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St Mary's Rickmansworth Church of England Primary School Aspiring, nurturing, flourishing; together shining a light




At St Mary’s, our history curriculum sparks curiosity and develops knowledge and understanding of the past, nurturing children’s awareness of their place in today’s world. By focusing on local, British and world history, we aim to develop children’s knowledge of historical periods, events and significant individuals, to equip them for life in multicultural Britain. They learn key facts and concepts alongside skills such as:  chronological understanding; analysis and evaluation of historical evidence; empathy with people from different eras; how to compare and contrast life in different periods. 


Children’s historical learning begins in Early Years with the familiar: their own pasts and those of their families. In Year 1 this expands to learn about toys and how they’ve changed over the last century and history of flight and space travel through focusing on key figures from the time. In Year 2, they focus on explorers of the sea and polar regions and delve into the events of the Great Fire of London.  History is brought to life through visits to the Royal Maritime Museum, Tower of London and workshops including Toys through time. These help to fire the children’s imaginations and enable them to empathise with the lives of others in different eras. 


In Key Stage Two, they in a largely chronological order, the story of Britain is interwoven with studies of ancient civilizations. Children explore concepts of migration, empire, civilization, continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance. Immersive role-play experiences on trips to the Canal Centre, Celtic Harmony and St Albans develop children’s understanding of life in Britain in different eras. Studies of ancient civilisations of Rome, Egypt, and Greece are supported by visits to the British and Verulamium museums and immersive workshops in school where children express their learning through drama, art, discussion and writing. Many of our units are built around an enquiry question, giving a clear focus to the learning journeys each half term.