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History Curriculum

Everyone enjoys History lessons at St Mary’s. History offers opportunities for children to develop an understanding of their identity, present circumstances and their relationship with the global community through the study of the past in Britain and the wider world. Children develop a chronological framework based on significant events and people. They develop and understanding, empathy and respect for the diversity of human experience. They study of history provides the skills of research, questioning and making decisions of both a pragmatic and moral nature. They learn to build imaginative models to test and compare opinions and points of view. These are all skills which will be valuable to themselves and their community in adult life.

At St-Mary's our aims of teaching history are:

  • To deliver history through “The Big Question”, promoting a cross curricular skills based approach to studying history.
  • For children to develop a good chronological understanding and knowledge of key events and people in history.
  • To develop and range of historical knowledge and understanding.
  • Through historical enquiry to develop children’s ability to analysis and interpret both primary and secondary evidence.
  • Use a range of media including information technology, to present and discuss their historical understanding.
  • To develop an empathy for historical events and people. 


The Avenue to Learning Project

Each year the Year 5s from St Mary’s take part in the Avenue for Learning Project , an amazing opportunity led by Dr Colin Shell of Cambridge University, to work with English Heritage and the World Heritage Site Organisation learning how to do archaeological survey and discover the unique prehistoric landscape of Wiltshire . The children use geophysics equipment to survey the visible and hidden stones on the West Kennet Avenue and learn to measure and draw plans using standard archaeological field techniques. St Mary’s school has been the pilot school for this project and is leading the way to spread this opportunity to other primary schools and secondary schools in Wiltshire.

Working with the archaeologists and farmers at the World Heritage Site has opened opportunities for field trips to learn about the chalk grasslands and landmanagement.

Field Trips

We are fortunate to be in Swindon as we are surrounded by some of the world’s most wonderful resources and locations for the studying of History. The children have taken part in excellent field trips such as the KS1 visit to the Ashmolean Museum for a “hands on” study of art and image from the ancient world with Minoan pots , through to  meditative Chinese landscapes and even modern art and sculpture, KS2 trips to Hampton Court Palace as part of the study of the Tudors and Highclere Castle to visit the artefacts telling the story of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. 

The primary National Curriculum documents and policies for History