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St. John's CE (VA) J&I School

Prepare the way of the Lord

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By the end of their time at St. John’s, our children will know the stories and the events that have formed our place in the world. They will have broad and deep knowledge of regional, national and international history and well-developed historical thinking. Their ability to investigate, consider, reflect and review events of the past will have enabled a detailed understanding. They will use with ease their understanding of change and continuity, similarity and difference, cause and effect, chronology and significance to interpret events and developments.


They will ask and answer challenging historical questions that make links between events, developments, peoples and periods in the past. They will know of and select from a wide range of historical sources when using their skills of research, analysis and evaluation. They will use historical terms accurately in their effective communication of ideas and judgements. Pupils will select and apply their knowledge and skills from other subjects to draw conclusions and communicate their findings.


Children at St John's enjoy learning and regard history as fun. Throughout their time here, they will confidently carry out their own historical investigations. They will have memories for life from visitors, visits and rich experiences. They will have a sense of social responsibility, respect for diversity and a willingness to engage with sensitive and controversial issues. This will prepare children for the next stage of their history education and part of their adult life. Through engagement with our curriculum, all children at St John's will feel proud of themselves, their communities and their place.




At St. John’s, history is taught through a carefully planned and delivered curriculum. Here, we use The National Curriculum as a starting point and prioritise children’s experiences at the centre of our vision. 


We implement a wide variety of teaching approaches to ensure children make good progress, and all learning styles are catered for. Class teachers ensure there is a good balance of whole class, group work and individual learning in history lessons. The learning of history will begin in reception class to provide a firm foundation for progression.


History is taught in half-termly blocks of six lessons, which brings a considered pace and consistency to the learning process. Links to the wider curriculum are made where appropriate, to expand and consolidate learning. We further enhance the children’s learning experiences in History by using:


  • A consistent teaching sequence implemented in all plans across both KS1 and KS2. 
  • Knowledge Organisers, which give children and their adults an ‘at a glance’ overview of the content of each area of study. These are also utilised for ongoing reference and revision.
  • Explicitly taught subject specific vocabulary which progresses and consolidates throughout the year groups.
  • The provision of high quality books and artefacts which further enhance the children’s experiences of the periods and events being studied.
  • A class timeline to support chronological understanding – this will be a ‘working document’ and added to in line with new learning.


Whenever possible, children will be given the opportunity to enhance their learning by being given ‘real life’ experiences. This will be achieved by enrichment experiences such as visiting historical sites and handling/viewing artefacts and having the benefit of meeting an ‘expert’ in the field. Visitors will also be invited into school for ‘experience days’ and to provide children with ‘oral histories’. We will make use of the local area, St. John’s Church and Wakefield Museum on a regular basis.


As often as is possible, a historically related text will be used as the basis for English lessons to further immerse children in the subject.


Learning will be consolidated through the use of Flashback Fours and quizzes. Staff in each year group are aware of the wider History curriculum and will build upon and refer to previous learning. Children will be teacher assessed during their lessons and also by their responses to ‘The Big Question’ posed at the conclusion to each unit.


We will remain ‘open-minded’ throughout and allow ourselves to be guided by the children and their thirst for historical discovery and enquiry, whilst at the same time fulfilling the requirements of the National Curriculum.




By the end of their time at St. John’s, our pupils will have come to know and understand the history of the United Kingdom from the earliest times to the present day. They will understand how the country and its people have influenced and been influenced by the wider world. 

Children will know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world. They will appreciate the nature, development and dissolution of ancient civilisations and of empires and the characteristic features of past non-European societies. They will have recognised and learned from the mistakes and successes of significant figures and monarchs from the past.

Students will have, over time, gained a sound understanding of abstract and specific historical terms and will use these effectively in speech and written tasks.


Children who have studied at St. John’s will understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance. They will be used to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured and analytical accounts.


They will have been engaged with historical enquiry and understand its value. Moving forward, they will seek out evidence and rigorously examine it to find out about the past and other’s interpretations of it.