Our Vision for History Learning at Burlington

Our curriculum provides interesting, exciting and memorable lessons which inspire children’s curiosity to think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement about the past.  Children have opportunities to investigate and interpret the past, understand chronology, build an overview of Britain’s past as well as that of the wider world, and to be able to communicate historically using different sources to support their knowledge and skills.


History Curriculum Overview

History at Burlington helps children to understand how the past can be divided up into different times, and recognise and understand that there are similarities, differences and connections between eras. Children are encouraged to think like detectives, using sources and clues to learn through question-led cross-curricular topics. Children are taught to develop an awareness of the past, and events or changes that have happened to them in their own lifetimes. 

In Early Years (Nursery and Reception), the children understand that the passage of time changes the world around them; for example: noticing changes in nature, knowing that chicks and butterflies change over time.  They understand that celebrations (such as Christmas, Diwali and Remembrance day) take place at specific points of the year. Children observe changes in their personal experience, talk about past and present events in their own lives and build up everyday vocabulary related to time.  They also develop their investigative and interpretive skills through exploring during the continuous provision. 

As they move up the school, the children build on this awareness and start to use appropriate vocabulary to describe these events, and begin thinking about historical events outside of their own lives and lifetimes. This includes asking questions and exploring sources to learn about important people and events throughout history.  Children use their knowledge to compare aspects of their own lives to the historical eras they have learnt about.

In Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2), children look at changes within living memory, as well as studying significant events in the past. They learn about significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Children learn about Florence Nightingale, Samuel Pepys, John Evelyn, Christopher Wren, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong.  Through stories, drama, artefacts, class assemblies and trips, they also focus on comparing their own experiences to significant events and periods further back in history.

In Year 1 children enjoy learning about toys from the past and present.   The children watch videos sent in by their parents and grandparents looking at the toys they played with as children, and compare these to the types of toys the children play with today. They also look at the way toys have changed over time, making links to science and the sorts of materials they were made out of.  

Year 2 learn about significant events and people throughout history, for example Florence Nightingale and The Great Fire of London.  The children immerse themselves in the history of the time, and make a bucket chain to pretend to put out a fire. They observe how the teachers burn cardboard boxes in the playground and learn how fire hooks were used to stop the spread.  

Children have the opportunity to learn about the impact that events from the past have had on the modern day with British values threaded through.  We provide a framework of historical skills for the pupils to draw from which will equip them to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement and ultimately inspire pupils’ passion and curiosity to know more about the past.

Artefact handling, problem solving with source material, day trips, themed events and visiting speakers all contribute to make the subject a vivid and stimulating area.

The History curriculum at Burlington follows the National Curriculum.  You can find the appropriate extract of this National Curriculum for History here: 

National Curriculum in KS1 - History

Please note this extract covers KS1 (Years 1 and 2) and Key Stage 2 which is followed by the Junior School (Years 3 to 6).

The curriculum map below gives you a complete summary of the Hisotry skills, knowledge and key vocabulary that we teach our children, during each term as they progress from Nursery / Reception and through to Years 1 and 2.

History @ Burlington - Curriculum Map

Here is a summary of the key learning concepts taught from Reception to Year 2.

History @ PE - Road Map

Here are some photos of our teaching and learning for History across the school: 

News and Events

We use key events throughout the year to bring our history curriculum to life. In the Autumn term the whole school observes Remembrance Day by creating poppy artwork and learning or performing Remembrance Day poems. We then share these in a whole school assembly where we observe the two minute silence. In October we celebrate black history month with workshops and a cultural picnic in which we share our own cultural dishes with our classmates and parents in school. We also use current events such as royal weddings, jubilees or coronations as an opportunity to celebrate and teach about the significance of historical events occurring during our own lifetimes. 


How to Help at Home

Help your child at home by completing the picture news homework. This will encourage your child to think about important cultural events happening in their own lifetimes. 

Museums like the British Museum and History Museum in London are free to visit and great to encourage excitement in the subject and a love of history. We would love to see any photos of your visit on tapestry! 

Choosing exciting books about important historical figures from your local library is a great way to start conversations about history. The ‘Little People. Big Dreams’ collection has many books covering a wide range of significant people throughout history.