History Subject Lead


Our curriculum starts in the Early Years and progresses sequentially through to Year Six. In every lesson we focus on threshold concepts that ties the ambitious body of knowledge together with the characteristics children are developing.

These essential characteristics of mastery in History are:

  • Developing historical enquiry skills.
  • To understand the part that bias plays in gathering historical facts.
  • To develop an understanding of the chronology of events throughout history and how they overlap.
  • To gain a deep knowledge and understanding of events in history.

Threshold concepts are taught repeatedly throughout the curriculum, linking learning into meaningful and rich semantic schemas.

In History the threshold concepts are:

  • Perspectives
  • Continuity and change
  • Cause and effect
  • Evidence
  • Empathy
  • Significance
  • Contestability

It is our vision to inspire a lifelong love of history within our pupils. History has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity.

WHY is history important? What's special about it here?

History is important as it gives children an understanding of how we have got to where we are today. By learning about events in history, children should be able to identify the fact that historical concepts repeat themselves and make comparisons with then and now.

Therefore, at Gorseland, our aims are to ensure children experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, long-term memory of an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge.

Our curriculum maps are carefully crafted and available in school. The curriculum content is available on our website.


How do we teach history here?

We maintain a high level of subject knowledge of history in our school by regular training and professional development for teachers and subject leaders. Teachers create a positive attitude to historical learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in history.

Through our planning of problem-solving opportunities, children are encouraged to ask their own questions and use scientific skills and research to discover the answers. Their curiosity is celebrated within the classroom.

Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, assessing children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning in order to plan for next steps.

We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.

Within each Milestone, students gradually progress in their procedural fluency and semantic strength through three cognitive domains: basic, advancing and deep. Knowledge organisers help students to relate each topic to previously studied topics and to form strong, meaningful schema.

Guidance from the framework of ‘Support and Challenge’ is used to plan a bespoke curriculum tailored to pupils’ individual needs to facilitate access to quality learning experiences and develop their historical knowledge, understanding and skills.

With effective subject leadership, we are a well-equipped and resourced school. Regular monitoring shows that our children understand and apply key principles within their work. At Gorseland, we have a rigorous monitoring process of the history curriculum that is kept up to date and contributes towards our school improvement plan.


The successful approach at Gorseland results in an engaging, high-quality historical education that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them.

Frequent, continuous and progressive learning - both inside and outside the classroom is embedded throughout the history curriculum. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts and local organisations, children have the understanding that history has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity.

At Gorseland we demonstrate the success of our ambitious history curriculum as follows:

Concrete ways of seeing the impact of what our children achieve in History

  • Contribution to a continuous timeline of events through history as they access new learning in each year group.
  • Development of an informed understanding of historical events through a range of enquiry based activities. For example: reconstructions of archeological digs, role play activities and research.
  • Creation of reports and recounts to reflect learning.
  • First hand experiences provided via visitors coming into school, workshops and field trips.

Gorseland Primary School

Deben Avenue, Martlesham Heath, Suffolk, IP5 3QR            Phone: 01473 623790            Email: office@gorseland.net