The Pilgrim School

History - Leighton Academy

Proud to be … forever Pilgrim                                 The Pilgrim School - About Us

I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.”

(John 10:10) 

Our history learning is driven by our Pilgrim vision. Everything we teach is aimed to help our children flourish by understanding and exploring two key concepts: "Who are we?" and "How do we live?"

                      We are historians.

                                  We have questioning minds.

                                             We are critical thinkers. 

                                                      We know our past.

                                                                We are the future.

                            We are Pilgrims.                            

Our Intent

At the Pilgrim school, we aim to stimulate and develop our children’s interests and natural curiosity. By using topics which engage our children, they respect their historical heritage and develop a sense of cultural understanding. Learning about significant events and people in History enables the children to develop an enquiring and questioning mind. Through teaching the National Curriculum we develop a sense of identity and place, give children the opportunity to reflect on their school, community and local area and encourage all our children to be historians who see how the past has impacted on their lives. Using threshold concepts which build upon previous understanding engages children and allows them to build interrelated knowledge throughout their Pilgrim journey. We have designed our History curriculum to be relevant to our children, allowing their identity and knowledge of their past to flourish to influence their future.

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” – Winston Churchill 

Please click here to read further details in our History Policy.


History learning is planned coherently and sequentially to ensure it is relevant to our children. It builds chronological understanding, develops questioning minds and considers the impact historical events have had upon our lives today. In addition to these, we have threshold concepts underpinning our learning throughout the school to develop a deep understanding, which is built upon as the children progress through our school. 

These key concepts include:

  • Understanding chronology
  • Building an overview of world history
  • Investigating and interpreting the past
  • Communicating historically                                                              

These threshold concepts are explored consistently, developing existing skills and extending knowledge. Development of these concepts will be seen throughout the different year groups. Our aim is to learn through schema; webs of meaning and ideas we associate with particular terms, in order to gain a deep and rounded historical understanding.

Foundation Stage are growing their sense of chronology and understanding vocabulary linked with passing of time. In line with the EYFS curriculum, the children are encouraged to talk about themselves and how they have changed over time. They share stories, handle artefacts and look at pictures to identify similarities and differences and begin to talk about changes. They are encouraged to ask older people, particularly their families about the past and are introduced to other cultures. Enquiry is a key skill in history and we approach the planning of history in this way.

Key Stage 1 and 2 explore and develop these skills further, expanding upon the key concepts of understanding chronology, building an overview of world history, investigate and interpret the past and communicate historically. We plan in line with the National Curriculum, aiming to deliver a wide breadth of study to build knowledge, develop an understanding of historical ideas and engage children to see the world from an informed, historical perspective. The four identified concepts allow children to develop subject-specific vocabulary, continually reinforce and build knowledge and make connections. The table below outlines this accumulation of knowledge and skills throughout the Pilgrim School journey. We use our Pilgrim Progress to track our children's learning through our Review, Teach, Practise and Apply approach to ensure each child's learning is personalised to them, including supporting those with SEND within the History curriculum.



  • Children will become increasingly aware of the impact historical events have had upon the world in which they live.
  • Using the key knowledge and skills learnt, children will become increasingly confident in making informed and balanced judgements.
  • Children will develop their critical and analytical skills when thinking and speaking, using these skills in their wider life.
  • The history learning is relevant to the children making them engage in and enjoy their learning.
  • They will develop an understanding of history on a local, British and world-scale.
  • Children will gain skills to take their enquiry skills further to explore their own interests and further develop their questioning.
  • A range of opportunities will be presented to our children, such as visitors/school trips to further appreciate the impact of History.
  • Evidence of work shows a range of topics covered and meaningful cross curricular links.
  • Standards in history are high and match standards in other subjects such as English.

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Marking of books to inform future learning 
  • Pilgrim Progress is used as a form of recorded assessment (see below for Pilgrim Progress)
  • Formative assessment is a part of History lessons to assess children's understanding (including vocabulary), before, during and after a unit is taught
  • Book scrutiny across year groups 
  • Pupil interviews  
  • Monitoring of teaching during lesson observations 
  • History subject lead attends subject cluster meetings with local schools to share practice
  • Annual reporting to parents of standards across the curriculum

Children leave our school as historians with a knowledge of the past to inform the future. They develop questioning minds and become critical thinkers. The Pilgrim School fosters a love of history by acknowledging the importance of knowing where we have come from and enhancing cultural identity.

Children leave our school being proud of who they are, who they were and who they can be.


What has been going on at the Pilgrim School?

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee! 

We celebrated the Queen's 70 years on the throne by completing different activities from the decades throughout the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Each afternoon was spent mixing our classes from across the school and exploring different aspects from these decades, from fashion to music, games to sports, books and TV programmes to technology. We created a timeline to demonstrate how these different aspects of daily life have changed throughout this time period. We completed our week with our Jubilee-inspired Grandparent's afternoon.


Our Dickens-Inspired World Book Day

We decided to focus World Book Day on our local historical identity. Reading is a vital part of the history curriculum to enhance understanding. With The Pilgrim School being based in Borstal, Rochester, what better way to celebrate than to focus on a local significant figure from the past - Charles Dickens. Each class studied one of Dickens' novels, exploring many aspects of life in that time period, including clothing, work and lifestyle. We had such an amazing time as shown in the photos below whilst learning about our local history!


Year 4 - Romans - Kent Life Trip


Year 2 - The Great Fire of London


Year 5 - Charles Dickens - Tour of Rochester


Year 3 - The Stone Age - Kent Life Trip


History Reading at the Pilgrim School:

Here are some of the texts our children read throughout their time at the Pilgrim School to enhance their historical knowledge and understanding.


Useful Websites

BBC History

Primary Resources

BBC History for Kids

Nat Geo Kids


Our History Pilgrim Progress

 History Coverage