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Community D-Day event to commemorate 80 years since the Normandy landings

Our fascinating visit to an archaeological dig hosted by Rob from the British Mueum

History at Barnham

At Barnham CEVC Primary, all of our teaching and learning builds on our core vision; Inspire, Cherish and Believe.  We recognize that History is vital to a rich and broad primary education. We know that a high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We aim to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past and encourage pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. We are aware of the importance of history in helping 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.

Look at our amazing timeline!

Aims of the History Curriculum

          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
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.

The CUSP Curriculum at Barnham

CUSP History draws upon several powerful sources of knowledge

  Substantive knowledge - this is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used about the past. Common misconceptions are explicitly revealed as non-examples and positioned against known and accurate content. Misconceptions are challenged carefully and in the context of the substantive and disciplinary knowledge. In CUSP History, it is recommended that misconceptions are not introduced too early, as pupils need to construct a mental model in which to position new knowledge.

   Disciplinary knowledge – this is the use of that knowledge and how children construct understanding through historical claims, arguments and accounts. We call it ‘Working Historically.’ The features of thinking historically may involve significance,  evidence, continuity and change, cause and consequence, historical perspective, and contextual interpretation.

   Historical analysis is developed through selecting, organising and integrating knowledge through reasoning and inference making in response to our structured questions and challenges. We call this ‘Thinking historically’

             Substantive concepts, such as invasion and civilisation are taught through explicit vocabulary                 instruction as well as through the direct content and context of the study


History at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2


              At Barnham CEVCP children will gradually build on their skills throughout the Key Stages based                 on National Curriculum expectations.


  The sequence in KS1 focuses on young children developing a sense of time, place and change. It begins with children studying Changes within living memory to develop an understanding of difference over time within concrete experiences of their lives. This chronological knowledge is foundational to the understanding of change over time.


  Pupils study the Lives of significant individuals, focusing on David Attenborough and Mary Anning. Chronology and place in time steers the understanding of the context in which these significant individuals lived. Terms such as legacy are introduced and used within the context of each study. This study is revisited and enhanced by studying the Lives of further significant individuals, including Neil Armstrong, Mae Jemison, Bernard Harris Jr and Tim Peake.

  In KS1, pupils study local history through significant events, people and places. The locality is further understood by knowing about the places, the buildings, the events, the people that tell a story of the past.


  Events beyond their living memory. Here, pupils draw upon early concepts of chronology and connect it to more abstract, but known, events in the past focusing on the Great Fire of London.

  There are further opportunities for pupils to revisit and retrieve prior learning with a focus on ‘Events beyond living memory’. Connections, where relevant, are made to wider studies, such as the Great Fire of Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket or Haverhill.




  In KS2, pupils study the cultural and technological advances made by our ancestors as well as understanding how historians think Britain changed throughout the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. Archaeological history guides us to know how early humans were creative, innovative and expert at surviving in changeable environments. Having an in-depth understanding of Iron Age Britain offers solid foundations for the study of how Rome influenced Britain. This foundational knowledge is built upon and used to support long-term retrieval to contrast culture and technology. Pupils are able to draw upon prior understanding to support and position new knowledge, therefore constructing much more stable long-term memories. Substantive concepts, such as invasion, law, civilisation and society are developed through explicit vocabulary instruction, another central component of CUSP. 


  Studies of how Britain was settled by Anglo-Saxons and Scots gives a focus on cultural change and the influence of Christianity. Pupils study how powerful kings and their beliefs shaped the Heptarchy of Anglo-Saxon Britain. 


  CUSP also focuses on the Struggle for throne of England through a study of the Vikings, their origins, conquests and agreements with English Anglo-Saxon kings to settle and dwell in the region known as Danelaw.


                 Upper Key Stage 2

  Later in KS2, knowledge of Anglo-Saxons is revisited and used to connect with a study of the Maya civilisation. The study compares advancement of the Maya culture and innovation to that of the Anglo-Saxons around c.AD 900. Here, location, settlement, people, culture and invention are compared and contrasted. 

  Pupils also study Significant monarchs after 1066. Five kings and queens are a focus of a depth study and comparison, drawing on their beliefs, actions and understanding their legacy. This chronological study revisits known periods of time and introduces new content and monarchs.

  Ancient history, such as the Achievements of the earliest civilisations - Ancient Egyptians and the study of Ancient Greek life and achievements are also studied learning about the influence on the western world. The understanding of culture, people and places are central to these studies. CUSP History connects these studies with prior knowledge of what was happening in Britain at the same time. The effect of this is to deepen and connect a broader understanding of culture, people, places and events through comparison.

  Recent history, such as the Battle of Britain for example, is studied in the context of how conflict changed society in the Second World War. Modern history is also studied through units such as the Windrush Generation. Knowing about slavery, Caribbean culture and the injustice of the past enlightens pupils to understand why events happened and how these pioneers faced racism, discrimination and prejudice. PSHE and SMSC are vital components of the history curriculum - challenging racism and prejudice in all its forms.


Early Years


In Early Years, History is taught through Knowledge and Understanding of the World.  The children learn about the world around them in their play and adult led activities.  Our curriculum is designed to enable children to make sense of their physical world and community.  Children are encouraged to be historians by:


Finding out about and showing curiosity and interest in features of objects, events and living things
Describing and talking about what they see, including noticing similarities and differences
Showing curiosity and asking questions about why things happen and how things work
Showing understanding of cause-effect relations
Noticing and commenting on patterns
Showing an awareness of change
Explaining their own knowledge and understanding, and asking appropriate questions of others
Investigating objects and materials by using all of their senses as appropriate


Sequence of Learning

Modular Approach – Knowledge 


At Barnham CEVCP, History is taught across each year group in modules that enable pupils to study in depth and to develop key understanding, skills and vocabulary. Each module aims to activate and build upon prior learning, including EYFS, to ensure better cognition and retention. Each module is carefully sequenced to enable pupils to purposefully layer learning from previous sessions to facilitate the acquisition and retention of key skills and knowledge. Each module is revisited either later in the year or in the following year as part of a spaced retrieval practice method to ensure pupils retain key knowledge and information.