Helmsley Community Primary School

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At Helmsley School, we believe EYFS is the start of a pupil’s history in school. Through the ‘Understanding of the World’ unit children develop the knowledge and vocabulary that enables them to access the history taught in Key Stage One. What they learn leads through to the acquirement of key concepts, their understanding of chronology and continues to progress towards organising their own historical arguments and accounts in Key Stage Two.

It is our intent that through the History Curriculum at Helmsley CP School:

  • We inspire a curiosity within our children.
  • We demonstrate our belief that what our pupils learn through history can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values.
  • We encourage children to develop a context for their growing sense of identity and a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people.
  • We develop pupil’s understanding of chronology alongside second order concepts of: cause and consequence, change and continuity, similarity and difference, historical significance, sources and evidence.
  • We develop an understanding of British history and that of the wider world; looking at how the past, and accounts of it, have shaped identities.
  • Children look at how individuals have influenced changes and develop a sense of how we as individuals learn from the past and can use this knowledge be a positive influence ourselves.
  • Children are given the opportunity to pose historical questions and to examine / interpret / evaluate to make deductions about the past exploring how accounts have been constructed and decisions have been made by historians.
  • Children use a high-level of historical vocabulary relevant to the topic that they are studying and to have a concrete understanding of key historical terms.
  • British Values are woven into the History curriculum promoting; mutual respect, tolerance and individual liberty.
  • Theme days, visitors and school visits are used to develop a deeper understanding of the time periods studied and to inspire the children so that they have a lifelong love of History.


At Helmsley School History is taught through an historical topic at given points throughout the year. Sequences of lessons progressively cover the skills and concepts required in the National Curriculum. 

See our History - scheme of learning and History - progression of skills documents for further information on specific content taught in individual year groups.

In classes working walls are used to reflect what is being taught including relevant vocabulary. Each child has a topic book into which knowledge organisers, evidence of learning and end of unit quizzes are placed. Central display boards are used to celebrate history work across the school and reflect additional work that is completed as a whole school focus i.e The life of Queen Elizabeth II and Remembrance Day.

 History lessons:

  • Are the same content for each pupil with delivery adapted for individual children as appropriate.
  • Contain broad substantive knowledge (the historical facts) and disciplinary knowledge (the knowledge the children learn about how historians investigate the past and about how historical accounts are created.
  • Use hinterland knowledge to aid memory of core knowledge; the core knowledge is what we want pupils to remember and hinterland knowledge is the examples (the stories, the illustrations etc) that enriches the information learnt.
  • Incorporate storytelling and extended texts.
  • Equip children for future learning. 

Throughout lessons at Helmsley School teachers show the children how knowledge and skills are transferable across differing periods of history studied so that the children progress by embedding content and concepts. The disciplinary knowledge is built meaningfully on what substantive knowledge the children already know. Concepts are revisited throughout different units ensuring all children have the opportunity to progress within the areas of: chronological understanding; knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past; historical investigation, historical interpretations. This is then mapped across a child’s school journey to ensure progression for all children.


History Scheme of Learning

History Progression of Skills