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Compton CE Primary School. KS1 and KS2 History.

What our children say...

"I like knowing what it was like when I was a baby and before I was born," "We do outside learning, look at artefacts, read information and learn about events in the past," It's interesting to learn what people in the past did - the Anglo-Saxons changed our language," We learn lots of new vocabulary like reeve, hypercaust, ore and chronological."

Curriculum Intent

At Compton Primary, we aim for our students to become historians. Throughout their time at our school, our children will:

  • Develop a clear understanding about the history of Britain in a chronological narrative, from Early Britain through to the present day, how people’s lives have changed over time and how Britain has influenced the wider world and been influenced by it.
  • Build an understanding of the significant parts of the wider world’s history, the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansions and collapses of empires and the characteristics of past non-European societies and their achievements.
  • Broaden their use of historical language including abstract terms, such as monarchy, democracy, parliament and empire.
  • Develop and implement methods of historical enquiry, sifting through information to find reliable sources and discuss contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past and how these have come about.
  • Gain a historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into context and understand connections between their local history and that of the regional, national and international community.


The history projects are well sequenced to provide a coherent subject scheme that develops children’s historical knowledge, skills and subject disciplines. Key aspects and concepts, such as chronology, cause and effect, similarity and difference, significance and hierarchy, are revisited throughout all projects and are developed over time. All projects also develop historical skills based on evidence and historical enquiry.

The choice of historical periods follows the guidance set out in the national curriculum, with specific details relating to significant events and individuals chosen to present a rich and diverse account of British and world history.

Where there are opportunities for making meaningful connections with other projects, history projects are sequenced accordingly. For example, the project Dynamic Dynasties is taught alongside the art and design project Taotie to give children a better all-round understanding of ancient Chinese arts and culture.

All history projects are taught in the autumn and summer terms, with opportunities for schools to revisit historical concepts in some of the spring term geography projects.

History in Key Stage 1.

In Year 1, children begin the autumn term by studying the project Childhood. This project builds on children’s past experiences, including their family history and events within living memory, and works well as an introductory project. In the summer term, children study the project The great fire of London and will investigate local history through events at local landmarks.  

In the autumn term of Year 2, children extend their studies to explore a broader range of periods in the project Movers and Shakers. This project explores the concept of significance and the significant people that have greatly influenced history. In the summer term, children study the project The Victorians. This project introduces children to the concepts of monarchy and power in preparation and changes within Britain at this time. They will study Queen Victoria, the British Empire, Victorian schooling and the changes in workforce, focussing on child labour. 

The projects studied in Key Stage 1 provide numerous opportunities for children to explore significant historical events, people and places in their locality.

History in Lower Key Stage 2.

In Year 3, children begin the autumn term by studying the chronology of British history in the project Through the Ages. This project teaches children about the significance of prehistoric periods and the changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. In the summer term, children continue to develop their knowledge of the chronology of British history in the project Emperors and Empires. This project teaches children about the Roman Empire, its invasion of Britain and Britain’s ensuing Romanisation.

In the autumn term of Year 4, children resume their learning about British history in the project Invasion. This project teaches children about the Roman withdrawal and the invasion and settlement of the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. This project concludes at 1066, which meets the guidance from the national curriculum for British history. In the summer term of Year 4, children begin their studies of ancient history by studying the overview project Ancient Civilisations. This project enables children to learn about the achievements of the earliest civilisations, including ancient Sumer, the Indus Valley civilisation and ancient Egypt.

History in Upper Key Stage 2.

In the autumn term of Year 5, children continue to build their knowledge of ancient civilisations with an in-depth analysis of ancient China in the project Dynamic Dynasties. This project enables children to study the significance and influence of ancient China and its prowess and advancements in the written word, technology and metalwork. In the summer term, children further study ancient and world history in the project Ground-breaking Greeks. This project enables children to explore life in ancient Greece, including examining the achievements and influence of ancient Greece on the western world.

In the autumn term of Year 6, children study the more complex historical issues of enslavement, colonialism and power in the project Maafa. In this project, children explore a range of African kingdoms, including the Kingdom of Benin, and study Britain’s role in the development, perpetuation and abolition of the slave trade. In the summer term of Year 6, children complete their historical studies with the project Britain at War. This project enables children to study the role war has played in Britain’s history since 1066, focusing on the First and Second World Wars as crucial turning points in British history.



In our history lessons, you will see that our children:

  • Show a good understanding of the history of Britain and that of the wider world and demonstrate a curiosity to find out more about the past.
  • Think critically, make connections between previous learning and knowledge from other subjects and formulate questions.
  • Add new learning into the chronological narrative already acquired.
  • Discuss the knowledge they have gained using key historical vocabulary accurately and confidently.
  • Evaluate sources of information and discuss how some sources of information can be more reliable than others, and discovering what they can tell us about life in the past.
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