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  • In St. Ambrose, History is taught through our thematic approach of the IPC (International Primary Curriculum) scheme. This allows not only for historical thinking to be taught in a context but also for it to be taught across the curriculum, particularly with art, design and technology and computing . The aim of the curriculum is to provide a high-quality history education which will help pupils to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Whenever it is appropriate, the local and regional context is explored, not least through an excellent range of educational visits and visitors which are integrated fully with learning in the classroom. The topics in the New Primary History curriculum have been carefully matched to the IPC topics to ensure that the required skills and learning is covered across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

As a school we follow the National Curriculum Programmes of study for History across Key Stages 1 and 2.

Please see below: 

Purpose of study A high-quality history education equips pupils to think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. A knowledge of Britain’s past, and our place in the world, helps us understand the challenges of our own time.


The National Curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • know and understand the story of these islands: how the British people shaped this nation and how Britain influenced the world
  • know and understand British history as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the story of the first settlers in these islands to the development of the institutions which govern our lives today
  • know and understand the broad outlines of European and world history: the growth and decline of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; the achievements and follies of mankind
  • gain and deploy a historically-grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • 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
  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.

Attainment targets

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

Subject content

Key Stage 1

Pupils should begin to develop an awareness of the past and the ways in which it is similar to and different from the present. They should understand simple subject-specific vocabulary relating to the passing of time and begin to develop an understanding of the key features of a range of different events and historical periods.

Pupils should be taught about:

  • simple vocabulary relating to the passing of time such as ‘before’, ‘after’, ‘past’, ‘present’, ‘then’ and ‘now’
  • the concept of nation and of a nation’s history
  • concepts such as civilisation, monarchy, parliament, democracy, and war and peace that are essential to understanding history
  • the lives of significant individuals in Britain’s past who have contributed to our nation’s achievements – scientists such as Isaac Newton or Michael Faraday, reformers such as Elizabeth Fry or William Wilberforce, medical pioneers such as William Harvey or Florence Nightingale, or creative geniuses such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel or Christina Rossetti
  • key events in the past that are significant nationally and globally, particularly those that coincide with festivals or other events that are commemorated throughout the year
  • significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.

Key Stage 2

Pupils should be taught about the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome.

In addition, across Key Stages 2, pupils should be taught the essential chronology of Britain’s history. This will serve as an essential frame of reference for more in-depth study. Pupils should be made aware that history takes many forms, including cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history. Pupils should be taught about key dates, events and significant individuals. They should also be given the opportunity to study local history.

Pupils should be taught the following chronology of British history sequentially:

  • early Britons and settlers, including: the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages, Celtic culture and patterns of settlement
  • Roman conquest and rule, including: Caesar, Augustus, and Claudius
  • Britain as part of the Roman Empire
  • the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire
  • Anglo-Saxon and Viking settlement, including: the Heptarchy,  the spread of Christianity, key developments in the reigns of Alfred, Athelstan, Cnut and Edward the Confessor
  • the Norman Conquest and Norman rule, including: the Domesday Book, feudalism, Norman culture
  • the Crusades
  • Plantagenet rule in the 12th and 13th centuries, including: key developments in the reign of Henry II, including the murder of Thomas Becket, Magna Carta, de Montfort’s Parliament
  • relations between England, Wales, Scotland and France, including: William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Llywelyn and Dafydd ap Gruffydd, the Hundred Years War
  • life in 14th Century England, including: chivalry, the Black Death, the Peasants’ Revolt
  • the later Middle Ages and the early modern period, including: Chaucer and the revival of learning, Wycliffe’s Bible,  Caxton and the introduction of the printing press, the Wars of the Roses, Warwick the Kingmaker
  • the Tudor period, including religious strife and Reformation in the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary,
  • Elizabeth I’s reign and English expansion, including: colonisation of the New World, plantation of Ireland, conflict with Spain
  • the Renaissance in England, including the lives and works of individuals such as Shakespeare and Marlowe
  • the Stuart period, including: the Union of the Crowns, King versus Parliament, Cromwell’s commonwealth, the Levellers and the Diggers, the restoration of the monarchy, the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London, Samuel Pepys and the establishment of the Royal Navy
  • the Glorious Revolution, constitutional monarchy and the Union of the Parliaments.


To take a look at our school National Curriculum/IPC Units for 2016-2017, please see below:

(National Curriculum/ IPC Units)


  • Famous people –
    • People of the past
  • Toys and games-
    • The Magic Toymaker
  • Fire of London-
    • Time traveller
  • Homes/Castles-
    • Buildings

YEAR 3 & 4

  • Ancient Britain (Stone Age to iron Age)
    • Scavengers and Settlers
  • Early civilisations (Ancient Egypt & Ancient Mayans)
    • Temples, tombs and treasures
  • Local History (Victorians)
  • Non-European C900 A.D
  • History A.D.900

YEAR 5 & 6

  • Romans
    • The great, the bold and the brave
  • Ancient Greece
    • The great, the bold and the brave
  • Beyond 1066+

(World War)

History in St Ambrose
Please see below some of our wonderful History displays across the school from this year.



History/Art Club

The Year 3 really enjoyed our History/ Art club this term. Some of the exciting activities included: making bookmarks by writing our names in hieroglyphics; making Roman bracelets; using clay to make Egyptian canopic jars and then painting them. We are so proud of the Year 3 for achieving their Art Cub certificates!

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