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Nottingham Primary Academy



The History Curriculum has been designed for all pupils at Nottingham Academy to access a broad, balanced and enriching History curriculum. Our History curriculum stimulates the children’s interest, curiosity and understanding about the past. Through our progressive curriculum pupils will gain a knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We teach pupils a sense of chronology and through this they develop a sense of identity and an awareness of the challenges of their time. Teaching of the progressive skills, equips children to ask questions, think critically, weigh evidence and develop perspective and judgement, integrating both substantive and disciplinary skills. History teaching will help pupils to understand the complexity of their lives, the process of change and the diversity of society. 

History topics often act as a driver for learning within our curriculum, where writing, reading, art and design and technology are closely linked to support understanding and further the application of knowledge. 

Our pupils will benefit from a wide range of experiences to further enhance their learning around history, this includes an Egyptian experience day, cooking Mayan tortillas in our food technology rooms and a performance for parents linked to our learning around the Romans. 


Substantive and disciplinary knowledge

Substantive Knowledge in History refers to the knowledge (facts) pupils gain about the past. This will be specific to the period they are studying. However, substantive knowledge also includes historical concepts which are abstract terms such as empire, peasantry and monarchy.  Historical concepts not only help children to make sense of their historical period of study, but they also provide a proximal role in helping them to make connections across different periods. Both of these are mapped out within our progression documentation.  

Disciplinary knowledge in history is centred on the way that sources provide us with evidence that is used to construct interpretations of the past. High-quality teaching and learning in history include a core focus on the use of a range of sources (such as documents, artefacts, images, maps, video footage, buildings, as well as oral history). Our focus is also on second-order concepts, such as causation, significance, consequence, continuity & change and similarity & difference; these are important in order to develop pupils’ critical thinking and their understanding of the processes and relationships between the different events they study. These are carefully mapped out in detail within our progression documents. 

Sequence of learning:

Teachers plan a sequence of learning within history following the structure below:

    LINK IT!  Using our school progression documents and historical concept documentation, teachers consider links to prior learning in order for children to build on what they already know. 

          LEARN IT!  Teachers plan and deliver engaging and meaningful learning opportunities with explicit teacher modelling, opportunities for children to talk, ask questions, debate and practice historical enquiry skills through their interaction with a variety of sources.

         CHECK IT! Teachers plan for opportunities to review and check learning each lesson to ensure adaptations can be made to the next lesson. 

         SHOW IT! At the end of a unit of work, children will have produced a piece of work which showcases their learning. 'Show it' pieces of work may include a whole class performance for parents, hot seating,  a whole class debate, a diary entry from a significant historical person or a newpaper report. 

       KNOW IT! A short Sticky Knowledge quiz allows the children to demonstrate what they know and remember from their unit of work. These assessments are used to inform teacher judgements.  

Sticky Knowledge

For each history unit of work, we have compiled 'Sticky Knowledge' sheets, which essentially show what we want our children to know and remember at the end of each topic. The key substantive knowledge identified will form the basis of our retrieval practice for each lesson, so that through regular opportunities to revisit knowledge, it will become embedded in the children's long-term memory. Sticky Knowledge is progressive and allows children to build on prior learning. Below are the links for the Sticky Knowledge identified for each year group in history. 


Cross curricular links

Our curriculum is designed to make relevant and purposeful cross-curricular links to encourage children to apply their knowledge within history. History is one of our topic drivers, where linked texts are carefully selected to use in English and guided reading lessons. Links are also made across other subjects, including creating dinosaur fossils, Viking long-boats and Aztec printing in art and making Mayan tortillas and Roman shield design and technology. 


  • Teacher assessments demonstrate that children are make good progress in history.
  • Our children demonstrate enthusiasm for the subject and can talk with confidence about their learning. 
  • Our children demonstrate an understanding of a range of historical vocabulary which can be applied confidently. 
  • As historians, our children can use their skills to pose questions, make comparisons, evaluate evidence and draw conclusions. 
  • Our children enjoy a range of history-enrichment opportunities which allow them to become immersed in the subject and encourages a genuine interest in historical topics. 

Here are our children in year 3 enjoying their learning during our Egyptian day:


Here are some fabulous 'show it' pieces of work produced by our year 5 children in History to showcase their learning on The Vikings. We are proud of the exceptional presentation and excellent knowledge demonstrated around Vikings: 


Our Year 6 children have produced some detailed and well presented timelines to showcase their knowledge of WW2. They have taken great pride in their work:


Year 2 children displayed an incredible amount of knowledge during their showcase 'hot seating' lesson. 

Children in year 3 have produced some excellent Stone-Age jewellery during their Design and Technology lessons:

Year 4 celebrated the end of the half-term with a Mayan and Aztec day, filled with lots of fun activities to further their learning of these Ancient civilisations. The children worked together to create class Aztec calendars using the Aztec writing and number system. They worked in small groups to give a friend a 'glow up' to look like a Mayan Noble member of society, using face paint, creating jewellery, headdresses and clothes. Finally, they also tasted some traditional Mayan food, including their own tortillas that they created earlier in the week in their Food DT lesson.