Park Avenue, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S25 2QZ

01909 550779

Anston Park Junior School

Subject Leader: Miss Martin

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

History is a construct. It is about real people, places and events. It is all around us. At Anston Park, we aim to instil in our pupil’s enthusiasm, curiosity and an understanding of these aspects in a variety of times and environments. Our history curriculum is split into three main strands: historical knowledge, historical concepts and historical enquiry.

Historical Knowledge:

Through the teaching of history, which is informed by the National Curriculum, Rising Stars and, where possible, pupil’s interests and the local area, pupils will understand that they are the characters in the narrative of shaping the future. They will be inspired to think of consequences on a greater scale and consider their role both now and in the future.

 Linking to our curriculum drivers, we aim to create a framework of knowledge and understanding into which pupils can place new information. This particularly applies to the chronological understanding of British, local and world history. Pupils should be able to identify trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. This knowledge will allow them to organise their understanding of the past and articulate how one period links to another. It is important, however, that our pupils are not taught about the past as a series of uncontested facts or list of dates that must be memorised. They must have an understanding of history as a construct. They need to know that the story of the past can be told differently and that history is created from the evidence that remains. This evidence then requires judgements about its accuracy and reliability. In turn, this will help pupils understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of society and the relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity of the challenges of their time.

Historical Concepts:

Within history, pupils will develop a deep understanding of key concepts. These concepts have been carefully considered and identified as the core knowledge and skills to provide lenses through which to consider different aspects of history. First order (substantive) concepts help pupils to organise information by creating schemas and sticky webs of information. When teaching, we ensure that both substantive and disciplinary concepts are combined and built upon each year as we recognise that one is meaningless without the other. As a result of our spiral curriculum, key concepts are also revisited across different units and year groups to ensure understanding is fully embedded within the long-term memory. Pupils will also be introduced to subject specific (tier 3) vocabulary.

Substantive Knowledge - also referred to as first-order concepts, relates to abstract concepts which occur frequently throughout studying history. Substantive concepts have specific meanings in different contexts rather than existing as definitions.

Society and Community

Society - how people group 
together and organise their rules and systems.

Community - a group of people living or working together in the same area.

Exploration and Invasion

Exploration - travelling to new places for the purpose of discovery.

Invasion - to enter a country or group’s land as an enemy, by force, in order to conquer or plunder.


When someone has control, authority or influence over others.


a)serious disagreement or argument

b)a prolonged armed struggle

Religion and Beliefs

Religion - a particular system of faith and worship.

Beliefs - something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion


Something which has been accomplished and has had a long-lasting impact on others.


Historical Figures

A person who has made an impact in their own time or who has had their significance recognised since.

Disciplinary Knowledge
- also referred to as second-order concepts, relates to learning about how historians study the past and construct accounts through specific examples e.g. how do we know what we know?

Constructing the Past

Refers to establishing clear narrative within and across the periods of study including connections, contrasts and trends.

Sequencing the Past (Chronology)

Chronology is the study of the big picture of events across time. This means that pupils gradually build up a sense of how periods and events fit together in sequence. 

Historical Terms

This language includes that relating to the passing of time, as well as that connected to the measuring of time  Other categories include language around historical concepts e.g. monarchy, democracy and invade.

Continuity and Change

Refers to the idea that some things change while others, old and new, stay the same. It is about comparing and contrasting.

Cause and Consequence

Refers to the ‘how and why’ of history. The causes look for ‘what were the actions / beliefs / circumstances' that led to a change or event and what happened after this (consequences). These consequences can be both good and bad and there can be a ripple effect through time.

Similarity and Difference (Diversity)

 Based upon an understanding of the complexity of people’s lives, differing perspectives and relationships between different groups. 

Significance and Interpretation

Some events, ideas, people and places have had such a long-lasting impact on the world that they could be considered significant. Interpretation refers to the understanding that history is not just about knowing the events of the past but also the way such events are presented. 

Planning and Carrying Out a Historical Enquiry

The process by which pupils use the same methods as a professional historian when investigating an aspect of history. This is developed by asking and framing questions; undertaking research; making judgements and effectively communicating answers.

Using Sources of Evidence 

sources of evidence are used to create a picture of the past. Primary sources are the raw material of history whereas secondary sources are the products of the study of history – they are always based on other sources.

Historical Enquiry:

History is a construct. It is not the story of what happened in the past; it is how people have interpreted the fragments of the past that have been left behind. So that our pupils can gain an understanding of what history is, they need to know how historians work. Pupils undertake historical enquiry so that they actually do history. Through this method, pupils are shown how to ask questions, select and evaluate evidence and to make judgments about the past. It also acts as an opportunity to show that there is often more than one side to a story and that history is multi-perspective.

National Curriculum 

The link and document below outlines the National Curriculum for History in England.

History National Curriculum (Key Stage 1 & 2)

Our Journey Through the Curriculum

Our curriculum is designed, using Rising Stars, to enable pupils to acquire a rich web of knowledge as the sequence and selection of topics builds on previous units and feeds forward into future learning. British history follows a chronological approach to support pupils in developing a clear long-term narrative across history. Each year group studies a theme of British history beyond 1066 every summer term, with two of those taught as local history units. These are taught later in the year to facilitate the introduction of fieldwork. The units also become increasingly more challenging as pupils engage with a broader range and more complex sources of evidence. Some units are taught within UKS2 due to their more challenging themes and concepts. For example, migration and refugees in the Y5 ‘Journeys’ unit and government and democracy in the Y6 ‘Ancient Greeks’ unit.

The documents below show how the topics have been mapped out across each year group and term.