• Calder Walk, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV31 1SA

Subject Leader: Charlotte Prager

'Through history, pupils come to understand their place in the world.'

Ofsted Research Review Series: History (July 2021)

At Sydenham Primary School we aim to give all children equal opportunities to be equipped with the essential learning skills of History, irrespective of ability, race and gender. We aim to fire pupils' curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world, encourage thinking about how the past influences the present and help students develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. We intend to foster a sense of identity and an increased understanding of pupils' own position in their own community and the world so that they can develop a sense of citizenship and cultural heritage and develop a range of skills and abilities – particularly those related to finding out about the past, explaining what happened and what people then and now think about what happened

History topics have been allocated to each year group (through Cornerstones Maestro) to enable cross-curricular links and this can be seen in the long-term plan. History teaching focuses on enabling children to think as historians (Disciplinary Knowledge). We place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources, and give children the opportunity to have memorable experiences and when appropriate visit sites of historical significance. We encourage visitors and experts to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past. We recognise and value the importance of stories and reading in history teaching, and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past. We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways, and that they should always ask searching questions (e.g. ‘How do we know?’) about information they are given. We supplement this understanding of disciplinary concepts through teaching a broad range of Substantive concepts or Knowledge Rich Projects on Cornerstones.

The topics chosen for each year group or key stage have been carefully selected to ensure that the breadth of the National Curriculum is securely covered but also aims to build upon the skills and Chronological knowledge from the previous years for example in Year 3 they cover the Romans in Rome but Year 4 build on this and explore the Roman’s influence on Britain. The topics also allow Pupils to revisit and practice prior knowledge to ensure they retain this knowledge in the long term. For example Year 1 explore the Reign of Queen Elizabeth II in ‘Bright, Lights and Big Cities’, this is revisited during ‘Magnificent Monarchs’ in Year 2 and later the theme of Monarchy is further explored in Year 5 during their ‘Off with Her Head' topic.

We assess the impact of our History provision in a number of ways:

  • Through listening to our Pupil Voice we know that children at Sydenham Primary School enjoy History and when asked can discuss the chronology of the different topics they have covered in addition to how to act as Historians (Evidenced through Governor Visits).
  • Assessment in history is an ongoing process. Teachers will make informal judgements about pupil’s progress and attainment as they observe them throughout lessons and mark their work. At the end of each Academic Year Teacher Assessment is shared with Parents through End of Year Reports.
  • Pupils are given the opportunity to demonstrate their new Substantive knowledge and use Disciplinary concepts during the Innovate Stage of History Focused Topics.

History Association Quality Mark

The Historical Association Quality Mark is an award that recognises the excellence of history provision in a school. The Quality Mark provides a framework for success in which to develop outstanding provision. There is a quality assured framework for a school working to achieve the Quality mark to follow, with a clear assessment procedure delivered by independent Historical Association appointed assessors.

We were delighted to have been awarded the History Association Quality Mark in December 2022. Our experience of the History Quality Mark process was very positive, enabling us to think deeply about our practice. We benefitted from the conversations we have had about our history provision between school staff and our external assessor.


Please click on the link below to read our full History Association Quality Mark report:

History Association Quality Mark Report 


History Progression in Knowledge and Skills