Twyford St Mary's
Church of England Primary School



Subject lead: Jo White

How we teach History

The way we teach History at Twyford St Mary’s is rooted in an intent to spark curiosity in the children and inspire them to want to find out more.

We have a set of three bridging themes – movement, significant women, and inventions –  that run through our History curriculum at Twyford St Mary’s. Every history unit has one of these bridging themes at its core and these are interwoven throughout the year.

Our goal is to link to local history as much as possible for example, when children explore WW1 in Yew Class (Yr5/6) we examine the stories of local young men who went to war. Across the subject there is active engagement with historical sources, encouraging children to take a hands-on approach as much as possible, using artefacts – or pictures of them – videos, and more. These tools help the children to be as active in the subject as possible.

We always try to pin down human stories to make history relatable and real, and we encourage children to ask questions. We want to know what they want to know, and we always aim to put them in control of the learning.

As part of our approach, we encourage debate and critical thinking – asking children to develop opinions by drawing on a range of sources, to use evidence, and be comfortable changing their opinions depending on what they discover. We also encourage children to find links between their learning across topics and see how different eras and times impact one another.

The Twyford St Mary’s History expert:

  • Is an enthusiastic creative and curious learner. Our expert historian is inspired by stories from the past, and forensic in their examination of the facts. They know to look for sources and show an understanding that interpretations of history can be subjective.
  • Will ask questions and understand that sometimes our questions will never be answered.
  • Is curious and willing and able to discuss their ideas with others and collaborate in forming new ideas and opinions.
  • Enjoys uncovering evidence and understanding how events, eras, and times link chronologically and may have impacted how they live today.
  • Has developed empathy, and a wider perspective. They are open-minded and comfortable that their opinion might change and that is ok!

Our approach to History for SEND learners

To ensure all of our history curriculum is accessible and inspiring for all children, lessons are carefully differentiated to allow all children to access the content and meet the learning objectives for the lessons. Tasks are broken down appropriately and scaffolding support is offered through writing frames. We make sure that that not every lesson in history has writing as its outcome – and that opportunities for children’s original and creative thoughts, ideas and reasoning can be captured in alternative ways that reflect their needs.

Supporting tools

A range of primary and secondary sources, literature, reference books, video, audio, and digital resources. In addition, the Twyford St Mary’s history curriculum is brought to life through a range of exciting trips such as the KS1 visit to the Sea City Titanic museum, exploring Anglo Saxon and Viking Britain at Butser Ancient farm, and immersive historical experiences at Fort Nelson, Fishbourne Roman Palace, and Beaulieu.