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History Lead - Mrs Henson


At Phoenix Infant and Nursery School we want History to fire children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world and help them to understand the diversity of human experience. History is important as it provides children with the opportunities to empathise with others, argue a point of view and reach their own conclusions - essential skills that are prized in adult life. Therefore, we aim for a high-quality history curriculum that has been carefully designed and sequenced to equip our children with a secure, coherent knowledge of British, local and world history. Curriculum content is knowledge and vocabulary rich, in a sequenced chronological order, allowing children to develop their understanding of abstract concepts as they move through school.

We intend to inspire pupils to develop a broad historical and cultural awareness by:

• Providing opportunities for children to develop a chronological framework by investigating the past and how it influences the present.

• Encouraging children to interrogate evidence and form their own opinions.

• Enabling children to communicate their view points in a variety of ways using appropriate vocabulary.

• Exploring a range of sources of information.

• Fostering enjoyment, empathy and curiosity for finding out about the past.



At Phoenix Infant and Nursery School, History is taught throughout the year, so that children achieve depth in their learning. Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills and consideration has been given to ensure progression throughout each year group. Retrieval practice is at the heart of this, ensuring the prior learning is built on and meaningful connections are made. Planning is informed by and aligned with the national curriculum and a topic based approach closely links History, Geography and English to explore key questions asked by our pupils at the start of a new unit of work. Brilliant Beginning activities done at home provide an exciting starting point before each new topic, which the children then share with their classmates. This, as well as, teacher assessments informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of children’s different starting points. Consideration is given to how greater depth will be taught within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. By the end of Year 2 children will be able to draw comparisons and make connections between events beyond their living memory. Children study significant historical events, such as The Great Fire of London and significant individuals, like the Wright Brothers. We believe that local history is equally important. This is why it is woven into our curriculum to ensure it is explicitly taught and a rich understanding of our local heritage is developed. The local area is fully utilised to achieve these desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice.

Reading across the curriculum: In order to develop children's reading skills, our teachers plan opportunities for children to independently read age-appropriate texts that link to the topic being studied. We have invested heavily in supporting our topics with a new Library of books for the whole school to use that support our curriculum. Studies show that if children encounter new knowledge within a narrative, they are more likely to retain that knowledge. Therefore, when possible we will be teaching through high quality texts or taught alongside thematically linked texts during English lessons.



We believe that if children have become knowledgeable historians, then they will be able to articulate their understanding with confidence. This is why pupil voice is an important tool in assessing whether children have made progress. If a child is able to confidently formulate and explain their own responses to an overarching enquiry, then the curriculum and its delivery have been successful. The work produced by our children and the discussions they have, should demonstrate that they are equipped with the historical skills and knowledge that will enable them to progress beyond Phoenix.

Our History Curriculum

History in Action

Summer Term 

Year 2 working with the Partake theatre 🎭 company to act out and learn lots of facts about The Great Fire 🔥 of London.

Spring Term 

Exciting Explorers display in year 2 class 6 showing off our fabulous work

Year 2 starting our brand new topic Exciting Explorers by finding out lots of facts about Neil Armstrong 🌝🚀

In Year 1 we have been learning about toys in the past and comparing them with today.