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How is history taught at Delta?


We teach history using the Kapow scheme of work, covering the KS1 and KS2 national curriculum objectives in three units a year. From Year 1 to Year 6, history is taught in half-termly blocks, with children having a weekly discrete one-hour history lesson over the half-term.

We use an enquiry-based model at Delta so that children learn key substantive knowledge using the disciplinary knowledge and methods that historians use to find out about the past. Our schemes of work are organised to reflect the fact that ‘knowledge of the past must be shaped by disciplinary approaches in order to become historical knowledge.’ (Ofsted research review series: History, 2021). The diagram below demonstrates the relationship between substantive and disciplinary knowledge and concepts to support children's learning and understanding in history:


Our history scheme of work aims to inspire pupils to be curious and creative thinkers who develop a complex knowledge of local and national history and the history of the wider world. We want pupils to develop the confidence to think critically, ask questions, and be able to explain and analyse historical evidence. Through our scheme of work, we aim to build an awareness of significant events and individuals in global, British and local history and recognise how things have changed over time. History will support children to appreciate the complexity of people’s lives, the diversity of societies and the relationships between different groups. Studying History allows children to appreciate the many reasons why people may behave in the way they do, supporting children to develop empathy for others while providing an opportunity to learn from mankind’s past mistakes.

Kapow Primary's History scheme aims to support pupils in building their understanding of chronology in each year group, making connections over periods of time and developing a chronologically-secure knowledge of History. We hope to develop pupils’ understanding of how historians study the past and construct accounts and the skills to carry out their own historical enquiries. In order to prepare pupils for their future learning in History, our scheme aims to introduce them to key substantive concepts including power, invasion, settlement and migration, empire, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of humankind, society and culture. At Delta, history enables pupils to meet the end of Key stage attainment targets in the National curriculum and the aims also align with those set out in the National curriculum. For EYFS, the activities allow pupils to work towards the Understanding the world Development matters statements and Early learning goals, while also covering foundational knowledge that will support them in their further history learning in Key stage 1.

At Delta, it is important for our children and the context of our school that we adopt a spiral curriculum model where previous skills and knowledge are returned to and built upon.


Our history curriculum meets the breadth and ambition of the National Curriculum and has five strands running through it. These five strands emphasise the importance of historical knowledge being shaped by disciplinary approaches, as shown in the diagram below. These strands are interwoven through all our history units to create engaging and enriching learning experiences which allow children to investigate history 'as historians'.

Each six-lesson unit has a focus on chronology to allow children to explore the place in time of the period they are studying and make comparisons in other parts of the world. In EYFS, children explore the concept of history by reflecting on key experiences from their own past, helping them understand that they each have their own histories. Then, they engage in activities to compare and contrast characters from stories, including historical figures, deepening their understanding of how individual lives fit into broader historical narratives. Children will further develop their awareness of the past in key stage 1 and will know where people and events fit chronologically. This will support children in building a ‘mental timeline’ they can refer to throughout their learning in key stage 2 and identifying connections, contrasts and trends over time. We use timelines to support children in developing this chronological awareness.

At Delta, children develop their understanding of the following key disciplinary concepts:

• Change and continuity • Cause and consequence • Similarities and differences • Historical significance • Historical interpretations • Sources of evidence

These concepts are encountered in different contexts during the study of local, British and world history. Accordingly, children have varied opportunities to learn how historians use these skills to analyse the past and make judgements so that they can confidently develop and use their own historical skill set. As children progress through the history scheme, they will create their own historical enquiries to study using sources and the skills they have developed. Substantive concepts such as power, trade, invasion and settlement, are introduced in Key stage 1, clearly identified in Lower key stage 2 and revisited in Upper key stage 2, allowing knowledge of these key concepts to grow. These concepts are returned to in different contexts, meaning that pupils begin to develop an understanding of these abstract themes which are crucial to their future learning in history.

As stated above, the history scheme follows a spiral curriculum model where previous skills and knowledge are returned to and built upon. For example, children progress by developing their knowledge and understanding of substantive and disciplinary concepts by experiencing them in a range of historical contexts and periods.

Kapow's History in Action videos explain the careers and work of those in history and heritage-related fields. Historians, archivists, archaeologists, museum curators, teachers and heritage experts discuss their love of history, how they became interested in the subject, how they got into their jobs and what their jobs involve.

Lessons are designed to be varied, engaging and hands-on, allowing children to experience the different aspects of an historical enquiry. In each lesson, children will participate in activities involving disciplinary and substantive concepts, developing their knowledge and understanding of Britain’s role in the past and that of the wider world. Children will develop their knowledge of concepts and chronology as well as their in-depth knowledge of the context being studied.

Learning in history at Delta is adapted to ensure that lessons can be accessed by all pupils and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are available when required. Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts, concepts and vocabulary.

Strong subject knowledge is vital for staff to be able to deliver a highly-effective and robust history curriculum. Each unit of lessons focuses on the key subject knowledge needed to deliver the curriculum, making links with prior learning and identifying possible misconceptions. We recognise that many teachers do not feel confident in delivering the history curriculum and we use a range of strategies including Kapow's teacher videos to ensure that they are supported to deliver lessons of a high standard.

History lessons incorporate our Delta pedagogies: oracy, retrieval practice, check and adapt, questioning and modelling. We also use practical hands-on, computer-based and collaborative tasks. This variety means that lessons are engaging and appeal to those with a variety of learning styles.

Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts and vocabulary.


The impact of history at Delta is constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Each lesson includes opportunities to assess pupils against the learning objectives. Furthermore, each unit has a skill catcher and knowledge assessment quiz which can be used at the end of the unit to provide a summative assessment. At the end of key stage 2, pupils should leave school equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education. They will be enquiring learners who ask questions and can make suggestions about where to find the evidence to answer the question. They will be critical and analytical thinkers who are able to make informed and balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past. Learning and progress is tracked and monitored through our assessment tracker tool.

The expected impact of following the Kapow History scheme of work is that children will:

● Know and understand the history of Britain, how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world

● Develop an understanding of the history of the wider world, including ancient civilisations, empires, non-European societies and the achievements of mankind

● Develop a historically-grounded understanding of substantive concepts - power, invasion, settlement and migration, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of mankind and society

● Form historical arguments based on cause and effect, consequence, continuity and change, similarity and differences

● Have an appreciation for significant individuals, inventions and events that impact our world both in history and from the present day

● Understand how historians learn about the past and construct accounts

● Ask historically-valid questions through an enquiry-based approach to learning to create structured accounts

● Explain how and why interpretations of the past have been constructed using evidence

● Make connections between historical concepts and timescales

● Meet the relevant Early Learning Goals at the end of EYFS (Reception) and the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for History at the end of Key stage 1 and 2.