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.

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.

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 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 move on to Ancient Greece. Children will locate Greece on a map and compare the country and its different features with England. We will look at the different roles of men and women in Greece and how they differ to the lives of people in today’s society. This will lead us on to learning about the religion of Ancient Greece, where will be focusing on some of the different deities, how they were worshipped and the impact they had on the Athenians. Following on from religion, we will move onto Greek food and farming, comparing the food between different countries and how things like the climate can have an impact. Building on from farming, we will look at technology where we will discover a number of inventions created by different Greek inventors and discuss how the Greeks have changed life for us in modern day times. Finally, we will discuss the struggle between the Spartan and Athenians in Greece through role play and diary writing.

Year 4

In Year 4, we begin by 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. This leads us on to learning what religion the Romans found when they reached the Celts in Britain and how this differed to their religion. Following this, we will explore how farming progressed during the Roman era and compare their farming techiniques to nowadays. 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.

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 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.

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.







Contact the School

Whirley Primary School

Whirley Road
SK10 3JL

Main Contact: Amanda Edwards - Head Teacher

Tel: 01625 783815

SEN Contact: Rebecca Gregory - SENDco