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Jesse Gray Primary School

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At Jesse Gray, we strive to engage pupils with a relevant, exciting History curriculum which provides challenge, inspires curiosity and is appropriate for preparing them for an adult life in the 21st century. We ensure opportunities for all our children to achieve in learning, while providing many opportunities to enjoy this subject area. Jesse Gray aims to ensure children have a secure chronological and coherent knowledge of history, and that they are able to understand where time periods fit and how they relate to each other. Pupils should leave our school able to ask perceptive questions, think critically, examine evidence, analyse arguments and develop judgements based on differing perspectives. We constantly strive to develop curious learners who are keen to develop their understanding, and facilitate this through many opportunities to enrich the topics we cover with historical visits, visitors and opportunities in school.


Through the design of our curriculum, the pupils who leave our school able to:

  • understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as the challenges of their time
  • 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
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts and analyse trends. Children will 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.


History at Jesse Gray is carried out through pupils pursuing a key question led enquiry approach, which encourages them to take increasing responsibility for their learning, think independently and achieve challenging subject outcomes.  Therefore, we seek to encourage pupils to learn their History through big question led enquiries about significant events, people and change. Just ask our Year 1’s what it takes to be a great explorer, or our Year 3’s how artefacts help them understand the lives of Iron age Britons, and our year 5’s if we can really call Nottingham castle a castle! 

Throughout the sequence of lessons, children are provided with a variety of learning activities that are used regularly, including observation, enquiry, investigation, games, drama, and critical thinking, as well as opportunities to work individually, in pairs and in groups. They are also taught key skills within historical enquiries, such as using primary and secondary evidence to inform their understanding of information provided and we have identified key vocabulary the children will need each year that builds on previous learning.

Within the EYFS an awareness of the concepts, vocabulary and key terms of history is encouraged through planned purposeful play and through a mix of adult led and child-initiated activity. In Key Stage 1 and 2 each year group undertakes three half-termly enquiries in History and these are outlined in the history progression map. History forms an integral and statutory element of a pupil’s entitlement to learning and at Jesse Gray we ensure that all pupils can engage with historical learning and develop as young historians. Mutual respect and the fostering of empathy and community understanding at local, regional, national and global scales lies at the heart of the study of history and at our school we model this in terms of the inclusive nature of the learning and teaching we provide.


At Jesse Gray we are able to measure the impact that our history curriculum has on the children by ensuring our children will leave us as confident and knowledgeable historians. They should be able to discuss topics using the ambitious vocabulary that runs through our curriculum, and show good understanding of the topics we teach, as well as the ability to link common themes within different units.

Due to the nature of this curriculum area, history monitoring takes on many forms including: 

  • Formative assessment through discussions with the children during lessons 
  • The work they produce in each session which shows the understanding of the key question covered in the session
  • Images of the children’s practical learning – these are often posted on our twitter feeds using the hashtag #historyatJG
  • Interviewing the pupils about their learning through pupil voice 
  • End of unit mini quizzes to assess understanding, and recall of key knowledge