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  2. Our Curriculum


Subject Co-ordinators:  Mrs M Benn & Mr P Smart

Link Governor: Mr Brentnall

Check out our coverage documents to see what the children will be learning in our History curriculum, term by term.


Key Stage 1

Key Stage 2


Our fiver drivers underpin our History curriculum:

Throughout the school we teach history to help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, igniting their curiosity about the past and equipping them to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.

It is our intention that pupils become more expert as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating and connecting substantive and disciplinary historical knowledge.

  • Substantive knowledge- this is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used to learn about the content
  • Disciplinary knowledge– their knowledge about how historians investigate the past, and how they construct historical claims, arguments and accounts. It is through disciplinary knowledge that children gradually become more expert by thinking like a historian.

This ensures that pupils develop the knowledge of key historical concepts of chronology, continuity and change, cause and consequence, and similarity, difference and significance and use this to draw contrasts, analyse trends and create their own structured accounts. In doing so, children learn how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.

We intend for our children to develop an understanding of the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

Our curriculum is sequenced in line with the EYFS Statutory Framework (2021), Development Matters (2021) and the National Curriculum for History (2013).

Children learn about the history of the local area. They are given opportunities to visit places of historical interest and learning outside of the classroom and do in depth studies of Brighton seafront in Victorian times and Brighton Pavilion’s role in WWI.


Historical knowledge is taught explicitly in history lessons so that children know more, remember more and can do more.

Our history curriculum draws upon several powerful sources of knowledge: substantive knowledge e.g. the Roman conquest of Britain began in 43 CE, disciplinary knowledge e.g. how we construct understanding of life in ancient Greece from its pottery, historical analysis e.g. why did the Viking and Normans think they had the right to the throne of England? and substantive concepts e.g. how knowledge of the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans helps understanding of the concept of ‘invasion’. Our curriculum recognises the complex inter-relatedness between substantive and disciplinary knowledge.

We follow the Curriculum with Unity Schools Partnership (CUSP) History scheme of work to support all levels of planning and teaching. This scheme has enabled a strategic sequence of study that builds content and concepts over time, with vocabulary comprehensively structured and thoughtfully sequenced across year groups with progression in knowledge. It ensures that pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding are built upon through successive years towards clearly identified year group learning outcomes.

Wherever possible learning in history is linked to overall topics to enable children to add new learning to increasingly complex schemata that demonstrate the inter-relatedness of curriculum content.

To ensure our curriculum is taught to develop cumulatively sufficient knowledge by the end of each Key Stage we follow the stages outlined below:

1.)    Substantive knowledge for each subject is mapped from EYFS to Year 6 to ensure our children learn cumulatively sufficient knowledge by the end of each Key Stage.

2.)    Disciplinary knowledge as methods of historical enquiry is mapped from EYFS to Year 6 to enable children to apply their knowledge as skills.

3.)    Explicit teaching of vocabulary is central to children’s ability to connect new knowledge with prior learning. Teaching identifies Tier 2 words, high frequency words used across content e.g. influence, and Tier 3 words, specific to subject domains e.g. civilisation

4.)    Spaced retrieval practice, through questioning, quizzes and peer-explanations, further consolidates the transfer of information from working memory to long-term memory. Quizzing etc are primarily learning strategies to improve retrieval practice – the bringing of information to mind.

5.)    The use of knowledge organisers and knowledge notes for some subjects keeps essential information together to guard against split-attention effect. Children are taught to forge connections between their current learning and the ‘big picture’ of subject content.

Our Early Years Curriculum is carefully planned and implemented to enable children to achieve the Early Learning Goals (ELGs). Through the Understanding the World goal children learn about similarities and differences with images, stories, artefacts and accounts from the past. They organise events using basic chronology and recognise things that happened before they were born.

ELG objectives with history content are mapped against Key Stage 1 objectives to ensure teaching is sequential throughout the school, building upon the children’s prior learning.

Our history curriculum capitalises on Coldean’s unique history as part of the city of Brighton & Hove, on the edge of the South Downs National Park on the South coast of the United Kindgom.

Engagement with our “Coldean 50” ensure children achieve from a wider curriculum offer, for example, visiting landmarks in Brighton & Hove.

Our curriculum takes significant guidance from Ofsted’s “Research review series: history” (June 2021)



Our History curriculum ensures that children leave Coldean:

  • With knowledge and understanding of key history knowledge as detailed in the National Curriculum for History in KS1 & KS2.
  • Able to use a variety of key vocabulary with which to discuss their historical knowledge and understanding.
  • Who are increasingly critical and analytical within their thinking, making informed and balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past. 
  • Who are increasingly aware of how historical events have shaped the world that they currently live in. 
  • With an understanding of key elements of local history.
  • With enquiry skills enable them to pursue their own interests within a topic and further questioning. 

Our History curriculum CPD ensures that staff are knowledgeable and skilful teachers able to assess pupils’ learning against our Progression Map objectives.