Charles Darwin Academy Trust Ofsted good 2017
Biggin Hill School, Bromley


History at Biggin Hill Primary School is taught through the Learning Challenge curriculum. The Learning Challenge concept is built around the principle of greater learner involvement in their work. It requires deep thinking and encourages learners to work using a question as the starting point. Each year group plans around three big questions a year related to the history guidance from the government and Learning challenge website. In designing the curriculum teachers and learners are using a prime learning challenge, expressed as a question, as the starting point. Using the information gained from pre-learning tasks, the new National Curriculum and the schoolís context a series of subsidiary challenges are then planned. Each subsidiary learning challenge is also expressed as a question.

Teachers begin a new topic question using a pre learning task. Pre-Learning Tasks ensure that learners are directly involved in the planning process. Well planned pre-learning tasks should help to bring out what learners already know; what misconceptions they may have and what interests them. Teachers then take account of the outcome from pre-learning tasks to plan the subsidiary learning challenges for each lesson.

At the end of each big question pupils are given time to reflect on their learning. Learners are asked to think about and present their learning back to the rest of the class making the most of their oracy and ICT skills to do so.

History Coverage


During the year the children cover several big questions and therefore subsidiary questions related to the Early Years outcomes under understanding the world.

  • Is everybody's home the same?
  • Who lives in a castle?
  • How can we help Cinderella have a ball?
  • How can we make prince Charming's castle modern?
  • Was it once mixed up time?
  • A long, long time ago was there an ogre called Shrek?

Key stage 1

  • Would the Beetles have won the X factor?
  • What has changed since Grandparent's were young?
  • Why is the Wii more fun than granddad and grandmas toys?
  • Why were Christopher Columbus & Neil Armstrong very brave people?
  • What was it like when the Queen came to the throne in 1953?
  • What was it like in Biggin HIl 100 years ago?

Key stage 2

  • Who first lived in Britain?
  • Do you think William Wilberforce was a hero or a fool? (Has Greece always been in the news?
  • Why were the Romans so powerful?
  • What was life like 100 years ago?
  • Why were Norman castles certainly not bouncy?
  • Why should gunpowder treason and plot never be forgotten?
  • How can we rediscover the wonders of ancient Egypt?
  • Were the Anglo Saxons really smashing?
  • How did the Battle of Britain change WW2?
  • Where the Vikings always victorious and vicious?
  • Who were the Mayans and what have learnt from them?
  • To be or not to be, that is the question?

Enriching the curriculum

In November 2014 BHPS celebrated Black History day by inviting in an African culture company to complete workshops with the children. Key stage children took part in an African drumming workshops which the children loved. They enjoyed learning how to play the drums in different ways and learning how they were made. “enjoyed watching the man and how good he was at playing the drums.”

EYFS and Key stage one took part in an African stories and rhyme workshop where the lady told them a story about animals that live in Africa. The children role played the animals and told the story.

In class children learnt about famous black people and their achievements alongside making kente cloth patterns and other art related activities.

During the year Off the Page History Company come into school and do whole day history workshops based on different eras of time. We have so far seen Romans, Egyptians and Vikings in school. The children have the chance to dress up as a person from history and take part in several activities during the day related to that time in history.

Key stage 1

Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.

Pupils should be taught about:

  • changes within living memory - where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life
  • events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries]
  • the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements, some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods [for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and LS Lowry, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell]
  • significant historical events, people and places in their own locality

Key stage 2

Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching the British, local and world history outlined below, teachers should combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content.

Pupils should be taught about:

  • changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
  • the Roman Empire and its impact onBritain's settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots
  • the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor
  • a local history study
  • a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils' chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • the achievements of the earliest civilizations - an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer, The Indus Valley, Ancient Egypt, The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China
  • Ancient Greece - a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world
  • a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history - one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300

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