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History Long-Term Plan

History Curriculum


History is the study of the past - learning about people, places, events and changes. 


History at Oakwood junior School intents to prepare each child for their next phase of education whilst at the same time giving all students a broad and balanced view of the History of Britain and other societies and periods. In this, children will develop a well-rounded knowledge of the past and its events, with intention to improve every child’s cultural capital, understanding of the world around them and their own heritage. Our History curriculum aims to be ambitious, and motivating. It is ambitious in our coverage of History and thorough teaching of Historical skills. It is also highly motivating, through engaging activities, trips and visitors that give all students an opportunity to question the past. 


At Oakwood Junior School, we have designed our History curriculum with the intent that our children will:


  • Become increasingly critical and analytical thinkers.

  • Possess a secure understanding of the chronology of the British Isles and other import periods of History.

  • To discover links and connections to the History they learn and the wider community and locality.

  • Further their knowledge and explanations of change and continuity over time with regards to the history of the British Isles and other societies and periods.

  • Differentiate between source types and explain how interpretations in History may differ.

  • Draw on similarities and differences within given time frames and across previously taught History.

  • Enquire in to Historical themed questions and form their own opinions and interpretation of the past.

Our curriculum 


Our History curriculum draws upon prior learning, wherever the content is taught. The structure is built around the principles of advancing cumulative knowledge, chronology, change through cause and consequence, as well as making connections within and throughout periods of time studied.


History is planned so that the retention of knowledge is much more than just ‘in the moment knowledge’. The cumulative nature of the curriculum is made memorable by the implementation of Bjork's desirable difficulties, including retrieval and spaced retrieval practice, word building and deliberate practice tasks. This powerful interrelationship between structure and research-led practice is designed to increase substantive knowledge and accelerate learning within and between study modules. That means the foundational knowledge of the curriculum is positioned to ease the load on the working memory: new content is connected to prior learning.


The effect of this cumulative model supports opportunities for children to associate and connect with significant periods of time, people, places and events. The history curriculum strategically incorporates a range of modules that revisit, elaborate and sophisticate key concepts, events, people and places.


Pupils become ‘more expert’ with each study and grow an ever broadening and coherent mental timeline. This guards against superficial, disconnected and fragmented understanding of the past. Specific and associated historical vocabulary is planned sequentially and cumulatively from Year 3 to Year 6. High frequency, multiple meaning words (Tier 2) are taught alongside and help make sense of subject specific words (Tier 3). 


The History curriculum is set out in chronological order to allow children to reference the previous events in time and to refer to this prior learning year-on-year and within the year. 


The progression of skills is set out in order to build and develop the following:


  • Chronological Understanding.

  • Knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past.

  • Connection and Historical Links

  • Interpretations of History.

  • Historical Enquiry.

  • Children are taught the sequence of skills and knowledge that are the components to a composite outcome.

  • Lessons will develop long term memory by allowing for repetition of learning within the year and year on year. 

  • The use of knowledge organisers are to aid teachers in planning their knowledge and skills and students in understanding the expectations by the end of the unit.

  • Key vocabulary is taught within the unit and reinforced throughout the year. 

  • SMSC and P4C are threaded through the History curriculum to link history to their lives and explore their heritage and cultural capital.


Substantive Knowledge 

Substantive knowledge is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used about the past. We have defined substantive concepts that are the suggested vehicle to connect substantive knowledge. These are defined at the beginning of every study. 


Substantive concepts include: 









Disciplinary Knowledge 


This is the use of that knowledge and how children construct understanding through historical claims, arguments and accounts. We call is 'Working Historically.' The features of thinking historically may involve significance, evidence, continuity and change, cause and consequence, historical perspective and contextual interpretation. 




  • Children will become increasingly critical and analytical within their thinking. Making informed and balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past.

  • Children will become increasingly aware of how historical events have shaped the world that they currently live in.

  • They will also have a further understanding of History on a local level and on a small-scale.

  • Children will develop enquiry skills to pursue their own interests within a topic and further questioning.

  • Where applicable, children will have encountered or participated in high-quality visits/visitors to further appreciate the impact of History.

  • Children are to retain prior-learning and explicitly make connections between what they have previously learned and what they are currently learning.