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Horizon Academy Trust is an exempt charity regulated by the Secretary of State for Education.

company number 08411590

registered office is C/O Biggin Hill Primary School, Biggin Avenue, Bransholme, Hull, United Kingdom HU7 4RL.

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Gillshill Primary


History Policy.pdf

History curriculum journey.pdfHistory knowledge and skills progression.pdfHistory vocabulary progression.pdfHistory EYFS - KS1 Foundational Knowledge.pdf


The Horizon History curriculum has been designed so that all learners have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life. We aim to provide all the necessary tools for future learning and employment our children may require. Our learners in Key Stage 1 & 2 study the National Curriculum (2014) as a basic entitlement, but our History offer provides knowledge and enrichment beyond this. In EYFS we use the Educational Programmes (2021) to build our curriculum with guidance from Development Matters and Birth to 5.

To ensure that pupils develop secure sequential knowledge, our history curriculum is organised into a progression model that outlines the knowledge, skills and vocabulary to be taught in a coherent way. This begins in EYFS with the children understanding the concept of past and present through child-initiated and adult-led learning.  Once children begin in KS1 historical learning is based on four key concepts: 1. Time, place chronology 2. Legacy and relevance 3. Evidence and sources 4. Significance (people and events).

These concepts are mapped out to ensure that pupils build on secure prior learning within each unit. When covering each of these concepts, the content is organised by year group through a long-term plan. History is delivered through subject-specific teaching organised into blocks. Meaningful links with other subjects are constantly made to strengthen connections and allow deeper exploration and understanding for pupils.  Each individual school, when opportunities arise, link the history curriculum with their own main curriculum drivers relevant to its context.

We are fortunate enough to be located in and around the city of Hull, which brings with it a wealth of cultural opportunities. Each school ensures that each unit has an experiential element (trips, visitors, hook) to excite the children and make it real. As a trust, we believe in creating links with our communities and inspirational people within all subject fields to inspire the children, to gain knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world.

History involves understanding the process of change, the complexity of people’s lives, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and society today.  As Hull has a proud and unique history, part of our history curriculum allows children to fully understand the changes in the city over time and how these events have set up the city for the future. We also endeavour to provide purposeful and natural links to British values and discussions around being positive UK and global citizens during their learning. Our history curriculum promotes the rich diversity of the world, Britain and an appreciation of our locality. 

“The more you know about the past,
the better prepared you are for the future.”

Theodore Roosevelt


At Horizon Academy Trust, history is embedded in our knowledge-rich approach to learning. In KS1 and KS2, history is taught through units once each term. Teachers plan sequences of lessons across the unit that will build on and develop the children’s knowledge and skills. 

In EYFS, children learn about their immediate family and the similarities and differences between different families, basic chronology is explored in their life and others. Characters in stories are explored including figures from the past.

In Key Stage 1, our curriculum is mapped to enable children to develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They will start to know where the people and events they study, fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. As they progress through the key stage, they will demonstrate growing confidence and accuracy when using historical vocabulary, such as monarchy, explorer and artefact. 

In Key Stage 2, children will continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. This chronology, or sequence of events, will be referred to throughout KS2 so that children become secure in their understanding of important historical events and eras. Initially, the curriculum in KS2 is designed to begin with developing a strong chronology of British history, before learning about significant World history units such as the Ancient Egyptians. This allows children to begin to identify trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms such as ancient and civilisation. The explicit mapping and rigorous teaching of vocabulary ensures that children can gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’ or ‘parliament’. 

Carefully selected skills are chosen to best match each unit of knowledge and progress year on year. Opportunities to practise and embed skills are planned so that they are revisited and refined over time. The knowledge and skills that children will develop throughout each history topic are mapped across each year group and across the school to ensure progression. We also maximise the opportunities that our home city of Hull has to offer in terms of its rich history and the vast array of museums and cultural sites. Therefore, children’s learning in history is enriched by visits to carefully selected museums, where workshops and visit materials deepen their understanding and knowledge. 

We provide a knowledge organiser for each unit for teachers, which aims to distil the essential knowledge required for teaching a unit. Teachers use these documents to develop effective teaching sequences ensuring that each lesson builds on each child’s previous knowledge and skills.


The curriculum subject leader is responsible for monitoring and evaluating. The information gathered from this process informs the impact that the teaching has on that curriculum area. Judgements are based upon a triangulation of book scrutiny, pupil voice discussions, outcomes of assessments and the quality of teaching and learning. Governors undertake regular learning walks for their subject responsibility and receive a termly report from the subject leader identifying strengths and areas for development.  Each unit of work is assessed using our 1-3-5 Recap process. This means that the knowledge is revisited as part of the assessment process a week, 3 weeks and 5 weeks after the unit has been taught. The results of the recap are reported in History books.

Outcomes in History, English and writing books evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning, and children demonstrate a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and of the wider world, in addition to being curious to know more about the past. Through this study pupils ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Regular local history studies provide further relevant and contextual learning, engaging children in local visits and working with people in the community.

Our aim is that at the end of each school year, pupils will have gained a deepening understanding of chronology, historical vocabulary and the ways in which the past can be communicated. Their conceptual understanding has developed further so they can make links between themes. They are increasingly curious which allows them to debate upon and reflect on their own lines of enquiry and interest areas; become resilient and develop their confidence so that they believe they can succeed in anything.

Through discussion and feedback, children talk enthusiastically about their History lessons and show a genuine curiosity and interest in the areas they have explored. Pupils use vocabulary they have a clear understanding of to interpret and understand the past.

By the time our children leave Gillshill Primary School, they will be equipped to tackle the next stage of learning, with a breadth of knowledge, skills and historical experiences. Our History curriculum will have instilled in them a love and enjoyment of learning about the past, and an empathy and understanding of how important the past has been in shaping their lives and their futures.