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At Kensington Community Primary School, we believe that history plays an integral part in helping pupils understand the present as well as the past. As a school, we want our children to understand and value the diverse experiences and contributions of others from throughout history. We believe that history plays an important part in helping to shape a pupil's own sense of identity. As pupils progress through the history curriculum, our intent is for them to build a secure knowledge of both the substantive and disciplinary content. 

By identifying the skills of the IB learner profile throughout the taught curriculum, we will ensure that pupils recognise how they can use these skills to progress effectively and achieve highly, therefore addressing social disadvantages.

Substantive content is the substance that pupils learn in each subject – the vocabulary and factual content, which is learnt through stories, descriptions, representations, reports, statistics and other sources.

Disciplinary content is all that pupils learn about how knowledge is constantly renewed in the subject’s ongoing development. This constant quest for better and better understandings of our world inspires both awe and humility in pupils. In History, pupils will: 

  • Use the concepts of continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, in order to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
  • Practise the methods of historical enquiry, understand how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.



At Kensington Community Primary School, our history curriculum is taught explicitly from Years 1 through to 6. In the Early Year’s Foundation Stage, learning is met through an immersive and holistic approach through ‘Understanding of the World'. Topics and themes are mapped out, and our children are introduced to concepts and vocabulary that can be built upon as they enter KS1.

In KS1, topics are taught termly. Substantive and disciplinary content is mapped out to ensure children and staff are able to revisit and recall concepts, vocabulary, knowledge and skills. Each of the enquiries has a main disciplinary focus, while many of the topics feature multiple disciplines, staff are able to reinforce our children’s understanding and familiarity with different historical arguments. We want to encourage our children to work as historians, we aid and enhance this through our WOW visits, as well as a range of historical artefacts. In KS1, our children are exposed to a broad range of historical figures and periods. The content has been selected to enable our children to progress by what they have already learnt as they enter KS2.

As our children enter KS2, they have become familiar with the Opening Worlds Humanities programme, having studied the Stone Age topic in Year 2 Summer term. The programme has currently been rolled out in Years 3-5 with Year 6 to follow in September 2024. The programme is carefully sequenced and is systematic about teasing out the stories, vocabulary and ideas which need to abide in memory. By revisiting them re-using them and practising them, they arrive at new material, and can ‘progress’ into this new knowledge because they know particular earlier stories which make it make sense. As a result, they already recognise essential vocabulary that they will need and because all this security has freed up memory space to learn the new material and vocabulary too.



The impact and measure of this is to ensure that pupils at Kensington Primary School are equipped with historical knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3.

Through pupil voice, our children will be able to talk about the knowledge that they have acquired. They will be engaged in history lessons and want to find out more. Synoptic tasks and activities are designed to ensure that pupils are able to apply the disciplinary and substantive knowledge that they have built and learnt. Our school environment will reflect a love of learning and enjoyment in history through displays, resources and vocabulary. Assessments and monitoring will show standards in history will be high and will match standards in other subject areas.

At Kensington Primary school we want our pupils to thoroughly enjoy learning about history. It is through being educated about past events and bringing them to our pupils' present that their futures can be shaped.

Kensington Community Primary School