History Skills Progression Map.pdf

The delivery of the History Curriculum in Tibshelf Infant’s school is designed to inspire children’s curiosity, encourage a love of learning and equip children with both an understanding of simple chronology and an awareness of events that have happened in the past. This ‘past’ will include events both within living memory and beyond living memory as children’s understanding of the past develops. Children will learn through different methods such as experiential days, artefacts and visitors into school, bringing history alive and therefore meaning more than simple facts and dates.


Our History curriculum will allow children to build upon their prior understanding and skills as they progress through the school. Children will initially begin to understand their own family history and start to notice differences and similarities between life today and the past, They will move on to learning about change that has occurred within living memory in different stages (their own memory, their parents’, their grandparents’) and then progress to investigating changes beyond living memory and significant historical events.

High Quality Teaching will enable us to:

  •  Inspire children’s curiosity and foster a genuine interest to know more about the past.
  •  Help children to understand their own identity in relation to others.
  •  Allow children develop an understanding of chronology and how it can be represented in different ways.
  •  Prepare children to understand the process of change and how the events of the past and other people’s lives have impacted on their own lives today.
  •  Help children to compare and contrast different periods of time.
  •  Encourage children to know and understand how to find out more about the past and consider different methods of research.
  •  Equip children to ask perceptive questions, think critically, consider evidence and its validity and develop their own judgement.
  •  Develop children’s historical knowledge and vocabulary.


First hand experiences are used wherever possible, such as field trips, the use of historical artefacts or re-creating experiences from history. Historical content is taught using a variety of sources, including direct teaching, independent and shared research and story-telling, as well as peer discussion. Some learning is content based and will introduce new facts, whilst other learning is more skills based and focuses on enquiry and making comparisons between different time periods. Key vocabulary is introduced and, where applicable, revisited as each new topic is investigated. This vocabulary is included in displays, resources and children’s work to ensure them sufficient opportunities to revisit and embed this knowledge.

Lessons will:

  • Explain the lesson objective and desired outcomes.
  • Review knowledge from previous learning, where applicable, and give context within the wider topic.
  • Use questioning and enquiry to direct pupils’ thinking about the past and allow them to form their own conclusions.
  • Consider how children learn best; vary the resources and activities to suit different learning styles – working individually, in pairs or groups – thus ensuring they can be effective in finding out about and trying to explain the past.
  • Allow children to broaden their historical knowledge and vocabulary through exciting and engaging lessons.


Children will be inspired to become curious historians and discover more about history in all forms through various methods of research, which they will become more adept at undertaking independently. They will develop the knowledge and the range of everyday historical vocabulary needed to help them explore and understand events and people, gain a sense of ‘past’ and be able to ask and answer questions about these. They will be aware that such events will have happened in chronological order, be able to order events and discuss where these fit in relation to their own lives. Children will be able to make comparisons between ways of life in different periods, identifying both similarities and differences. By the end of Key Stage 1 children will be able to describe changes and events both within and beyond living memory.

Transition from KS1 to KS2

Chronology and Range/Depth of Historical Enquiry – in Key Stage 1, children examine chronology and begin to make connections between time scales and events. They develop their abilities to portray this understanding though the use of basic timelines. Children are initially introduced to changes within living memory in Year 1 and then progress to changes beyond living memory in Year 2 as their awareness of time and historical events deepens.

The learning from Key Stage 1 leads into Key Stage 2, where children sequence significant events on a large timeline. They compare similarities and differences between civilisations around the world, and discuss their levels of advancement at specific points in time. They develop their understanding of the passing of time and how/why life etc. changes.

Interpretations Of History and Historical Enquiry – In Key Stage 1 children are introduced to personal methods of historical enquiry, starting with questioning parents and grandparents to get an accurate and relative comprehension of changes within living memory. This is developed further through the introduction and use of other sources such as the internet, books and fact files and these methods allow children to then investigate further and review changes beyond living memory. These research methods continue in Key Stage 2 where children use a variety of sources and start to analyse and discuss their reliability and usefulness. They use different research methods to prove or disprove different perspectives of history, explaining why history can be viewed or presented differently.

Organisation and Communication – Children present their findings in a variety of ways: speaking, discussion, Power point, written work, timelines, drama, artwork and using artefacts.

A clear, shared ‘progression of skills’ map allows all staff to have an awareness of children’s prior learning and next steps to ensure coverage and secure progression.