What history means at St Thomas…

History inspires our curiosity of the past. The study of history helps us to make sense of humankind. It also helps us understand the things that happen today and that may happen in the future as well as our own identity and the challenges of our time.

History at St Thomas...

Using the National Curriculum, we teach history to help children 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 to be good St Thomas’ Learners: to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence and develop perspective and judgement.

Our history is taught through cross-curricular themes where children will be able to develop an understanding of the history of Britain, how lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.

Over the course of their time at St Thomas’, our children will also learn about 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 and the achievements and follies of mankind.

Many year groups have trips, including residential visits, to support the learning and excitement of learning about history.

Useful Links


Teaching History at St. Thomas’ is not simply about learning facts about interesting dead people and old objects but a way of making sense of the world we live in today. It will help the children understand why things are the way they are and how they became to be. Through our teaching of History at St. Thomas’, we aim to develop the children’s understanding of how the past has shaped our world. The intention is for the children to develop curiosity about the past, and an understanding of how and why things have changed and developed over time. Through studying the history of Britain and the wider world, the children will develop a better understanding of the things that happen today and may happen in the future. It will help build a child’s feeling of identity and deepens their understanding of the concepts of citizenship.


During History lessons and challenges, children will develop the skills to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, link facts, and develop perspective and judgement. History teaches children that we can learn through the mistakes and successes of the past and the lives of key Historical figures can inspire children to take risks, be confident and persevere to support the children in their S=P+A+C+E for Me skills.

There are strong links between a study of History and other subjects such as Art, Literature, Citizenship and Technology. In many year groups, learning journeys are based around Historic themes and reflect our S=P+A+C+E for Learning ethos. History helps children 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, which supports the school’s S=P+A+C+E for EVERYONE ethos.


The teaching of History throughout the school is based around historic figures, events and specific periods of time. Although some of the teaching will be based around developing their knowledge of these particular historical period, the children will also be developing subject specific vocabulary, research and thinking skills.


Through the use of timelines, children develop a growing understanding of how different periods of History relate to each other (chronology.) Common themes will be taught across the year groups, such as the rights of citizens, technical advances, which will challenge the children to make comparison between key features of different periods of time.


When starting a new module, children will be asked to share their prior knowledge to ensure that there is good progression in both knowledge and skills. By using rediscover activities, teachers are able to ensure that knowledge and skills are taught progressively and that all children will be given a suitable level of challenge. Studying the legacy left behind by different civilizations will enable children make better sense of the present and inspire them to see that History is an important and relevant subject in the modern world. Where possible, the children are engaged in their learning about History through field trip and by handling real and replica artefacts. They learn that these are important clues to how people lived in the past and help them to make direct comparison with life today.


A variety of learning opportunities are used in the teaching of History, including Art and Drama, to engage the children and help them become immersed in a different era. There will be opportunities for going deeper in their learning through independent research, by making links between key events and asking questions about the past.  Through the use of whole school historical themed weeks or months, we can adapt out teaching of History to reflect current affairs such as the links between, ‘Black Lives Matter,’ and Black History month.


Our aim in teaching History at St. Thomas is to develop a curiosity and love for the subject. It should encourage them to ask questions about the past and also to develop the skills that will enable them to find those answers for themselves. In teaching the children about the past, we aim to give them a better understanding of the present. Through learning about History, children should not just develop their knowledge of the past but the skills and confidence to make links between History and other areas of the curriculum.


The progression of knowledge and understanding of History will be carefully monitored by class teachers and the subject leader to make sure that most children are making expected and or above expected progress across the year and throughout the school. Most lesson will be driven by a learning question, look not only what people did in the past but also why and how. These questions should be revisited in the child’s learning reflection and be key to the teachers assess of their understanding.


Through developmental marking or oral feedback teacher will be able to address any misconceptions and challenge children to go deeper in the learning by setting a next step. Whenever possible developmental marking should be based on developing Historical skills rather than subject knowledge. Through studying History, children will understand that things were different in the past, why and how they changed, which will give the children the confidence to make and accept future changes.