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History at Hillmorton Primary School

History Portfolio

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At Hillmorton Primary School we are passionate about the teaching of history. Many of the topics in our creative curriculum focus on significant historical periods allowing the children to develop a breadth of knowledge and understanding of historical concepts and skills; in addition to the events themselves.

In our history curriculum, we distinguish between subject topics and threshold concepts. Subject topics are the specific aspects of subjects that are studied, such as a particular historical period. Threshold concepts tie together the topics into a meaningful schema, as these same concepts are explored throughout the school in a wide breadth of topics.


The key threshold concepts we aim to develop are:


  • Investigate and interpret the past
    • Use evidence to ask questions and find answers to questions about the past
    • Suggest suitable sources of evidence for historical enquiries
    • Use more than one source of evidence for historical enquiry in order to gain a more accurate understanding of history.
    • Describe different accounts of a historical event, explaining some of the reasons why an account may differ.
    • Suggest causes and consequences of some of the main events and changes in history.
  • Build an overview of world history
    • Describe changes that have happened in the locality of the school throughout history.
    • Give a broad overview of life in Britain and some major events from the rest of the world.
    • Describe the social, ethnic, cultural or religious diversity of past society.
    • Compare some of the times studied with those of other areas of interest around the world
  • Understand chronology
    • Describe the main changes in a period of history.
    • Identify periods of rapid change in history and compare them with times of relatively little change.
    • Understand the concepts of continuity and change over time, representing them, along with evidence, on a timeline.
    • Use dates and terms accurately in describing events.
  • Communicate historically
    • Use appropriate historical vocabulary to communicate including dates, time period, era, chronology, continuity, change, century, decade, and legacy.
    • Use literacy, numeracy and computing skills in order to communicate information about the past.


We return to these threshold concepts throughout a child’s journey in our school, each time building on their prior knowledge, extending their confidence and understanding. The development of these key historical concepts is the cornerstone of our history teaching here at Hillmorton.


Our history curriculum strives to provide each child with cultural capital, giving them the skills and vital background knowledge required to be informed and thoughtful members of our community who understand and believe in British values.




  • History topics are taught as part of our creative curriculum, making up half-termly themes.
  • Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent and regular, increasing both storage and retrieval strength of topics and concepts.
  • ‘WOW’ days to introduce topics bring the learning to life.
  • Carefully selected trips and visits allow children to immerse themselves in their learning.
  • Children study significant time periods, frequently discussing and exploring how they fits in chronologically with other topics they have studied.
  • Children study significant individuals from various time periods and cultures.




To measure impact we assess the children’s understanding of the underpinning threshold concepts. Their ability to apply these to their learning allows them to access the curriculum with increasing confidence and historical skills. We also compare work from different year groups and key stages to ensure the threshold concepts are being built upon each year and children have regular opportunities to recall learning from previous topics.


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