Statement of Intent

At Whirley, we aim to deepen children’s knowledge about history by offering a curriculum which encourages an enquiry based approach, focused on the rich history in our local area. The children will use fieldwork skills to gain an appreciation of local history and their cultural heritage, giving them a sense of identity from studying aspects in history. Our key focus is to develop the children’s ability to communicate confidently as historians and therefore we have planned our curriculum accordingly, focusing on the links and chronology to ensure the progression between year groups.

There is a ‘golden thread’ that runs throughout all History study at Whirley; Farming, Religion, and Travel are all explored and these themes explored to better understand how to make connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history and between short and long-term timescales.

Rationale for History


In Reception we build on knowledge gained in pre-school settings and home environments. We begin to discuss the passing of time by celebrating birthdays and special life events such as moving house and a new sibling. The children also complete a scrap book during each school holiday which shows what they have done over those weeks. The children enjoy sharing and celebrating what they have done. On our Welly Walks we look at how the natural environment changes as we move through the seasons. This learning is continued in our shape, space and measure maths lessons, where we explore activities done at different times of the day. 

Year 1

In Year 1 we build on our historical knowledge gained in Reception by developing and awareness of the past and changes within our living memory. We do this by thinking about and comparing the changes to food and eating habits since our Grandparents were born. Building upon our learning from reception about our own special events, we now think about the lives of 2 significant individuals from within our living memory who have contributed to national and international achievements and research the lives of Ben Ainslie and Menna Fitzpaterick from Macclesfield. We then move on to comparing the similarities and differences of the lifestyles of Menna Fitzpaterick and Ben Ainslie. Building upon our knowledge of home environments, we begin to understand why the Treacle Market is a significant place in Macclesfield linking the importance of 'market' shopping to the people within recent past (Grandparent's and Great-Grandparents).

Year 2

In Year 2 we take a more in depth look at how transport has changed in Macclesfield, going as far back as 1900, building on the studies of ‘Treacle town’ in Year 1. We also study how roads have changed with the development of more housing and learn how the housing in their local environment has changed during this period.

As they develop their understanding of changes to transport, the children learn more about global changes, focusing specifically on the impact of the first flight and the first landing on the moon. This also gives the children to study the achievements of the Wright Brothers and Neil Armstrong and make comparisons between their lives.

The children study the Great Fire of London and the Fire of Nantwich. Whilst studying a significant national event beyond living memory, the children also have the opportunity to visit Nantwich and make use of the valuable historical resources in the town. This helps the children learn first-hand about the changes that have occurred since both fires and what lessons have been learnt.

Year 3

In Year 3, we begin by looking at the Stone Age period. We act as hunter gatherers, collecting food and creating our own art materials such as paint and tools using what we find. We explore stone age homes and compare them with what we have already learned about homes in our Y1 studies on the recent past and present . We then start to compare the stone age with the bronze age, exploring forts and looking for sources of evidence to help us learn about the past. We then compare the homes of bronze age people with the lives lived in the more recent past - looking for similarities and differences.

We then move on to Ancient Greece. We will look at the different roles of men and women in Greece and how they differ to the lives of people in the Bronxe age and in today’s society. This will lead us on to learning about the religion of Ancient Greece. Children will learn about the farming techniques used the food enjoyed, comparing this to the learning on the Bronze age. The chidlren will make discoveries around inventions during this period and the impact these inventions have had on us today.

The chidlren will explore some of the Greek Gods and the way that these beliefs impacted upon lifestyles, ultimately linking this to the wars over land and power,

Year 4

In Year 4, we begin by building upon the idea of invasion (linked to the work done in Y3) -  looking at who the Romans were and where they came from. We explore the cause and effect of the Roman invasions and focus on what they introduced to Britain  Additionally, we look at how they travelled such distances and the challenges they faced during these difficult times. Links are made to the Spartan wars and reasons for invasions - land, wealth and power.

Following this, the chidlren learn what religion the Romans found when they reached the Celts in Britain and how this differed to their religion and then subsequently how beliefs changed over time. Children will consider Roman remains in the locality and what they can teach us about how life has changed over time in Macclesfield and Cheshire.

We will then explore how farming progressed during the Roman era and compare their farming techiniques to that of the Greeks and to modern techniques. After investigating why the Romans left and what they left behind, we will do an in depth study of Ancient Egypt and study the achievements of their civilization. Then, children will have a secure knowledge and be able to compare travel, religion and farming between the Roman and Ancient Egyptian civilisation, whilst reflecting again on what has come before on the chronological timeline.

Year 5

Children will build on their knowledge gained in previous years exploring farming, transport and religion within the Anglo Saxon period.  Children will know where the Anglo Saxons came from, how and why they travelled to the United Kingdom and place this information on a detailed timeline.  They will understand, explore and devise and respond to questions about two famous Anglo Saxons (Canute the Great and Alfred the Great).  Children will also use a wide range of sources of evidence to explore Anglo Saxon life as farmers and understand how their language has influenced our language in modern day England.

Year 5 will then build on this by exploring The Mayan Civilization.  They will create a detailed report explaining their achievements, religion and gods, farming and transport.

Year 6

Following on from their exploration of the Angelo Saxons in year 5, year 6 children will study, in depth, the struggle for England between the Angelo Saxons and the Vikings. They will analyse different sources such as The Bayeux Tapestries, wooden carvings, runes, maps, photographs and burial sites to learn about Viking battles. They will use their own historical enquiry skills to answer questions about how bloodthirsty the Vikings really were and how they were so successful in their battles. They will continue to explore how Vikings farmed, used transport and Viking religious beliefs, building upon prior learning about invasion and reasons for obtaining new lands.

Year 6 children will also learn in depth about history in their local area and the importance of the Macclesfield Silk Mill since it was constructed in 1860. They will explore its impact on their locality and understand why Macclesfield is famously known as ‘The Silk Town’. Children will be able to understand the sequence of events from beginning as a cottage industry making buttons, to trading worldwide as far as China. Links will also be made with our Geography topic, understanding our local area and the significance of this in the production of silk.

In the Summer term children will learn about a significant turning point in history: The Battle of Britain. The topic will focus on this particular battle and compare it with other invasions which have taken place in Britain. Children will make direct comparisons between the use of motor travel in WWII with the importance of longboats used by the Vikings. Children will listen to radio broadcasts, read newspaper articles and analyse photographs from The Battle of Britain to inform their own understanding of this event in history.


Assessment in History

When creating the short-term plans for the teaching and learning, essential knowledge, as cited on the curriculum maps, is referenced and retrieval practices implemented  – to know more and to remember more. 

Over the period of study the children will be encouraged to ‘bridge back’ retrieving their prior learning and over time, being able to explain links and develop a deeper understanding of the history learned across key stages.

At the end of a unit of study the children are tasked with completing a low stakes quiz – these may be multiple choice or short answers. These quizzes will be revisited later to ensure retention is true. The scores will determine whether the child has been able to know more and remember more. 






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Whirley Primary School

Whirley RoadMacclesfield, Cheshire SK10 3JL

Rebecca Gregory | SEN Contact

01625 783815