history learning at the Pilgrim school 

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



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 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.


  • 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

What has been going on at the Pilgrim School?

Our Dickens-Inspired World Book Day

We decided to focus World Book Day on our local historical identity. 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

 Foundation Stage history Pilgrim Progress.docxDownload
 Year 1 history Pilgrim Progress.docxDownload
 Year 2 history Pilgrim Progress.docxDownload
 Year 3 history Pilgrim Progress.docxDownload
 Year 4 history Pilgrim Progress.docxDownload
 Year 5 history Pilgrim Progress.docxDownload
 Year 6 history Pilgrim Progress.docxDownload
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