History at the West Exmoor Federation

At The West Exmoor Federation, we aim to deliver a high-quality History education which will help our children gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire our children’s curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip our children to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps our children to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.


          The national curriculum for History aims to ensure that all children:

  • Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; 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 the methods of historical enquiry, including 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.


Across the federation, we endeavour to deliver the History curriculum through:

  • Teachers creating a positive attitude to History learning within and outside of their classrooms and reinforcing an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards.
  • As a federation History is taught in planned and arranged thematic blocks by the class teacher. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of the basic skills but also to stretch and push for a greater depth of knowledge.
  • Through our planning, we involve cross curricular opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use skills within their local areas, developing an understanding of local history alongside the history of the British Isles and the wider world. Some of these skills and knowledge can be learnt through first hand experiences, whilst others being researched and taught explicitly. Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving local historical experts, residential activities where possible and using high quality resources. Teachers use precise questioning in class to check knowledge and understanding of key dates, historical eras and essential facts linked with the area being studied.  Teachers will assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children keep up, whilst also recapping learnt skills and knowledge in order to retain information already learnt.
  • We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more aware of the differing areas of the curriculum, they will be able to explore further the importance of caring for our historical landmarks, features and the importance of not forgetting what has come before us. The children will be encouraged to debate, form opinions and question key concepts and ideas from the past that have led to the world we live in today.
  • Opportunities are built into our curriculum whereby working with experts and deepening their knowledge, understanding and respect for their locality, in particular allow for them to become excellent citizens of the future.
  • Teachers will build children’s understanding of the wide range of historical vocabulary and expect the children to become proficient in using this orally and when in writing.
  • Teachers will encourage children to consider the lives of significant people, compare and contrast their experiences to individuals from the past, consider changes within living memory and beyond.


  • Children from across the federation will have an appreciation for their local History, the importance it has on them, their families and local communities. They will be able to discuss and compare this to wider British and World History.
  • The children within KS1, will be able to detail significant individuals and their contribution to national or international society, changes within living memory and events beyond living memory.
  • The children within KS2, will be able to discuss areas relating to changes in Britain between the Stone Age and Iron Age, the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain, British settlements by Anglo Saxons and Scots, Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England, a local history study, Ancient Greece and achievements of the earliest civilisations.
  • Children will develop an appreciation of how our history, eg, imperialism and slavery, has resulted in inequality and prejudice and how their understanding of this can help them actively tackle such inequalities.
  • The children will be able to make connections, contrasts and notice trends over time by using a range of different sources of information.
  • Children will engage in fun, exciting and thought-provoking lessons, which will build on their curiosity about the past and the impact it has had on toady.
  • Children will be able to use maps as sources to understand the movement of different civilisations throughout time.
  • Children will achieve the expected standard or above within this subject area.