We are aspiring historians!

At Southville Primary School, we aspire to be historians. Our history curriculum will inspire a love for history and develop a curiosity to discover more about the past. A high-quality history education will help children gain a sound knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. The enquiry-based history curriculum 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 will do this by:

  • Providing the opportunity to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, interpret arguments and develop perspective.
  • Delivering it as part of the immersive curriculum, providing children with the opportunity to piece together and link their historical knowledge from each topic to build a coherent picture of the past. 
  • Taking advantage of our location to explore the rich past of Bristol and the influence it’s had in British and wider history. 
  • Making history ‘hands on’ and providing plenty of opportunities to explore and investigate a wide range of historical artefacts and documents. 
  • Inspiring children in their history lessons, creating the next generation of museum curators, archaeologists and research analysts.


The teaching and learning of history is taught as part of our immersive curriculum and in line with the requirements of the National Curriculum. For each year group, at least one unit of study is driven and led by history. Knowledge is also taught, reinforced and recapped during other units of study. 

The children learn about a diverse range of historical periods, places and societies. Local history is studied specifically in some units (e.g. Pesky Pirates in year 1 and Bristol Street art in year 6) as well as fed into others where appropriate. Local educational visits provide context for wider historical studies, e.g. visiting Roman ruins in year 3.

Children progress in history by developing:

  • their knowledge about the past 
  • their knowledge of chronology 
  • their knowledge about how historians investigate the past, and how they construct historical claims, arguments and accounts 

Children build up detailed and secure knowledge of events, people and places that enables them to engage meaningfully in their current learning.

Children also learn about important concepts through repeated encounters in different, specific and meaningful contexts as they move through the school. This helps children to understand new material and build on prior knowledge. 

Lessons are carefully sequenced to ensure knowledge is built up over time. Teachers build on prior learning - both within and across year groups - so that it is clear how, for example, children approach their understanding of chronology progressively from year 1 up to year 6.

Increasingly, children learn about how historians investigate the past, and how they construct historical claims, arguments and accounts. They begin to understand that historians use sources of evidence to construct knowledge about the past. Children consider how historians analyse the past using concepts such as:

  • Cause
  • Consequence
  • Change and continuity
  • Similarity and difference
  • Historical significance
  • Sources and evidence

Teachers use progression overviews to ensure lessons are pitched accurately and are focused on key historical knowledge.