Newton Drive, Framwellgate Moor, Durham, DH1 5BG
0191 386 5400


History Coordinator Team: Mrs R. Chadwick, Miss S. Thompson, Miss A. Pendleton

At Framwellgate Moor Primary School, our coherent and progressive history curriculum has been designed to celebrate our rich local heritage and reflect the wonderful diversity found within our school.

Through an enquiry-based approach to learning, we strive to foster a curiosity about the past to enable pupils to gain a secure historical knowledge which allows them to construct and sequence the past and understand the key disciplinary concepts of continuity and change, similarity and difference, cause and consequence, significance and interpretation and using sources as evidence. We encourage children to be confident questioners, articulate communicators of opinions and ideas using correct historical terminology and well-informed citizens who are at ease with differences.

Substantive themes, or ‘golden threads’, such as ‘invasion’, ‘settlement’ and ‘achievement’ are interwoven throughout the curriculum from EYFS to Y6 to enable children to build upon prior knowledge. This facilitates a depth of understanding and provides opportunity to make connections.

Early Years

EYFS pupils at FMPS experience history through ‘Understanding the World’. Our ambition is for every child to have experiences which increase their knowledge and sense of their own personal history and that of the school and local area. As part of adult led learning, we share a wide range of artefacts, photographs, experiences and stories to support an early understanding of historical concepts such as change and to ensure substantive themes are explored at an appropriate level.  Themes such as society and beliefs are introduced through learning about themselves, their past and present and that of their family.  Children also learn about settlements through learning about their family homes and how they have changed over time.

Running alongside this are our engaging and enabling environments.  These allow children to explore, practise and apply their early enquiry skills in a play-based way supported by knowledgeable adults. Experiences such as role play based on their first-hand experiences, hands on exploration of artefacts, photographs and resources combined with high quality conversations ensure our children are confident in their learning.

Our very youngest children begin their history learning through exploring the concept of age and developing their awareness of past and present.  Through broadening their vocabulary to include basic temporal language children begin to understand where they have been and where they are going.  They begin to associate objects, places and events with different times of the day and can identify when they are used.  Children also begin talking about themselves and their families, identifying who is important to them and recalling simple stories about them.  This learning launches the themes of society, diversity and beliefs which run throughout EYFS.

In Nursery, children learn more about these themes and explore how they have changed since they were born. They look at photographs of themselves at different ages and discuss what they can see is different.  They begin to recognise that growing up is a process over time.  They are introduced to the concept of growing old by exploring what grows old including people objects and toys. Discussing the similarities and differences in toys past and present introduces the children to new substantive themes such as leisure and technology.

Our Reception children build on their knowledge of personal history by exploring their families and the roles that each person plays within the family.  They recall special times together and how roles relate to age.  They go on to compare their family to a famous family in history and identify similarities and differences between them. Children also begin learning around the substantive themes of settlements and housing.  They learn about how changes over time have affected their home and the area they live in. They look at special events that happen nearby such as bonfire celebrations and learn about the historical stories that support them.

In Key Stage 1

In Key Stage 1, we build upon learning in Reception by developing an understanding of the past, incorporating specific vocabulary relating to the passing of time and by continuing to examine substantive themes such as ‘leisure’, ‘technology’ and ‘housing’. New themes which are essential for learning in this key stage and in Key Stage 2 are introduced including ‘economy and industry’ and ‘achievement’.  Pupils are continuously given the opportunity to identify similarities and differences between ways of life within the last 100 years and we encourage children to ask and questions to support the acquisition of key learning from each enquiry and allow them to form their own historical opinions. Children are expected to know where the people, places and events they study fit within a chronological framework.

We begin by focusing on changes within living memory where children further explore their own past and find similarities and differences with the lives of older relatives and look in greater depth at how homes, shops and other buildings in Framwellgate Moor have changed over time.

Building on from this, children study significant places, people and events which are important in Durham by investigating Durham Cathedral, St Cuthbert, Durham Castle and the Durham Railway Station

Expanding beyond living memory to significant national and global events, children question whether the invention of the first train and plane was really that important. Special attention is given to George Stephenson’s invention of the steam trains, the Darlington-Stockton Railway, the first flight by the Wright brothers and how these developments have had a shrinking effect on our world. Our following enquiry makes links to this learning when children study how holidays have changed over the last 100 years and beyond.

We also find out about significant people who have contributed to national and international achievements by posing the enquiry question, ‘How were the lives of Beatrix Potter and Floella Benjamin different?’. This also provides an opportunity to compare aspects of life in the different time periods studied.

In Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2, pupils continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history. They are expected to make links within and across the periods they study, highlight contrasts, use appropriate historical terms and understand how sources are used as evidence to construct the past. Children answer and often devise their own questions surrounding second order concepts, and they are expected to communicate their responses by selecting and organising relevant information.

In Year 3 and 4, the substantive themes of ‘civilisation’ and ‘achievement’ are introduced for the first time when they answer, ‘What did the first civilisations have in common?’. This prepares pupils for an in-depth study of Ancient Egyptian achievements by answering the question, ‘Did the Ancient Egyptians only build pyramids?’. Pupils then consider whether Ancient Greek achievements were impressive or overrated and reflect upon their influence.

In an alternative cycle, they challenge the idea that nothing really changed from in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron age before carrying out the enquiry, ‘The Roman Empire didn’t really have that much impact on Britain, did it?’. Here the themes of ‘empire’, ‘settlement’, ‘diversity’ and ‘society’ are explored in detail and allow children to make connections to concurrent civilisations other time periods studied.

When children reach Year 5 and 6, they return to the themes of ‘settlement and ‘achievement’ when they investigate Britain benefited from the settlement of the Anglo-Saxons and Scots more than the Romans. Focus here is on the settlement of the Anglo Saxons and the Scots and provides a good opportunity to revisit prior learning by reflecting on settlements that have occurred in Britain throughout history. Pupils also examine fighting between various kingdoms at the time, which prepares them well for the next enquiry, ‘Did the Anglo-Saxon and Viking struggle for the Kingdom of England lead to anything positive?’

We then return to our earlier themes of ‘civilisation’, ‘achievement’ and ‘diversity’ as we compare Britain at this point to the Early Islamic Civilisation – a civilisation in which many of our pupils will be able to relate due to their ethnicity and religious beliefs.

In an alternative cycle, pupils begin with a local history study which involves the use of war memorials to find out more about Durham’s involvement in WW1. They then carry out the enquiry, ‘How has migration in Britain changed over time?’ in which the themes of ‘migration’, ‘diversity’ and ‘travel and transport’ are readdressed. Following this, in another local history study’ children consider, ‘Was coal mining a disaster in County Durham?’

Community Links

At Framwellgate Moor Primary School, we are keen to draw upon skills and expertise of parents and governors to enrich our curriculum and experiences of the children. For example, in KS1, grandparents are invited into school to share their experiences of life in the past.

Fostering links with the wider local community is also extremely important to us. Children can often be found on the Front Street of Framwellgate Moor talking to local business owners to discover more about the history of buildings and visiting All Saints Church in Newton Hall to hear about religious stories from the past. Local story teller Adam Bushnell often pays us a visit to support writing with historical themes.

Durham University is also an important local link for our school. We have carried out numerous workshops with their education team based at the Oriental Museum to provide exciting learning opportunities for the children.

Other county and regional links are regularly made with places of historic interest such as Beamish Outdoor Museum and Durham Cathedral.

Career Links

It is our aim that by the time children reach the end of their learning journey at FMPS, that they have developed a passion for history along with a knowledge and skills set which will allow them to be successful in the next stage of learning at secondary school and beyond.

History can open the door to a range of excellent careers as diverse as the media, government, heritage organisations, conservation, teaching, archives, museums and galleries, the police and law.

See below for more information on a small selection of history related careers:


Archaeologists learn about the past by studying sites, excavating, classifying, recording and preserving objects.

Skills you’ll use in this role:

  • an interest and knowledge of history
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • knowledge of sociology and anthropology for understanding society and culture
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • persistence and determination
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • concentration skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Museum or art curator

Museum and art gallery curators manage collections of objects of artistic, scientific, historical and general interest.

Skills you’ll use in this role:

  • knowledge of the fine arts
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • an interest and knowledge of history
  • business management skills
  • knowledge of how to teach and engage learners
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Tourist guide

Tourist guides show visitors around places of interest like cities, historic buildings and art galleries.

Skills you’ll use in this role:

  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • an interest and knowledge of history
  • a good memory
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Our Curriculum / Curriculum Content / History - image 0
Our Curriculum / Curriculum Content / History - image 1
Our Curriculum / Curriculum Content / History - image 2
Our Curriculum / Curriculum Content / History - image 3
Our Curriculum / Curriculum Content / History - image 4
Our Curriculum / Curriculum Content / History - image 5

You can view our Progression Grid below:

You can view our long-term curriculum below:

You can view Photos of our History Lessons by clicking the link below: