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Sawley Junior School


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  • Headteacher: Mrs A Burton
  • Deputy Headteacher: Mrs L Taylor



at Sawley Junior School



What do we want SJS children to learn?

In our history curriculum we are guided by the knowledge base as set out in the National Curriculum, including a theme beyond 1066, which we have developed over time as our own well rounded Sawley curriculum to ensure that pupils gain a coherent knowledge of Britain’s history and that of the wider world.

We have carefully designed our Sawley history curriculum with an intent that it is relevant to all pupils, with the aim of developing engaged, motivated and curious learners that can reflect on the past and use narratives and enquiry to build knowledge of historical development in the wider world.

Pupils build their substantive knowledge through learning about aspects of local, British and Ancient history and consider how the past influences the present, how societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, children develop their chronological and topic knowledge and secure a coherent and in depth narrative of significant events and people.

Throughout our curriculum we give pupils opportunities to develop new historical knowledge by using substantive concepts which are revisited to enable children to apply new knowledge to the concept and put it into new contexts but also deepens their understanding as it is built on the foundations laid in previous lessons and year groups.

The key concepts we focus on at Sawley are:

  • Main Events, Beliefs, Trade, Travel and Exploration, Settlements, Conflict, Society, Culture and Pastimes, Location, Food and Farming and Artefacts. 

It is our aim to encourage pupils to not only think like historians and develop their skills of historical enquiry but to also find out how historians make judgements about the past. There is a strong emphasis on developing children’s disciplinary knowledge about how historians operate through the use of these concepts; cause and consequence, historical interpretations, change and continuity, historical significance and sources and evidence.

Pupils build an overview of world history and develop the following skills:

  • Investigating & Interpreting the Past
  • Understanding chronology
  • Communicating historically

Lessons can be teacher led and enquiry based. Enquiry based learning helps pupils to develop historical enquiry skills to find out about the past and question their understanding of the past allowing them to enjoy all that history has to offer.

All pupils are engaged with the history curriculum which is adapted to ensure that learning is inclusive.



How do we achieve our Intent?


Staff are supported by a Senior Subject Leader, history Subject Leader and long- term plans.

ONE Academy Trust subject leaders hold cluster meetings termly, working together to meet the aims and vision of the Trust.

Teacher Resources – including the CQ history Companion and a variety of teacher guide books and teacher resources web pages.


Each history unit covers four main concepts, as identified in the intent section, and are revisited throughout our Key Stage 2 history curriculum. Activities are based on a progression to deepen knowledge and understanding e.g.

  • In Year 3, pupils learn about the Roman Empire and Year 4 pupils study The Romans in Britain. In Year 4, pupils revisit the substantive concepts of ‘Travel and Exploration’ and ‘Conflict’ to inform their understanding of how the Romans used these to widen their Empire even further and how this impacted Britain both in the past and what changes remain in the present day.
  • In Year 5, pupils learn about the Victorian Era using this to inform further learning when they revisit the Victorians in Year 6 to learn about the rise of the British Empire. The substantive concepts ‘Main Events’ and ‘Trade’ are revisited to gain a much more in depth understanding of how societies changed and the treatment of the people within these different classes.


Activities within the units of history taught at Sawley are based on Chris Quigley POP (Proof of Progress) tasks set put in the CG history Companion. POP tasks develop children’s knowledge and progress in their learning from the basic acquisition of factual knowledge through the ability to explain history. Deepening POP tasks engage pupils in justifying opinions they have formed about the past.

In order to support children in their ability to know more and to secure more knowledge into their long-term memory, there are regular opportunities to review the learning that has taken place in previous history units as well as previous lessons.


Knowledge Organisers are provided at the start of each history unit- detailing the key concepts, vocabulary and prior and future knowledge. There is space for children to record their key learning points from each lesson to support in securing these core aspects.


Within the curriculum there are several assessment opportunities implemented by teachers. Currently these are forms of formative assessment; including, retrieval of knowledge, questioning, Knowledge Organisers and verbal feedback from the teacher.

Opportunities for visits and workshops are implemented to support the history curriculum:

Year 3: Perlethorpe trip, which supplemented their knowledge of and enriched their learning of Anglo-Saxons and Scots.                                Year 4 : Perlethorpe trip, which supplemented their knowledge of and enriched their learning of Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. 

            A visitor led in school workshop using artefacts and drama to enrich pupil's learning about the Vikings.  

Year 5: A visitor led in school workshop using drama to enrich pupil’s learning about the Titanic.

Year 6: Local walks are planned where appropriate in order to link pupil’s topic knowledge to changes within their own local area.




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