The National Curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:
- know and understand the story of these islands: how the British people shaped this nation and how Britain influenced the world
- know and understand British history as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the story of the first settlers in these islands to the development of the institutions which govern our lives today
- know and understand the broad outlines of European and world history: the growth and decline of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; the achievements and follies of mankind
- gain and deploy a historically-grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
- understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
- understand how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
- gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.
Subject Content Key Stage 1
Pupils should begin to develop an awareness of the past and the ways in which it is similar to and different from the present. They should understand simple subject-specific vocabulary relating to the passing of time and begin to develop an understanding of the key features of a range of different events and historical periods.
Pupils should be taught about:
- simple vocabulary relating to the passing of time such as ‘before’, ‘after’, ‘past’, ‘present’, ‘then’ and ‘now’
- the concept of nation and of a nation’s history
- concepts such as civilisation, monarchy, parliament, democracy, and war and peace that are essential to understanding history
- the lives of significant individuals in Britain's past who have contributed to our nation's achievements – scientists such as Isaac Newton or Michael Faraday, reformers such as Elizabeth Fry or William Wilberforce, medical pioneers such as William Harvey or Florence Nightingale, or creative geniuses such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel or Christina Rossetti
- key events in the past that are significant nationally and globally, particularly those that coincide with festivals or other events that are commemorated throughout the year
- significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.