St William's Catholic Primary School

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St William's Catholic Primary School

Christ at Our Heart



“I believe that the more we know about the past, the better you are prepared for the future.”

Theodore Roosevelt




Our curriculum intent for History reflects the purpose and aims of the national curriculum by helping our pupils to develop a greater understanding and knowledge in this subject.   By following the guidance set our Chris Quigley History Curriculum Companion - our History  curriculum enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas - and which can, and are used, to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. 

At St William’s Catholic Primary School, we believe that high-quality history lessons inspire children to want to know more about the past; help children to understand their place in the world and develop a sense of who they are locally, nationally and globally and inspire children to think and act like historians – promoting curiosity and fascination.

We aim to develop an awareness of the diverse nature of the UK and global populations and the contributions different societies, communities and individuals have made to human understanding and history.  By making links to a range of topics, children have opportunities to investigate  and interpret the past, understand chronology, build an overview of Britain’s  past as well as that of the wider world, and be able to communicate historically.

We develop children with the following essential characteristics to help them become historians:

  • An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from a range of historical periods, including significant events in Britain’s past.
  • The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas confidently to a range of audiences.
  • The ability to support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using historical evidence from a range of sources.
  • The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past by formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry.
  • A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics.
  • A developing sense of curiosity about the past and how and why people interpret the past in different ways.



Our curriculum distinguishes between subject topics and threshold concepts. Subject topics are the specific aspects of subjects that are studied.  Threshold concepts tie together the subject topics into meaningful schema. The same concepts are explored in a wide breadth of topics. Through this ‘forwards-and-backwards engineering’ of the curriculum, pupils return to the same concepts over and over, and gradually build understanding of them.   The threshold concepts are:-


  • Culture
  • Community
  • Equality
  • Power
  • Cause and change
  • Legacy
  • Belief
  • Culture
  • Society
  • Settlement
  • Evidence and Artefacts




Teachers will be expected to plan a cycle of lessons which carefully makes links to previous learning; outlines the knowledge and vocabulary to be taught; plans for progression and depth; includes low stake quiz opportunities to develop deep long-term learning and includes challenge for pupils to apply their learning.

History is taught every term throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning.  As a school of Reading - high quality texts are linked to each of the history topics.  Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each topic and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school. At the beginning of each topic, children are able to convey what they know already as well as what they would like to find out. This informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of children’s different starting points.  Proof of progress (POP) tasks show the depth of each pupils understanding either 'basic, advancing and / or deep'.  As a school of Mastery - we feel this assessment model provides no ceiling to a pupils' learning.

As a school of Oracy SEND, EAL and disadvantaged learners are supported in History at St William’s.  This can be either individually and/or through small group work such as our pre-teaching of vocabulary following the guidance of a Speech & Language Therapist who works with both teachers and learning assistants in school.   This ‘pre teaching’ helps to support their understanding of subject specific / technical vocabulary.  The dialogic teaching approach helps all children to achieve their full potential with the use of ‘Tower Hamlet Speech Bubbles’ helping SEND pupils to structure sentences that demonstrate their understanding.  Whilst also allowing pupils to structure discussions and debates using relevant historical facts and the language of argument. 




Our History Curriculum is high-quality, well taught and is planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Proof of Progress (POP) tasks
  • Pupils discussions about their learning
  • A celebration of work through displays



A sample of Knowledge Maps to support the teacher's planning of History