Intent statement: To ignite children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. To gain an interest in finding out about how and why the world, our country, culture and local community have developed over time, and to help children understand how the past influences the present. History will enable children to develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. What they learn through history can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values. 

Relevant to NHFS specifically: History is all around us! At New Hartley First School, the intent, when teaching history, is to stimulate the children’s curiosity in order for them to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding. We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. It is important that the children develop the skills of a historian throughout their time at New Hartley First School and do not just learn a series of facts about the past. As historians, our children need to be able to research, interpret evidence, including primary and secondary sources, and have the necessary skills to argue for their point of view; a skill that will benefit them as they progress through life.


EYFS - What History looks like in EY

The history goals for children in EYFS are very much focused on the memories of the child. It may be that they are asked to remember a special event or routine or custom for their family. They may talk about differences between different family members or different generations.

Nursery - Understanding the World

•Begin to make sense of their own life-story and family’s history

Reception - Understanding the World

•Comment on images of familiar situations in the past.

•Compare and contrast characters from stories, including figures from the past.

Early Learning Goal - Understanding the World / Past and Present

•Talk about the lives of people around them and their roles in society. 

• Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.

• Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.

Characteristics of effective learning

Enquiry: playing and exploring: (finding out, having a go, using what is known)

Active Learning: (to be involved, to try, enjoy and achieve what was set out to do)

Critical: creating and thinking critically: (have their own ideas, use what they already know to learn new things, to choose and find new ways to do things)

What Music helps to develop in the wider curriculum and beyond

Character development

History allows children to develop the skills of asking perceptive questions, thinking critically, evaluating evidence and examining arguments. History also helps children to understand their place in the world, and within the bigger picture of human development. And it challenges them to make sense of the similarities and differences in human experiences across time and place.


The study of history can bring pupils into a rich dialogue with the past and with the traditions of historical enquiry. History provides opportunities for critical thinking and questioning, and for teaching non-fiction texts. This opens up a rich bank of vocabulary for children to use. Stories and poems can be used to provide a context for History work carried out by children. Stories and poems can also be the end product, written by the children to demonstrate their understanding of a topic.


Through history, pupils come to understand their place in the world, and in the long story of human development. The study of history challenges pupils to make sense of the striking similarities and vast differences in human experiences across time and place.The skills, concepts and processes involved in learning history can help to develop thoughtful, principled and confident citizens.


Geography and history in the National Curriculum work hand in hand. Key concepts of geography, such as location, place, and region are tied very closely to major ideas in history such as time, period, and events. Research has shown that geography and history in tandem enable learners to understand how events and places have affected each other across time.

Growth Mindset

Through learning respect for themselves and others and that holding values matters. Children gain a sense of wellbeing in a secure and fair environment and reflect on both their own, and the beliefs and values of others.

Knowledge Types

Children's substantive and disciplinary knowledge is built upon year after year. 

Substantive Knowledge

Substantive knowledge refers to knowledge of the past. This includes examples such as: people, events, ideas, and so on.  Our progressive curriculum at NHFS introduces this knowledge in an order that enables pupils to build their knowledge of historic concepts, throughout their time at school. 

Disciplinary knowledge

This refers to knowledge of history as a discipline: the methods of historians, their conceptual frameworks, and so on. This is how historic knowledge is generated and how it grows.

Aspirations links

Children begin forming their own ideas of their place in the world from as early as starting in EYFS. It is our job to ensure they have the knowledge and understanding of where that place is within our history. The knowledge of history is key in preparing our children for future learning opportunities within our own school, secondary school, college, university and beyond, enabling them to achieve their aspirations as well as having the confidence to use and apply them in all aspects of everyday life where necessary.

Sustainability links

Today’s children will be at the forefront of inheriting a world undergoing climate and ecological emergency; it is our responsibility as educators to help them develop knowledge and skills so they can take action and tackle this emergency through caring for the environment and each other.

In order to assess the sustainability of the present and make predictions about the future, it is necessary to study the past and the history of sustainability on as large a timescale as possible. Children deserve access to the knowledge of what is happening to the world all around them, both current and in the future. Our children want to know what is happening, why we are talking about it and what they can do to help. As educators, we owe it to them to answer those questions and to prepare them for the future they face.

Equality links

History allows teachers to highlight a diverse community and celebrate the successes of a range of role models. It creates a space for Black history, women's history, and others that also occupy our historical inquiry everyday. These different perspectives provide new viewpoints and add to the richness of our diverse community whilst enabling children to challenge stereotypes. 

The past was full of diverse people and our children are entitled to learn about this diverse past. History lessons enable children to see their connection to the past and to understand the world today.