Our history curriculum inspires in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the past and how it has shaped the world they live in. The curriculum equips pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. The curriculum is designed with knowledge underpinning the following themes: social, cultural, technology, trade and conflict. Pupils build knowledge and make connections within these themes as they progress through the curriculum.  

Our curriculum aims to build pupils’ substantive and disciplinary knowledge progressively over time which are inter-linked throughout each unit. Pupils gain a substantive knowledge (facts) in local, British and global history through the historical themes. They gain competency in disciplinary knowledge (skills) through understanding the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used to form opinion and fact and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed. 

Through our history curriculum, pupils understand their place in the world and the long story of human development. Their study of history challenges them to make sense of the striking similarities and vast differences in human experiences across time and place. Our history curriculum enables pupils to gain knowledge of chronology, from the earliest times to the present day. This helps them to understand how past events have influenced the world we live in today. 

Pupils think critically about how knowledge of the past is formed and why certain sources can be interpreted in different ways. Using the combination of disciplinary and substantive knowledge, pupils build the capacity to construct historical arguments and analyse historical sources.  

Substantive knowledge sets out the content that pupils will learn: 

  • Chronology 
  • Significant people and events 
  • Similarities and differences 
  • Historical sources 
  • Historical enquiry 
  • Subject specific vocabulary 

Pupils also learn about influential people who have impacted on the world in which we live. These include archaeologists, leaders or inventors. These inspire pupils to consider future professions and helps them to understand how people can leave a legacy.   

We promote the cultural development of pupils by developing their understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others. Pupils also gain knowledge of Britain’s democratic Parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain.  

Overall Reading Enhanced Curriculum Intent 

Our reading-enhanced curriculum excites pupils to ask questions and learn new knowledge and skills. Our curriculum builds pupils’ substantive and disciplinary knowledge progressively over time, from the moment they start school in the Early Years. It prepares them well for the Key Stage Three curriculum. 

The reading-enhanced curriculum has reading for purpose built into all learning. Units of work have a high-quality, age-appropriate driving text assigned that is used as the catalyst to impart curriculum knowledge and promote questioning. These texts are carefully selected to engage, inspire and deepen understanding. Alongside this, supplementary texts and bespoke knowledge organisers enable pupils to enrich their knowledge, subject-specific vocabulary and curriculum skills. Every curriculum session includes reading for purpose, from either the driving book or a supplementary text. Pupils then use this as a stimulus to discuss new knowledge, deepen their enquiry skills and form links in their learning.  

The long-term plan is devised so that there are clear subject links within a unit, enabling pupils to make connections in their learning. This is also the case with the subject strands, where skills correlate with other subjects. For example, the skills within similarities and differences in history work parallel with making comparisons in geography.   

Pupils learn subject content in the reading-enhanced curriculum prior to accessing the reading strategy texts. For example, in the Year 5 Democracy unit, pupils learn about the Gunpowder Plot. This prepares them with background knowledge for reading Black Powder in Year 6. This ensures that pupils have a further opportunity to demonstrate knowledge in a different context, build schema and reinforce retention of knowledge. 

Pupils master knowledge progressively through each year, phase and key stage. The needs of all pupils have been carefully considered when setting this ambition. This ambition remains high but may be adapted by support and resources, for example, for those pupils with SEND

The most important knowledge we expect pupils to remember is identified as take-aways in each subject. Reinforcing our strong belief in fostering enquiry, all units have an overarching Big Question as its title and each session has a threaded Big Question: all of which are used to assess pupil progress. 

Influential people are also paramount to the curriculum and are used in all subjects. These are selected to span different eras and link directly to the unit of work pupils are learning. By incorporating a diverse range of people (e.g., historians, scientists, entrepreneurs), new learning is put into a real-world context, developments within a subject historically are seen and pupils are given an insight into how their learning impacts on the world around them and inspires them to pursue future careers

Throughout the REC curriculum, we take every opportunity possible to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.