Historical Progression at Broseley C of E Primary School

We want our students to gain an increasingly mature and informed historical perspective on their world. This is achieved by learning: Historical Knowledge + Historical Concepts + Historical Enquiry


Historical Enquiry


Each lesson will engage the children by asking a valid historical enquiry question. Learning grows over a sequence of lessons in order to gather knowledge to answer the BIG Question at the end of the learning sequence.


Knowledge of:


  • People, events, situations, and developments
  • Chronology and characteristic features
  • Historical terms


These will form our ‘I know’ statements for each lesson and can be found on our MTP for history. This “Now knowledge” will relate to the particular period and issue being studied while reinforcing knowledge from earlier work as appropriate to strengthen “Sticky knowledge”.


Understanding of:


  • Evidence
  • Interpretations and contestability
  • Cause
  • Change
  • Similarity/Difference
  • Significance


Within any sequence of lessons, objectives for developing pupils’ understanding of (usually) one or two of the listed elements.


Communication: Thoughts and Talk


Pupils will organise and communicate their findings at the end of the sequence so their learning gains coherence. BIG Questions given at the start of the learning sequence will relate to helping pupils to communicate clearly. They should use their understanding of the history to help them decide how to organise and present their ideas most effectively. Usually through an essay or a double page spread.




Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6


Chronological knowledge / understanding

(Including characteristic features of periods)


Use everyday language related to time


Order and sequence familiar events


Describe main story settings, events, and principal characters.


Talk about past and present events in their own lives and in lives of family members.



Develop an awareness of the past


Use common words and phrases relating to the passing of time


Know where all people/events studied fit into a chronological framework


 Identify similarities / differences between periods



Continue to develop chronologically secure knowledge of history


Establish clear narratives within and across periods studied


Note connections, contrasts, and trends over time



Use vocabulary to sequence own life including now, past.

Sequence some events or 2 related objects in order


Uses words and phrases: old, new, young, days, months, within living memory, beyond living memory.


Remembers parts of stories and memories about the past


Recount changes in own life over time


Puts 3 people, events or objects in order using a given scale.


Uses words and phrases such as: recently, before, after, now, later. Use: British History and World History.


Uses past and present when telling others about an event.


Uses simple timelines to place events in order.


Understands timeline can be divided into BCE and AD.


Uses words and phrases such as century, decade, prehistoric, ancient

Sequence periods of history previously taught in relation to new topic.


Name and place dates on a timeline.


Recap on words and phrases previously taught.

Sequence historical periods.


Use timelines to place and sequence local, national, and international events.


Uses words and phrases such as: ancient, medieval.


Use complex timelines to place events and cultural movements from around the world.


Uses timelines to demonstrate changes and developments in culture, technology, religion and society.


Describes main changes in a period in history

using words such as: social, religious, political,

technological and cultural.


2. Historical terms eg empire, peasant


Extend vocabulary, especially by grouping and naming, exploring meaning and sounds of new words.


Use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms


Develop the appropriate use of historical terms



Historical enquiry -

Using sources / Communicating ideas

Be curious about people and show interest in stories


Answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions … in response to stories or events.


Explain own knowledge and understanding and asks appropriate questions.


Know that information can be retrieved from books and computers


Record, using marks they can interpret and explain


Ask and answer questions *

 Understand some ways we find out about the past


 Choose and use parts of stories and other sources to show understanding (of concepts in part 5 below)


Regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions *


Understand how knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources


Construct informed responses by selecting and organising relevant historical information



Ask questions to develop their understanding and draw conclusions.

Make links within own experiences.

Finds answers to simple questions about the past from sources of information (eg. pictures, stories)


Looks carefully at pictures or objects to find information about the past.


Asks and answers questions such as: ’what was it like for a ….?’, ‘what happened in the past?’, ‘how long ago did …. happen?’,


Estimates the ages of people by studying and describing their features.


Uses printed sources, the internet, pictures, photos, music, artefacts, historic buildings and visits to collect information about the past.


Asks questions such as ‘how did people ….? What did people do for



Suggests sources of evidence to use to help answer questions.


Understands the difference between primary and secondary sources of evidence.


Uses documents, printed sources, the internet, databases, pictures, photos, music, artefacts, historic buildings and visits to collect information about the past.


Asks questions such as ‘what was it like for a …… during



Uses documents, printed sources, the internet, databases, pictures, photos, music, artefacts, historic buildings, and visits to collect information about the past.


Asks a range of questions about the past.


Chooses reliable sources of evidence to answer questions.


Knows that there is often not a single answer to historical questions.


Identifies and uses different sources of information and artefacts.


Evaluates the usefulness and accurateness

of different sources of evidence.


Selects the most appropriate source of

evidence for tasks.


Forms own opinions about historical events from a range of sources.



Interpretations of history and contestability


Identify different ways in which the past is represented


Understand that different versions of the past may exist, giving some reasons for this



Know similarities and differences when observing artefacts, objects, and pictures.

Begins to identify and recount some details from the past from sources (e.g., pictures, stories)

Looks at books and pictures (and eye- witness accounts, photos, artefacts, buildings and visits, internet).


Understands why some people in the past did things.


Looks at 2 versions of same event and

identifies differences in the accounts.


Gives reasons why there may be different accounts of history.


Looks at different versions of the same event and identifies differences in the accounts.


Gives clear reasons why there may be different accounts of history.


Knows that people (now and in past) can represent events or ideas in ways that persuade others.

Understands that the past has been represented in different ways.


Suggests accurate and plausible reasons for how/why aspects of the past have been represented

and interpreted in different ways.


Knows and understands that some evidence is propaganda, opinion or misinformation and that this affects interpretations of history.


* 5 – Questions relate to these key concepts that underpin all historical enquiry, developed through regular re-visiting in a range of contexts:



Continuity and change in and between periods

Look closely at similarities, differences, patterns, and change


Develop understanding of growth, decay, and changes over time


Identify similarities / differences between ways of life at different times


Describe / make links between main events, situations, and changes within and across different periods/societies



Talk about people around them and their roles in society.


Shows knowledge and understanding about the past in different ways (e.g. role play, drawing, writing, talking).


Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books, poems and rhymes.

Tell the difference between past and present in own and other people’s lives.


Uses information to describe differences between then and now.


Recounts main events from a significant in history.


Uses evidence to describe past: Houses and settlements, culture and leisure activities, clothes, way of life and actions of people buildings and their uses.

People’s beliefs and attitudes

Things of importance to people.

Differences between lives and rich and poor.

Describes similarities and differences between people, events and objects.

Shows changes on a timeline.

Shows knowledge and understanding by describing features of past societies and periods.


Identifies some ideas, beliefs, attitudes and experiences of men, women, and children from the past.


Identifies some social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversities of societies studied in Britain and wider world.


Identifies changes and links within and across the time periods studied.


Chooses reliable sources of factual evidence to describe houses and settlements; culture and leisure

activities; clothes, way of life and actions of

people; buildings and their uses; people’s

beliefs, religion and attitudes; things of

importance to people; differences between

lives of rich and poor.


Identifies how any of above may have

changed during a time period.



Describes similarities and differences between

some people, events and objects studied.



Makes links between some features of past




Cause and consequence


Question why things happen and give explanations



Recognise why people did things, why events happened and what happened as a result



Identify and give reasons for, results of, historical events, situations, changes



Explain why people acted as they did.

Explain why people acted as they did.

Use evidence to explain reasons why people in past acted as they did.

Use evidence to find out how any of the areas above may have changed during a time period. 

Describes how some of the past events/people affect life today.

Gives reasons why changes in houses, culture, leisure, clothes, buildings and their uses, things of importance to people, ways of life, beliefs and attitudes may have occurred during a time period.


Gives some causes and consequences of the main events, situations and changes in the
periods studied.


Describes how some changes affect life today.


Gives own reasons why changes may have

occurred, backed up with evidence.



Similarity / Difference within a period/situation (diversity)

Know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities, and traditions


Make simple observations about different types of people, events, beliefs within a society.


Describe social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity in Britain & the wider world


Understand and explain / analyse diverse experiences and ideas, beliefs, attitudes of men, women, children in past societies



Significance of events / people

Recognise and describe special times or events for family or friends


Talk about who was important e.g., in a simple historical account


Identify historically significant people and events in situations


Consider/explain the significance of events, people, and developments in their context and in the present.


5e. Perspective and Empathy

Know that people of the past did not necessarily think as we do now.

Know that people of the present may interpret events and people of the past differently.