Purpose of study from the National Curriculum

A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History 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. 

What this looks like in each year group

Year 1 


All About Me

The children will learn about the history of crossing the river Mersey and how and why it has changed over the years. They will also celebrate and understand the importance of the opening of the new bridge in November 2017.

Into Space 

Children will learn about space and the planets. They will look at the life and achievement of Neil Armstrong. They will join him, via the VR Sets, at the historic moment on 20th July 1969 when he was the first man to set foot on the moon. 

How Times Have Changed

The children will explore how and why toys have changed throughout the years linking it to the materials they are made from. They will also get to experience a victorian maths lesson and compare it to how we do maths today.

Year 2 

Great Fire of London

The children will learn about life in 1665 (The Black Plague) and 1666 (The Great Fire of London). The will explore the cause and effect of the Great Fire of London. They will also explore the impact it had, on life and the City of London especially the architecture. The children will be learn about the life of Christopher Wren and what makes him a key historical figure.

Great Fire of London http://www.gorsewood.halton.sch.uk/news/the-great-fire-of-london/15851

Year 3

Stone Age Britain

Children will learn about how the Stone Age to Bronze Age period impacted on life in Britain. They will learn about how early man survived in a harsh environment, why Skara Brae was important for understanding life in the Stone Age, how copper mining was crucial to the Bronze Age and why Stonehenge was built. Children will also learn about why Iron Age people developed hillforts and how important Druids were in Iron Age Britain.

Leisure and Entertainment – past to present

Children will learn about leisure and entertainment in the 20th Century.  They investigate the rise in popularity of cinema and find out how movies and movie making has changed. They will find out about how and why football became the nation's favourite sport, the social and cultural importance of the 'Swinging Sixties' and how television has impacted modern life. Children will also learn about how developments in 20th century technology can make life in this century easier.  Museum trip.

Runcorn – then and now

Children will investigate the history of the local area.  They will find out about Halton Castle, Norton Priory and how life in Runcorn has changed over the years.  Norton Priory and Halton castle trip.

Year 4


Children will learn about the impact the Roman Empire had on life in Britain. They will learn about the spread of the Roman Empire, the invasion of Britain and the eventual conquest. The children will also look in detail at some aspects of the Romanisation of Britain, such as the building of Roman roads and bath houses. Pupils will visit Chester – a Roman city close to Runcorn. In addition to this they will have the opportunity to learn about the British resistance of Boudicca, Hadrian’s Wall and gods and goddesses.

INVASIONS! Anglo Saxons and Scots Invasions/ Anglo-Saxons and Vikings

Children will learn about the invasions of the Scots and Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century. They will find out where the invading troops came from and where in Britain they managed to settle and then they will go on to investigate how life in Britain changed as a result. They will also examine and analyse artefacts from the period and draw their own conclusions about what they can teach us about life in Anglo-Saxon Britain. They will also learn what life was like in a typical Anglo-Saxon village and explore the beliefs of the early Anglo-Saxons.

Children will learn about the raids and invasions by Vikings in Anglo-Saxon Britain. The children will find out about the Anglo-Saxon kings who ruled during the 'Viking Age' and examine their influence and significance in British history. In addition to this, they will learn about the Anglo-Saxon justice system and compare and contrast crimes, punishments and laws with their modern day equivalents. The children will also have the opportunity to learn about different aspects of everyday Viking life.

Year 5

Ancient Greeks

Children will find out about who the Ancient Greek people were, when they lived and where and how they were able to establish their empire. They learn how the political system worked in Ancient Greece and compare it with the political systems today. The children also compare and contrast the modern day Olympics with the Ancient Greek events. They will learn about the Battle of Marathon and Ancient Greek religion.

Shang Dynasty/Ancient Egypt (teacher choice)

Children will learn who the Ancient Shang/Egyptian people were, where and when they lived, using maps and atlases to locate Shang/Egyptian cities. They will also learn about the role of the king/pharaohs, the religious beliefs and rituals of the people. The children will also examine a range of artefacts and draw conclusions about what they can teach us. Liverpool World Museum trip.  International Slavery Museum: http://gorsewood.schoolspider.co.uk/work/international-slavery-museum/11654

Year 6

Maya Civilisation – link with above topic  (could be Benin)

Children will learn who the ancient Maya people were and where and when they lived. They will use maps and atlases to locate Maya cities and identify countries in Mesoamerica. They will learn about the religious beliefs and rituals of the ancient Maya people and find out more about some of the many gods they worshipped. The children will also learn about the Maya number system and Maya writing system too. The children will learn about the work of the explorers John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood. They will also learn about the types of food eaten by the ancient Maya people and they will find out about the significance of corn and chocolate.

The Plague

Children will find out about life during the plague outbreak in the 17th century.  They will investigate medicines and cures and find out about the role of the Plague Doctor.  Children will look at how and why the plague spread so easily and use maps to find out how it travelled across Britain.  To explore further we will visit Eyam, a plague village in Derbyshire.  

Children will learn about the many ways the world is changing and has changed.  They will find out about landscapes, country boundaries, the  weather to name a few. Pupils will be given the opportunity to investigate further changes and think about predictions for what else might change in their lifetimes.

Previous years learning: WWI soldier Visit http://www.gorsewood.halton.sch.uk/news/visit-from-a-world-war-i-soldier-/15859