St Mary's

Catholic Primary School

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"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it."
Winston Churchill


It is our aim to help develop and nourish children to become great historians. Our skills-based curriculum at St. Mary's is designed to fire and excite children's curiosity about the past and how this relates to what is happening in our world today. We take our children on a journey through time to give them broad chronological and coherent knowledge of history; where all time periods fit in and how they relate to each other. We then delve deep into key areas of history to get that depth of understanding and developing their skills as historians. It is vital we equip our children with both the knowledge and skills to become great historians. Through thought-provoking enquiry questions, carefully-selected educational visits and visitors and high-quality, engaging lessons, we hope to instil a life-long love of History with our pupils.



During the Autumn term History is our focus, which is known as our 'discover' term. Each class explores a different period in time and teachers present their class with an enquiry question that they work through the term to unpick and answer. Early Years and Year 1 conduct half termly projects whereas year groups 2 and upwards are termly to give children the time to explore in depth and develop their historical skills. Their history skills are mapped out progressively and built upon year on year through chronology, enquiry, knowledge and historical interpretation. 

  • Teachers start with a timeline and constantly refer to this throughout their project to ensure understanding of history over time. 
  • Use of artefacts from our local museum provides children with high quality primary sources to investigate. Artefacts help children question and understand the past. 
  • Immersive classrooms created with the children to bring their projects to life. 
  • A focus on high quality language to develop the children's vocabulary. 
  • Provide life experiences for our children through a project related trip or a visitor into the classroom. 


 Enquiry QuestionCurriculum Content
Year 1

Where did the dinosaurs go?

The journey of the dinosaurs! Children will begin to develop a sense of basic chronology and explore a world before their own; understanding that life has not always been as it is now. They will learn about the the impact that Mary Anning had on our understanding of the dinosaurs and even dig for our own fossils! 

Year 2Can a disaster ever turn into an opportunity?

A study of life in London during the 17th century. Children will learn about the reasons for the outbreak of the bubonic plague and how many believe the Great Fire of London helped eradicate the disease. They will also use different historical sources, including Samuel Pepys' diary, to further their knowledge on the event. To finish off, the children will look at the lessons learnt from the Great Fire of London, including the creation of the fire service.

Year 3How did it all begin?Year 3 are looking at The Vikings and understanding all about their way of life. They will discuss several events from our Viking timeline and outline some of the reasons for and results of people’s actions by describing the behaviours and characteristics of Vikings. They are going to explore deeper into the Vikings settlements and different modes of transport and explain the key features of a day in the life of a Viking. They will explore and understand why battles take place and even create battle armour of their own! Through drama we will recreate a battle scene and even enjoy a grand banquet .
Year 4How have ancient civilisations impacted the world we live in?

Year 4 have the amazing opportunity to immerse themselves in three Ancient Civilisations and investigate how they have impacted on our very own society today! From the Ancient Pyramids of Egypt, the chocolate making abilities of The Ancient Maya to the fantastical Myths and the originators of the very first Olympics in Ancient Greece, the children are learning how these civilisations once lived, thrived and help shape the very world we know today! Through our own research, artefacts from Doncaster Museum, comparing timelines, lifestyles and through Art and DT, we are can make these Ancient worlds come to life within our very own classroom!

Year 5Should we accept our place in society? This term, Year 5 are delving into the world of the Victorians, what an exciting world it was! The children will be immersed into the era of: new, innovative inventions, the industrial revolution, infamous crime and punishment, the life of a Victorian child, some incredible works of literature and not to forget, Queen Victoria herself! 
Year 6Is war ever justified? 

Year 6 will explore the history of World War 1 and World War 2, understanding the outbreak of war, life in the trenches and even what it was like to be an evacuee. To help us fully understand the topic, we are also reading Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo, a story of a young boy looking back on his life from the trenches of World War 1! At the end of the topic we will be answering our enquiry question being able to recall events on a timeline, comparing beliefs and behaviours from the past as well as recognising and interpreting primary and secondary sources.


Take a look at the History work in our Project books!


Children at St. Mary's are excited about history! They have both the historical knowledge and the skills they can then apply in other areas. They will gain rich technical vocabulary that they understand and can use in context and they will understand the effects of history over time and how it has had an impact on their lives today. Teachers mainly use formative assessment tools with elements of summative assessment to ensure their judgement, of each child, in history is accurate.

What do children at St. Mary's think about their History learning?