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History

Why teach History?

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.

Aims
The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological
    narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped
    this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of
    ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features
    of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
  • gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as
    ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and
    consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make
    connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and
    create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously
    to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and
    interpretations of the past have been constructed
    History – key stages 1 and 2
  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts,
    understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international
    history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and
    between short- and long-term timescales.