The aim of history teaching here at Thurnby Mead Primary Academy is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children a sense of chronology and through this, they develop a sense of identity, and develop their cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. Thus, they learn to value and respect their own and other people’s cultures in modern multi-cultural Britain and, by considering how people lived in the past, they are better able to make their own life choices today. In our school, history makes a significant contribution to citizenship education by teaching them about how Britain developed as a democratic society.

We teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today. We have developed our history curriculum to incorporate links to our local area as well to enable the children to recognise and understand the world around them and embed their learning of History.

History Overview 2023-24  

Year One
Autumn Term: Why do we remember? Remembrance unit.

Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally.

BH- Walter Tull- first black Army officer to lead white soldiers.

Spring Term: How has Leicester changed since the 1950s?The Story of Leicester’s Shops

Changes within living memory. Significant historical events, people, and places in their own locality.

Summer Term: How have explorers changed the world? Finding out about events and people beyond living memory. Investigating the lives of significant individuals in the past- Christopher Columbus and Matthew Henson.

BH- Matthew Henson- African American Explorer.

Year Two
Autumn Term: The Great Fire of London

Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally

Spring Term: What is a monarch? Investigating the lives of significant individuals in the past. Compare aspects of life in different periods. William the Conqueror.

Summer Term: How did we learn to fly? Finding out about events and people beyond living memory. Events that are nationally or globally significant. Wright brothers, Amelia Earhart and Bessie Coleman.

BH- Bessie Coleman – first African American woman to hold a pilot license

Year Three
Autumn Term: What did the Ancient Egyptians believe? The achievements of the Earliest Civilisations.

Spring Term: Would you prefer to live in the Stone Age, Bronze Age or Iron Age?  Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.

Summer Term: Why did the Romans settle in Britain? The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain. The legacy of Roman Culture on later periods in British History.

Year Four
Autumn Term: How hard was it to invade and settle in Britain? (Anglo Saxons). Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots.

Spring Term: Early Islamic Civilisation: What was the role of Baghdad on early Islamic civilisation?

A Non-European society to contrast with British history.

BH- Muhammad Ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi (Polymath)

Summer Term: Were the Vikings raiders, traders or settlers? The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the kingdom of England to the time of Edward the confessor.

Year Five
Autumn Term (Full term): What was the impact of WW2 on the people of Britain? A study of an aspect or theme in British History that extends Pupil’s Chronological knowledge beyond 1066.

Spring Term: What did the Greeks ever do for us?  Ancient Greeks- a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world. The legacy of Greek culture on later periods in British History.

Year Six
Autumn Term: What does the census tell us about our local area? A local history study.

BH- Role of black Victorians – National Archive 1 hour workshop

Summer Term: Why is King Richard III significant to Leicester? King Richard III unit. A local history study, A study of an aspect of British History that extends pupil’s chronological knowledge beyond 1066.

Subject Leader/s

Mrs W Follows


The children within the Early Year classes are first introduced to the concept of time, focussing on their past and present. By recognising themselves in a picture of them as a baby they are acknowledging that they had a past, now they are different so that is the present. They then expand on this by accepting and commenting on familiar situations from the past identifying similarities and drawing on their experiences. Children learn about the concept of time and vocabulary related to this.

Within Year Ones History lessons the children begin to identify that some things have happened before they were born – relating to family such as parents and grandparents. They learn about local history within the unit ‘How has Leicester changed since the 1950s?’ and ‘The Story of Leicester’s Shops.’  This is then extended to famous historical figures e.g. Walter Tull- the first black Army officer to lead white soldiers. Then units cover key events which commemorate significant events of the past such as ‘Why do we remember?’ Remembrance unit, and the ‘How have explorers changed the world?’ unit enables the children to recognise changes throughout time and their impact on life today.

In Year two the children expand their knowledge by going further into the past and learning about historical events e.g. the Fire of London and local, Leicestershire historical figures such as Lady Jane Grey (Monarchy) and Thomas Cooke. The children learn these topics through a variety of methods.

Using ICT to explore historical places in present day.

Visitors in school to demonstrate changes over time.

By year three the children then learn about the major causes of advancement from Stone to Bronze to Iron and identifying how these impacted globally, nationally, and locally. Then recognising why our interpretations of these time periods is difficult due to limited primary sources or written evidence. They also learn about Roman Britain as well as Ancient Egypt.

These are a few of the varied ways children learn.

Children re-enacting a ceremony.

Year 3 children examining artefacts, roleplaying, and completeing activities whilist role playing on a trip to the New Walk Museum.

The children in Year four will learn History through three topics, Invaders and Settlers, Early Islamic Civilisation and What did the Anglo Saxons and Vikings leave behind. When exploring each topic the children will recognise, identify, and understand how developments in the past impact and influence the way we live today.

In Upper Key Stage 2 the children expand their historical knowledge investigating World War II and the Ancient Greeks. They deepen understanding. They begin to compare lifestyles and observe re-enactments that deliver authentic experiences. Within the Ancient Greek topic they study Myths and Legends. Within the World War II topic the children will learn when and why World War II began and find out about the key individuals and countries involved. In addition to this, they will discover what it was like for people on the home front and how they contributed to the war effort.

In Year 6 the children are taught the topics of; What does the census tell us about our local area? A local history study, and Why is King Richard III significant to Leicester? King Richard III unit.  For these topics the children will be able to use locally based events and locations. Access to these sources will enable the children to identify relevant evidence in these subjects, use the evidence as the basis for an opinion and begin to make references to evidence as justification of their ideas.

As the DSP contains children with a range of ages and abilities History is taught using a selection of different activities differentiated for each child. The topics are taken from the different school year groups and are changed yearly as the children mostly remain within the DSP throughout their time at Thurnby Mead Primary Academy this ensures a varied curriculum.

The topics are:

2022/23 Remembrance Lady Jane Grey Thomas Cooke
2022/24 The Fire of London Nurturing Nurses Changes in Britain-Stone Age to Iron Age