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Heartwood CE VC Primary and Nursery School
Learn to Love – Love to Learn!

We are historians...

At Heartwood we plan History so that each year the children are progressively going further back in time along a timeline. 

In the EYFS, children learn about the present day and the recent history in terms of their lives and growing from a baby. This provides the year 1 children with the foundations to start to explore the history of their parents and  Swaffham in living memory. 


We teach History with key substantive concepts that children use throughout their learning in each year group to make connections and links with their prior learning and prepare them for what they are learning next. 

These concepts are:

  • Power and Governance (kings, queens and leaders)
  • Religion
  • Peace and War 
  • Communities 

Victorian Experience Day

Year 2 went back in time to Victorian times in school. They compared how things were then to now. Many were shocked at the lack of technology and even pens!

Through the concept of power and governance the children learn about Queen Victoria and the impact that she had on children's lives and the changes in the schools over the Victorian period. 


Remembrance Day


Every year we hold a 2 minute silence in school to remember all of those people who played a significant part in previous wars. Through the concept of Peace and war, the children learn age appropriate facts about the wars and the significance to our lives. We have a week in November where the children all progressively learn about aspects of the war and the heroes who served in them. 

Each class made their own poppies to remember the fallen soldiers. 

Bonfire Night

KS1 had a fantastic time learning about why we celebrate Firework's Night on the 5th November.

The children learnt about the story of Guy Fawkes, acted it out, retold the story, wrote wanted posters and even made their own Guy to place on the fire. They placed the events on the timeline and compared to present day.

They finished the celebrations with a sparkler in the forest. 

History in the National Curriculum can be summed up in just a few statements: ordering events in time; finding differences and similarities; writing and talking about the past; using different sources for information; asking and answering questions. All classes in each year group will do all of these at some point and aim to link ‘then’ with ‘now’.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The early learning goals at EYFS are very much focused on the memories of the child. It may be that they are asked to remember a special event or routine or custom for their family. They may talk about differences between different family members or different generations.


3 & 4-year-olds will be learning to:

Children in Reception will be learning to:






  • Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher. 


  • Begin to describe a sequence of events, real or fictional, using words such as ‘first’, ‘then...’



Understanding the World

  • Begin to make sense of their own life-story and family’s history.
  • Understand the key features of the life cycle of a plant and an animal.


  • Comment on images of familiar situations in the past.
  • Compare and contrast characters from stories, including figures from the past.


Past and Present

  • Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society.
  • Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
  • Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.

Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)

At Key Stage 1, children may be asked to learn about specific people or events that are both within and beyond living history. Teachers are more free to choose who or what they would like to teach about so there is a lot more variation between individual schools. Popular choices often include people like Neil Armstrong or Tim Peake, Grace Darling, or Florence Nightingale. Events such as the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight, or themes such as castles or toys lend themselves very well to learning about the past. There will often be a very strong link to a local event or person.

Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6)

At Key Stage 2, the curriculum is much more prescriptive. Your child will learn all about the following periods of British history over the 4 years in Key Stage 2.

  • Stone Age
  • Ancient Romans
  • Anglo Saxons and Scots
  • The Vikings
  • A local history unit
  • A period of history later than 1066 (e.g. World War 2, Victorians, Tudors, the 1960s).

Children will also be introduced to some world civilisations in history. There is some variation allowed for schools here as they can choose one of each section. It may depend on the period of history most relevant to the children themselves.

  • Ancient Greeks
  • Ancient Egyptians or Ancient Shang dynasty of China or the Indus Valley
  • The Mayans or Islamic Civilisation or Benin (AD 900-1300) to contrast with British history


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