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Our vision: Learning together we will all be exceptional historians!

At Sunnyhill, we fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for History, ensuring that historical concepts, knowledge, skills and vocabulary are developed from the Early Years through to Key Stage 2.  

We want Sunnyhill pupils to:

  • Understand the culture and way of life of different societies throughout history (in London, Britain and beyond), through our whole school theme of ‘civilisation - destruction and transformation’.

  • Recognise how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world, valuing their own and other people’s cultures in modern Britain.

  • Develop a sense of chronology from the earliest of times to the present day.

  • Evaluate a range of primary and secondary sources including ICT as a stimulus and source of information. 

  • Experience history through fieldwork, experts and educational visits.

  • Be engaged, motivated and curious learners that can reflect on the past and make meaningful links to the present day. 

How History is taught at Sunnyhill:

In the Early Years, history is incorporated into the ‘Understanding the World: people and communities’ strand of learning.  Pupils begin to understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.  They are introduced to vocabulary associated with history as they explore the passing of time in their own lives and learn about significant events in the past e.g. Remembrance.

In KS1, the history units of work focus on the world around them and their living memory of history before moving to events that go beyond living memory. This ensures a firm foundation for KS2 History.  

In KS2, the history units of work are set out in chronological order, allowing pupils to refer to prior learning year-on-year and within the year.  

All pupils are required to make connections and historical links with prior learning of people, events and societies.  

Whole school theme - Civilisation (destruction and transformation)



Where possible, a cross-curricular approach is adopted, to maximise rich opportunities for learning and to provide further consolidation and depth of learning.  Pupils are also given opportunities to explore significant figures and locations in their local area, allowing them to achieve a sense of relevance and belonging through local history.

In KS1 and KS2 learning starts by revisiting prior knowledge.  Staff model explicitly the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning to allow them to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.

History lessons include historical enquiry.  Pupils are encouraged to evaluate primary and secondary sources to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving which will develop knowledge and understanding and prepare them for the next phase in their education.  Challenge questions are used to allow pupils to consolidate knowledge and understanding where necessary or to apply learning in a philosophical/open manner.

Frequent low stakes curriculum quizzes are used to review learning and check that pupils are understanding and retaining knowledge.  Learning is also reviewed on a termly basis so that teachers can check whether information has been retained. History assessment is ongoing and informs teachers with planning lesson activities.  Each unit of work is compiled of a series of lessons planned for progression and depth. 

At Sunnyhill, the impact of quality first teaching in History fosters a love and enthusiasm for the subject.  Pupil voice provides evidence that pupils are able to talk with confidence and enthusiasm about what they have learnt in history using subject specific vocabulary. 

Knowledge Organisers

Teachers have created a set of knowledge organisers for all history units.  Knowledge organisers capture the key information, terminology, and dates or quotes for a topic. The information on the knowledge organiser is the minimum that needs to be known, rehearsed and stored over time in the long-term memory, in order for pupils to become fluent in the material.

Year 1 knowledge organiser:

History Enrichment

Throughout a unit of work,  children are given a variety of experiences both inside and outside the classroom in order to create memorable learning opportunities, foster curiosity and enthusiasm for history, and to further support and develop their understanding. 

Our curriculum plan offers the following historical enrichment experiences:

Year 1 

Black History Month

Shakespeare Festival

Turn Back The Clock Day - Toys from the past (Polka Theatre Workshop)

Year 2 

Black History Month

Shakespeare Festival

Turn Back The Clock Day - London Fire Brigade visit

Educational visit to The Monument and Pudding Lane

Educational visit to Tower Bridge

Year 3 

Black History Month

Shakespeare Festival

Turn Back The Clock Day - Stone Age Workshop

Educational visit to the Guildhall Amphitheatre 

Year 4 

Black History Month

Shakespeare Festival

Turn Back The Clock Day - Anglo-Saxon experience

Educational visit to Dover Castle

Year 5 

Black History Month

Shakespeare Festival

Turn Back The Clock Day - Ancient Greece experience

Educational visit - local history trail

Educational visit - HQS Wellington

Year 6 

Black History Month

Shakespeare Festival 

Turn Back The Clock Day - Benin experience

Educational visit - The British Museum

Turn Back The Clock Day

In the Autumn Term, our whole school theme is ‘Journey through Time’.  Each class celebrates their learning by turning back the clock to the historical period that they have been studying.

History Vocabulary

At Sunnyhill, we know that a good understanding of a wide range of vocabulary supports success across the whole national curriculum. We have identified ‘core’ words that the children will meet in different topics. These words will be revisited and taught in different contexts so that the children develop a deep understanding of their meaning and they become tools with which children can access the knowledge, skills and understanding the curriculum demands.  This vocabulary will form a backbone through our curriculum to help to scaffold and develop the children’s learning.