History Curriculum Intent

Enjoy achieving together … by being the best that we can be!

Our pupils learn best through experiential learning and our history curriculum supports and promotes this. At Usworth Colliery, we aim to bring history alive for the children. We invite history specialists to share their knowledge and enthusiasm, visit places of historical interest to widen their experiences and explore primary and secondary sources hands on in order to engage them and enrich their learning.  Through local studies and visits, our children are encouraged to appreciate their own place in the world and the events that have led to this to help instil a sense of pride in their heritage and community. Through the experiential approach, pupils are offered a curriculum which is exciting, engaging and ambitiously designed to develop values that will serve them throughout their school life and beyond – to be curious, respectful, flexible and critical in their thinking.  To widen the aspirations of our young learners, they are regularly exposed to a range of experiences to ensure that they all gain the knowledge, skills and cultural capital they need for future learning, future employment and to succeed in life.


To promote resilience and independence, our history curriculum encourages pupils to adopt a growth mind-set in order to learn from mistakes and develop as learners. We encourage the children to appreciate how our lives today are a result of learning from both the successes and failures of the past. In growth mind-set, we know mistakes help us to learn, likewise society today has been influenced and learnt from past mistakes. To promote tolerance and respect, our history curriculum develops children’s understanding of different cultures and their past. Through studying different cultures and eras, the children are encouraged to consider the similarities and differences between our own and other cultures’ histories. In doing so, our curriculum helps children gain a greater understanding, tolerance and appreciation of others.


Our history curriculum is based on the expectations of the national curriculum and is designed to be both progressive and matched to the needs and interests of our children. It starts with what the children already know and what they would like to know, added to this is what they need to know and from this a bespoke, coherently planned and sequenced curriculum is created. Long term plans are designed to be developmental and progressive and each new topic or learning experience builds on the skills, knowledge and understanding previously taught. Enquiry questions are used to foster children’s curiosity and encourage children to be independent, active and resilient learners.  To encourage the children to be flexible and critical in their thinking, they are encouraged to consider sources with an open and unbiased mind. Our curriculum encourages the children to be curious and to have the confidence to question, to consider the validity and relevance of evidence, and not just take facts at face value. In doing so, they are developing the skills and knowledge needed for future learning and employment.

To support the unique needs of our children, the curriculum has historical vocabulary and reading at its core. As children progress through school, their historical vocabulary is improved through consistent exposure to new words from age appropriate texts and taught subject specific vocabulary.  Teaching builds on previously learnt vocabulary and the acquisition of this allows the children to discuss and reason within the lessons. Children access a wide variety of high-quality written primary and secondary sources to develop their reading skills and spark their interest and enthusiasm for learning. Children are encouraged and empowered to develop their own lines of enquiry by asking their own questions about the period they are studying and to research it.

Our Curriculum creates learners who are:










History in the Early Years Foundation Stage

In the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, History forms part of the learning pupils acquire in the area of ‘Understanding the World’. Through active learning, and playing and exploring, pupils are encouraged to understand the world around them. Children are given lots of opportunities to talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. Through discussion and role play, pupils are regularly encouraged to ask questions and use the language of time to find out about events in each other’s lives. A range of resources such as photographs, books and historical artefacts are provided to develop their knowledge and understanding further. Stories and non-fiction texts are also used to introduce a sense of time, people and events from the past. Whenever possible, visits and visitors are planned to encourage pupils’ interest and understanding of life in the past and how it is different now.