appropriate discussion about the subject matter being taught.

Teachers plan lessons to enable pupils to remember long term the content being taught and to enable them to link previous learning to new concepts. Within planning, teachers build on this prior learning and plan in steps to ensure appropriate progression is made towards end of key stage goals. Links are identified within Knowledge Batons. Prior learning is reviewed at the start of units and children are encouraged to make connections with other periods of History studied. As they progress through school, children become more confident at explaining connections.

Subject-specific vocabulary is clearly identified within planning and specifically taught within lessons. Children are taught to incorporate this language within their own answers and displays support the gain of language.

The classroom environment focuses on pupils. All teaching resources are selected to inspire and meet the learning needs of all children.

The work planned is appropriately challenging for all pupils and matches the aims of the curriculum.

Reading is always a top priority as it enables all pupils to access the full curriculum on offer. Reading is developed through History using a range of books which focus on changes over time and reflect historical periods studied.

In Early Years, we devote time and effort to ensure that their pupils gain a strong understanding of the past. The early learning goals at EYFS are very much focused on the memories of the child. Children are asked to remember a special event or routine or custom for their family. They talk about differences between different family members or different generations.

At Key Stage 1, children learn about specific people or events that are both within and beyond living history. Children learn about the lives of significant people who have made a significant impact like Grace Darling, or George Stevenson. Events and themes are used to extend learning about the past. We incorporate very strong links to local events and people.

At Key Stage 2, children learn about the following periods of British history and World History

  • Stone Age
  • Ancient Romans
  • Anglo Saxons
  • The Vikings
  • A local history unit
  • A period of history later than 1066

Children are also introduced to some world civilisations in history.

  • Ancient Greeks
  • Ancient Egyptians
  • The Mayans and how they contrast with British history

Ongoing assessment is well used by teachers and leaders to check understanding, inform teaching and enable children to use knowledge fluently.

Teachers plan enrichment and cultural capital opportunities throughout the year. These include guest speakers who are specialists in their field, trips to businesses, fieldwork to relevant places of interest, innovative use of technology to name but a few.

High quality input from experts and educational resources complement the delivery of specialist learning admirably.

Children understand how History is used in the wider world including careers, actively promoting aspirations for the future. Children develop an understanding of how subjects and specific skills are linked to future jobs.

Here are some of the jobs you could aspire to do in the future as an Historian:

  • Lawyer/Solicitor
  • Member of Parliament
  • Curator of a Museum
  • Archaeologist


Cultural Capital in History

Cultural Capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, skills and experiences that gives us the confidence to be able to talk, communicate, progress and take a full part in our community and wider world.  At Witton Gilbert Primary school, we promote equality through our commitment to developing cultural capital for all our children.

Cultural capital gives our pupils the background knowledge required to be thoughtful and informed members of our community who understand and believe in British values.

In History, children will learn about key figures from history including Grace Darling, George Stevenson and key political figures and monarchs.

They will visit a museum and learn about the work of a museum curator.

Meeting and talking to history specialists including historians and curators (Segedunum) and local history experts.

Workshops with Historians

Visits to a place of local historical interest including:

  • Durham Cathedral
  • Segedunum
  • Kilhope Lead Mine
  • Visiting experts will enhance the learning experiences.
  • Impact

Children are keen learners within History. They experience a wide range of learning challenges within the subject and know appropriate responses to them.

Visits within History have enriched the lives of the children and they are able to discuss how the experience impacted their knowledge and understanding.

Children of all abilities and backgrounds achieve well in History reflected in good or better progress that reveals a clear learning journey.

Children talk enthusiastically about their learning in History and are eager to further their learning in the next stages of their education.

Through wider reading in History, children will understand how events in History have influenced the modern world. These are tailored to children’s reading ages.

Children with strengthen their understanding of local History through dialogue with family members who have first-hand experience of significant historical events and changes over time. They will ask historical questions of local historians and examine a range of source materials to draw conclusions about the past.

Children understand how the past has influenced their lives and those of others and know that different groups of people have different experiences during chronological periods. They are able to discuss their ideas and speak confidently about lessons learnt from the past.

Children will understand how to decide the reliability of varied sources.

Through this exposure, children will produce work that is influenced by the best of the best.