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Purpose of study

A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

The History Curriculum at St Edmund Campion


Our history curriculum seeks to give pupils a solid foundation and broad overview in some of the most important periods, events and themes in British and world history.

It is comprehensive but necessarily selective. The curriculum gives pupils a strong grounding in British history, taught chronologically from the first settlements through Roman Britain, the Vikings, AngloSaxons, the medieval period and up to the Industrial Revolution and touching on Britain during the two World Wars.

While studying these periods the units explore themes of change and continuity, perspective and power.


The five units exploring world history to provide global coverage and introduce a number of themes.

The unit on Ancient Greece introduces key ideas around power and its legitimacy, the Shang Dynasty gives insight into the progress and achievements in China at a time when there was much less occurring in Europe. The unit on the Middle East gives pupils an overview of the history of this vitally important region and the reasons for the intractable problems faced today.

The unit on the Benin Kingdom challenges the narrative often prevalent in the teaching of African history – celebrating a highly successful civilisation while introducing the slave trade.

Finally, the unit on Civil Rights considers the Civil Rights movement and Dr King, right the way up to the Black Lives Matter Movement.

By bringing pupils up to the present day – in the case of Civil Rights and the Middle East – the curriculum demonstrates the importance of past events in shaping the world of today.

Throughout the curriculum connections and comparison are made between events and individuals: the unit on the industrial revolution exploring the Great Reform Act by taking pupils from the Magna Carta (which they studied previously) through the changing seat of power in England over the subsequent six hundred years.


Throughout the curriculum, pupils are taught the substantive content which defines each period. This knowledge is meticulously planned and regularly revisited and elaborated upon.


More abstract concepts, too, are carefully developed across the key stage, so that pupils gain an increasingly sophisticated understanding of, for example, kingship or empire. However, it is not only substantive knowledge that is taught. The disciplinary skills of history, such as source analysis, interpretation, perspective, continuity and change are all explicitly taught and practised.

The curriculum is deliberately ambitious. It challenges pupils to make connections across time and place and sets up pupils for, we hope, a life-long love and understanding of an important subject, while providing a foundation of understanding that will make them curious, active citizens of this country and the world.

Concepts and Disciplinary Knowledge

The knowledge organiser is the beating heart of each unit. The core content is meticulously curated and itemised to clarify the necessary (but not sufficient) knowledge necessary to develop a sophisticated understanding of each history unit.


Over the course of the years, these knowledge organisers will ensure that our children become ‘culturally literate’ and have the opportunity to engage in ‘powerful knowledge'