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We aim for all children to leave Collis as curious and enthusiastic learners who develop a lifelong love of History and its impact on the world around them. This is achieved through a carefully planned curriculum that helps pupils develop a secure chronological knowledge of different time periods of local, British and world history. This is taught alongside a progression of embedded historical skills that ensure children can apply their knowledge to the key substantive concepts of continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity and difference and significance of people and events. This enables them to make links between and across time periods, following lines of historical enquiry and using a wide range of evidence to gather and evaluate information and then communicate their ideas. Running through all year groups are our ‘golden threads’ such as civilisation, legacy and empire which develop and build on the children’s prior learning throughout their time at Collis.


The National Curriculum for History states that:

  • 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.

Bringing History to Life


Collis has a detailed progression grid for History which supports a clear sequential building of knowledge, skills and vocabulary.  In EYFS children start by looking at past and present events in their personal experience and through books read in class. They use everyday vocabulary related to time and identify some differences between things in the past and now. Moving through Key Stage 1, children look at changes within and beyond living memory in relation to toys, homes and the seaside, as well as studying significant events and individuals from the past such as the Great Fire of London, Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole. From Year 3 onwards, the curriculum is structured in chronological order so children build up a clear picture of events and periods around the world, relating these to what has previously been studied. In Year 6, children study the Mayan people in order to draw comparisons with a range of civilisations that have been covered previously.


Workshops, visits, themed events and artefact handling are used as well as a wide range of classroom based activities to bring the subject to life and to help embed this learning so that children know more and remember more. For example a local history visit to Hampton Court palace in Year 5 provides inspiration for a self-directed project on the Tudors, while Year 6 visit Gunnersbury museum for an

immersive experience of Victorian schooling. Cross- curricular links are made with other subjects to broaden children’s ability to apply their historical knowledge in different contexts.


If you were to walk into a History lesson at Collis, you would see:


  • Children using a wide range of resources and key vocabulary to ask questions around their learning and research to help find answers.
  • Children actively sharing their ideas within focussed discussion opportunities (using a range of appropriate historical vocabulary) drawing comparisons between past and present.
  • Children using historical skills to investigate, gather evidence and communicate their ideas in different ways
  • Regular opportunities through lesson starters, plenaries, early morning work and assemblies to revisit previous lesson objectives within a unit as well as those from earlier topics.
  • Interested and engaged children who are confident to talk about their learning.  


Example of golden thread – ‘legacy’:



Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

What makes London special?

Impact of Victorian traditions on Christmas

The Great Fire of London – impact on layout of London today

Ancient Egypt – hieroglyphics, pyramids, artefacts

Romans – impact on Britain today e.g. roads, viaducts, entertainment

Greeks – democracy, architecture, Olympics, theatre

Victorians industrial revolution – factories, machinery


Children are assessed on their knowledge and skills in a variety of ways. There is an initial pre-assessment and a final summative assessment carefully matched to the learning objectives and key knowledge for each unit. Regular AfL and opportunities for revisit and recap ensure that teachers address any gaps or misconceptions as a topic is taught. Children’s books show evidence of a clear sequence of lessons that address a ‘Big question’ for each unit. Children are confident to talk about their learning journey in History and show enthusiasm for the subject:


Pupil Voice:

Year 1 - ‘History is fun because we do lots of interesting activities like drawing our own Victorian beach’

Year 2 – ‘I can learn about History by looking in books. I can ask my grandparents about the past’

Year 3 – ‘I like History because we connect it to other subjects like English, science and Geography. We mummified a tomato so it linked with Science and we wrote instructions about it.’

Year 4 – ‘The Romans were very useful to us – we have central heating. Romans covered some of Africa and Europe and invaded Britain’

Year 5 – ‘I’m interested in the history of medicine and cures. I know that there will one day be a cure for cancer and that will be history. I found out about medicine while learning about the Tudors in Year 5’

Year 6 – ‘History has crossed into English and art a lot. I’ve learned to think about things more deeply and how history is such an important subject as it makes us who we are.’



  • We have updated our progression grid so that knowledge and skills are carefully sequenced across each year group and the whole school.
  • All units have been carefully co-planned with subject leaders to ensure a sequence of lessons that all answer the ‘Big question’ for the topic
  • Tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary is clearly identified, taught and used in lessons.
  • Local History Week Summer 2022 – whole school project highlighting the history of Teddington by looking at different aspects of our local area. E.g. Y2 Bushy Park, Y3 High Street, Y4 Train station and settlement development.


Priorities for 2023-24:

  • Ensure that our golden threads such as monarchy, leadership and legacy are planned for and incorporated through the whole curriculum
  • Refine Y2 History Units
  • Consider how we can modernise some units to build on cultural capital and diversity


Local History Week 13.06.22-17.06.22


This week we have been celebrating local history across the school.
From the history of the River Thames and Teddington Lock to the changes and modernisation of the high street; the development and impact of the railway to significant people in our local area; we have been history detectives finding out about Teddington’s past.
This Friday’s sharing assembly was a chance for children to share their findings and explain what they’ve been up to in class with the whole school.

Please have a look at the presentation to see some of the work that was shared.