History at Cowling Primary School

Subject Curriculum Lead:  Mr Alex Glover



At Cowling Primary School, we believe that history is an essential guide for understanding how the world works; the knowledge and skills taught through history help contribute to developing successful, productive and actively engaged citizens who take ownership in their futures and communities. The aim of progress in learning is an alteration to long term memory so we aim to use history to ignite our learners’ curiosity to make this alteration permanent. Through the study of Britain through the stone age to more recent history, children develop a sense of identity and cultural understanding from their shared heritage. By learning about other aspects of history beyond our shores they will appreciate the similarities and differences of societies throughout time and place. The teaching of history helps pupils understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change and the importance of enquiry, investigation and analysis.

Our history education is grounded in the following concepts which we weave through and revisit each topic:

Disciplinary concepts – change & continuity, cause & consequence, similarity & difference, significance, interpretation & evidential enquiry

Substantive concepts – power & conflict, empire & democracy, work & trade, settlement & migration, transport & travel 




In Key Stage 1 pupils begin to understand significant events both in our locality as well as nationally and globally. The KS1 history program operates a 2 year rolling cycle. Our curriculum is split into five blocks over two years; history and geography alternate being taught each block each year.

In Year A pupils will learn about significant historical events, people and places in their own locality: Remembrance Day and Skipton Castle.

In Year B pupils will focus on events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally, changes within living memory that reveal aspects of change in national life and significant historical people and places in their own locality: The Great Fire of London, the Gunpowder plot and the lives of our grandparents in Cowling.


In Key Stage 2 pupils develop their chronologically secure knowledge of history through a 2-year rolling program for both LKS2 and UKS2. Pupils begin this journey in prehistory and classical antiquity, concentrating on civilisation’s infancy from the stone age to the iron age through to an in-depth study of Ancient Rome and the developments of Roman Britain.

Our curriculum is split into five blocks over two years; history and Geography alternate being taught each block each year.

In Year A pupils have two blocks of history and three Geography –

LKS2 – Changes in Britain from the Stone age to the Iron Age and the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain.

UKS2 – The industrial revolution with an emphasis on local history study and the study of an aspect of British History that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066: the English Civil Wars and Interregnum period.


In Year B pupils have three blocks of history and two Geography –

LKS2 – Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots, the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor and a local history study – the history of Skipton Castle from the Norman Conquest to present day.

UKS2 – The achievements of the earliest civilisations – an overview of where and when the first civilisations appeared and an in-depth study of Ancient Egypt, a study of Ancient Greek life and achievements and their influence on the modern world, and a non-European society that provides contracts with British history: Early Islamic Civilisation.


The impact of our history curriculum is assessed by quizzes and tests for each unit. Each block’s topic is revisited a number of times throughout the year to ensure an alteration has been made to long term memory. Pupils are also informally asked questions by staff about what they’ve learned so they can more easily call learned facts to memory.


How is history embedded in EYFS?

The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum helps to support children’s understanding of history through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World.’ Pupils talk about the lives of the people around them and what their roles are in society. They learn about some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class. They will be able to recall some important narratives, characters and figures from the past encountered in books read in class.


Enrichment of history at Cowling

Enrichment of history at Cowling is offered through our collection of topical resources and artefacts for pupils to examine closely. Furthermore, class trips to various museums or exhibits related to our topics help bring history to life. Cowling has also recently installed a large, colourful historical timeline in the KS2 playground that help children access the trajectory of history in a detailed and artistic way.