Harpur Hill Primary School & Nursery

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History - kindly scroll down to see our subject photographs

History curriculum intent:

At Harpur Hill Primary school, we share the aspirations of the National Curriculum and hope that every child will leave our school a historian.  History helps pupils 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.

We want our pupils to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We want our history curriculum to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. We aim to provide children with the skills and confidence to enquire about the world, tackle big issues and ask big questions too! We want children to have an accurate knowledge of historical chronology, as well as a deep understanding of empire, invasion, trade and the societies built by different civilisations through time. 

The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • 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.


At Harpur Hill Primary School, we have taken the essential knowledge and skills from the National Curriculum and expanded these to include local history, as well as key knowledge of history that we believe are important and match with our school aims. 

Our history curriculum includes the following knowledge:

  • Knowledge of Significant Periods
  • Knowledge of Significant Concepts
  • Knowledge of Significant People
  • Knowledge of Key Events
  • Knowledge of Chronology
  • Knowledge of key aspects of World History
  • Knowledge of Key aspects of British History
  • Knowledge of local History 

Our history curriculum includes the following essential skills:

  • The ability to investigate and explain the impact of historical events
  • The ability to use, represent and question a range of primary and secondary sources
  • The ability to communicate, debate and discuss the past

 Our history curriculum is organised into units. 

Wherever possible, we link each of our history units to our local area and then aim to “zoom out” from Buxton to the wider country and further into the world. We will teach children about invasion and war and encourage them to discuss how these times of unrest have impacted upon our modern society. Children will learn how civilisations built empires and whether this is something that would be considered ethical in our lives today. We will teach children about the lives of people living in different times, in our own town of Buxton and in the wider world so that they can understand vital concepts such as tax, trade, democracy, social hierarchy and human rights.

Our curriculum is enriched through visits and visitors wherever possible, we aim for these visits/visitors or objects to spark curiosity within our children and to engage them through enquiry based learning. We also want to make sure that children can gain as much first-hand knowledge of the historical period as possible, for example, through visits and visitors.  Some examples are:

  • Year 1 visit to the Children’s Museum at Sudbury Hall for our unit “How have toys changed?”
  • Year 6 visit to the National Holocaust Centre as part of “How could Hitler have persuaded a nation to follow him?”
  • Year 5 visit from real life local archaeologist Dr Ian Parker-Heath, where children can enquire and learn about Anglo-Saxon history through artefacts.



Our pupils will ask and answer big questions about how our world and our society have been shaped by people and events from the past. Children will be able to discuss historical chronology and explain how civilisations invaded, built empires, traded and worked as a society. Our pupils will have opinions about democracy, war, civil and human rights and how these have been impacted by people and events through history. Our pupils will be historians.


  Our Long term history plan 

Year 6 pupils at the Holocaust Centre

World War 2