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St Michael’s History Executive Summary


History Vision


Our aim is for all children to have an understanding of key periods in history, to learn to ask questions about why things happened in the past and to consider the impact of those events. We introduce pupils to historical concepts as well as the methods and approaches taken by historians and others who study the past.


Our history curriculum aims to help pupils to make sense of their own experiences and of the world in which they live. At St Michael’s, we want pupils to have an understanding of St Michael’s heritage, in particular the impact of the Romans and the Victorians on our local area. They also consider their own legacy and how they would like to be remembered. We believe that our innovative ‘heritage weeks’ help to prepare pupils for the future as informed and responsible citizens.


(See Curriculum Driver 3 Creativity-culture and enrichment and Curriculum Driver 4 Exploration-adventure and discovery)


This vision is achieved by:

  • A curriculum in which pupils are taught substantive knowledge (specific knowledge about the past) alongside the background information (hinterland) that helps to make that core knowledge meaningful in a rich context
  • A curriculum which teaches pupils about how historians and other study the past (disciplinary knowledge)
  • A curriculum that promotes children’s curiosity and a desire to ask questions through a progressive series of enquiry based lessons, making connections between different ideas and helping pupils to ‘think like an historian’
  • A curriculum that builds progressively on knowledge of chronology
  • A curriculum that introduces pupils to terms, concepts and phenomena at an age appropriate level to provide the foundation for future learning in history
  • A curriculum that builds on prior learning and helps pupils to make connections between different periods of history


Implementation of the History Vision


Early Years Foundation Stage - Reception

Children’s learning in EYFS provides the foundation in History that they will build on through the rest of their schooling. Reception children investigate History as part of Understanding of the World – Exceptional Explorers.  Children begin to learn about similarities and differences between the past and now, and to understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class. At St Michael’s, this learning is outlined in the long term planning document: ‘Laying the Foundations for the History National Curriculum through story’.  Children in Reception Class are taught key vocabulary that will support their future learning in history (Building Blocks of Vocabulary in History)


Teaching and Learning in History - Years 1 – 6

At St Michael’s we have chosen to use resources from ‘Collins Connected’ to support the delivery of our History curriculum. We have chosen this scheme as it provides stimulating resources which support pupils to ‘think like an historian’ (disciplinary knowledge) as well as to build on their knowledge of established facts (substantive knowledge). Knowledge is built over time so that pupils gain an increasingly complex and nuanced understanding.


Long term planning

Each year group undertakes three half-termly enquiries in History and these are outlined in the Long Term Plan Years 1-6 (see appendix)


Medium term planning

Each enquiry is informed by a Medium Term Plan which outlines the key question, key learning and key vocabulary for each unit, as well as information about prior learning. The key aspects of each enquiry can be seen in the pupils’ learning journeys which are placed at the start of the unit in the pupils’ books.


Short term planning

The short  term plans include:
•Clear learning objectives;
•The context of the investigation together with background subject content knowledge (hinterland) about each topic to ensure that teachers are fully confident to support children in their learning about history

•Details of National Curriculum coverage in both History and other subject areas to which the enquiry is connected
•Comprehensive learning and teaching activities which are fully explained

•The key subject vocabulary
•Suggested opportunities for assessment during learning activities and at the end of each enquiry, where pupils are given the opportunity to apply what they have been taught.
•Home learning ideas


Measuring the Impact of the History Vision and Implementation


Formative assessment

Formative assessment takes place during every History lesson, and is the basis on which teachers tailor the teaching to the needs of the pupils. Feedback is given and pupils are given time to respond to that feedback. Pupils have the opportunity to evaluate their own learning in History through the use of learning journeys.


Summative assessment

Summative assessment takes place twice each year. It is used to:

  • identify areas of strength and weakness for classes, groups and individuals
  • provide evidence for patterns in progress and attainment (eg. between boys/girls, SEN/non-SEN, different year groups) and to compare attainment with nationally agreed expectations for children of that age.


We use the ‘Collins Connected’ assessment criteria to make summative judgements in Years 1-6, matching end-of-key stage expectations. Assessment criteria indicate the context in which the skills should be assessed, ensuring that the pitch of the lesson is age-appropriate.



Subject leader monitors provision in History through:

  • observations and learning walks
  • analysis of attainment and progress
  • teacher/subject leader discussions
  • pupil voice activities
  • an annual 'deep dive' in History with the senior leadership team


Subject Leader Action Plan

Monitoring activities and an analysis of attainment and progress are used to formulate the subject leader action plan which is updated twice each year.


Continuing Professional Development

Specific training, advice and research formed part of the decision-making process when designing the St Michael’s History curriculum.

EYFS Leader receives updates on latest research on the teaching of Knowledge and Understanding of the World, through association with Herts for Learning.

Subject leader is a member of the Historical Association to ensure awareness of any new research and further ideas for good practice.

Subject Leader meets termly with other History Subject Leaders in the St Albans Consortium of Schools Subject Cluster Groups to share ideas and good practice.

Senior Leadership team has regard to any Ofsted subject specific reports or reviews when monitoring provision in History at St Michael’s. Key messages are shared with staff and practice adapted to reflect the most recent research.


Home Learning and Enrichment

Home learning

A half-termly History activity is set by the class teacher for pupils in years 1-6



Class teachers for each year group aim to undertake at least one History related outside visit during the academic year.


Annual whole school Roman Heritage Week – Autumn term

Annual whole school Victorian Heritage Week – Spring term

Annual Legacy Week – Summer term


The History Executive Summary is reviewed annually.

Latest revision: April 2024