keystage 1

Welcome to the Key Stage 1 section of Keystage history where you will find masses of advice on how to make KS1 history lessons fun and how to help pupils to take their first steps into the fascinating world that is the past. You will be helped to design and plan an exciting primary history curriculum in line with the requirements of the National Curriculum taking into account the difficult areas of assessment and progression in history.You also will be helped to make the most of history’s contribution to the whole curriculum by being shown cutting edge practice in the areas of cross-curricular planning, literacy, thinking skills and creativity.

If it is imaginative ideas for KS1 history lessons you are looking for, then you will definitely want to spend time in the teaching section with its hundred great primary history teaching strategies and in the learning section with its wide range of imaginative approaches and brilliant ideas for products that children will love.As a subject leader, you will find easily accessible advice that is ‘right on the money’. Years of helping hundreds of infant teachers with their history planning, resourcing, and monitoring in history, has enabled me to know exactly what is needed, and which support strategies really work.

amelia earhart by plane
Amelia Earhart – KQ1 – Why do we think that Amelia was famous?

This introductory session starts with firing pupils’ curiosity via a slow reveal in which pupils build a picture of her…

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amelia earhart cartoon
Amelia Earhart – KQ2 – What were the main events in Amelia’s life that shaped her ?

Having listened to an illustrated description of Amelia’s early life, pupils have to select suitable adjectives to describe her character…

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amelia in flight gear
Amelia Earhart – KQ3 – Why was Amelia so keen to fly when so few women at the time were interested?

A relatively short session exploring Amelia’s motivation starts with pupils drawing on their prior knowledge to consider why she took…

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amelia earhart cartoon
Amelia Earhart – KQ4 – What were the main ups and downs in Amelia’s life?

Using the living graph technique pupils sequence the events of Amelia’s flying career and then physically create points on a…

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amelia earhart by plane
Amelia Earhart – KQ5 – How do we know so much about Amelia’s life when she lived so long ago?

In this session pupils get to work as history detectives matching clues within sources to statements historians have made about…

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amelia earhart plaque
Amelia Earhart – KQ6 – What was Amelia’s greatest achievement and how should it be remembered?

Working towards the end goal of producing a book cover to encapsulate the key details of Amelia’s achievements, pupils learn,…

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Victorian cities
History as problem solving

Pupils solve problems when they study mathematics. They solve problems in science lessons. So why not in history? Perhaps it’s…

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3 queens knowledge organiser
When three queens ruled knowledge organiser – KS1

In this topic you are going to find out about three of the most famous queens that each ruled this…

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3 queens
When three queens ruled – KQ1 – Which three queens of England are most remembered in history and why?

This active and entertaining first session aims to provide pupils with a clear chronological overview of the last 500 years…

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cartoon of queen victoria looking out window
When three queens ruled – KQ2 – How different was life in England when the 3 queens were ruling?

Out of the window Children are shown three images of scenes from the different periods as seen through a window….

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When three queens ruled – KQ3 – How do we know about the queens who lived so long ago?

Handling sources of evidence Having explored the range of visual sources available to historians studying the three queens, pupils actively…

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elizabeth I
When three queens ruled – KQ4 – What important changes happened when each of the queens ruled?

Change / Significance Starting with 3 short video presentations, pupils go on to research the key changes from each of…

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3 queens
When three queens ruled – KQ5 – How should we remember these famous queens?

Pupils explore a range of ways in which monarchs are commemorated, focusing on Queen Elizabeth II, before going onto design…

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poppy field
Poppy Day: what are memories?

This is the first session on Remembrance Day.   It uses the excellent story of  Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge as a…

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What do we remember on Poppy Day / Remembrance Day?

This session revolves around a PowerPoint presentation which poses 6 significant questions, each designed to encourage pupils to think and…

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seaside knowledge organiser
Seaside knowledge organiser – KS1

You are learning about this topic to help you to understand how different life was over the last 100 years….

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columbus
Columbus knowledge organiser – KS1

Columbus is a world-famous navigator and explorer whose daring voyages in search of the Indies led to the opening of…

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scott knowledge organiser
Scott of the Antarctic knowledge organiser – KS1

You are learning about Scott as he was one of Britain’s most famous explorers. Perhaps you are studying other explorers…

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grace darling knowledge organiser
Grace Darling knowledge organiser – KS1

You are learning about Grace Darling because at a young age she carried out a brave rescue and saved 9…

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mary seacole knowledge organiser
Mary Seacole knowledge organiser – KS1

Mary was a remarkable lady best remembered for her work during the Crimean war (1853-1856) where she helped injured soldiers,…

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wright brothers knowledge organiser
Wright brothers knowledge organiser – KS1

For centuries, man had dreamed of flying like birds. By the end of the 19th century, men could rise into…

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moon landing
Moon landing knowledge organiser – KS1

This event captured the attention of the whole world with hundreds of millions, perhaps 1 in every 5 people, watching…

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titanic knowledge organiser
Sinking of the Titainic knowledge organiser – KS1

In this topic you are going to find out about the most famous ship, at the time the biggest ever…

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florence nightingale knowledge organiser
Florence Nightingale Knowledge Organiser – KS1

Florence Nightingale Knowledge Organiser – In their study of Florence Nightingale, often compared to the lesser-known Mary Seacole, pupils learn…

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great fire knowledge organiser
Great Fire of London knowledge organiser – KS1

The Great Fire of 1666 is an event that most people know about today not least because it changed the…

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ofsted
EYFS and History in OFSTED deep dives

According to OFSTED (January 2023), inspectors will want to know how key stage 1 builds on the knowledge that children…

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rosa parks
Rosa Parks – KQ1 – Can we work as history detectives to work out why Rosa Parks did that made her famous?

Pupils are pitched straight into the role as history detectives using mainly visual clues to piece together the possible reasons…

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Keeping up-to-date with developments in primary history – February 2023

Every few years, the Primary wing of the Historical Association carry out a survey of primary schools to see what…

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Rosa Parks – KQ2 -What can we learn about what sort of person Rosa was from stories of her early life?

Based on 3 key episodes from Rosa’s life, drawn from a lively story book, pupils act out 3 key episodes…

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drinking fountain 1950s
Rosa Parks – KQ3 – What was life like for black people living in southern USA in the 1950s?

Learning objectives Pupils can recall a few examples of discrimination that Rosa would have experienced recalling detail from the story…

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rosa parks bus
Rosa Parks – KQ4 – Why do you think Rosa acted as she did on that day that made her famous?

In this session pupils explore what drove Rosa to take her stand in December 1955, going beyond oversimplification of a…

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rosa parks dancing
Rosa Parks – KQ5 – How did Rosa’s action lead to life for black people getting better?

Learning objectives Children can see how Rosa’s action led to other changes, both directly e.g. bus boycott or more indirectly…

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rosa on bus
Rosa Parks – KQ6 – How should we remember Rosa Parks today?

Learning objectives Children are able to consider the most appropriate ways of celebrating Rosa’s achievements They can pick out the…

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Running timebox – First and foremost

Why Timebox teams? First and foremost, Timebox Teams should be fun. Behind the serious intent of improving pupils’ chronological knowledge…

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Timebox – KS1 Pack

Mention the teaching of chronology to most infant teachers and their eyes glaze over. Their experience is that it is…

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top 10 history teaching
Taking on history leadership: doing the right things – 10 key steps

Taking on subject leadership can be a daunting prospect, especially if it is your first. When there is so much…

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example learning journey
Example of School using learning journey format in history at KS1

In response to our launch of the KS2 learning journey in history, Matthew headteacher of  Woodlands was inspired to create…

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Columbus – KQ1 – Why do you think we still remember Christopher Columbus, even though he’s been dead for 500 years!

Pupils are in the role of history detectives. They are given 8 progressively revealing, mainly visual, clues in a controlled…

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columbus first voyage
Columbus – KQ2 – How did Columbus become famous?

Pupils listen to an illustrated description of main episodes Columbus life which they then sequence from the jumbled images provided…

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columbus
Columbus – KQ3 – What was Christopher Columbus’s motivation?

Driving at the heart of Columbus ‘ motivation, allows pupils to build on what they have already deduced about his…

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Columbus – KQ4 – What was life like on board during such a long journey?

This question shifts the focus away from the actions of just one man and adds a colourful dimension to the…

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columbus-stamp
Columbus – KQ5 – How have opinions of Columbus changed in the light of new evidence?

In this session the focus is squarely on helping pupils to grasp that people’s opinions of Columbus have changed in…

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columbus 6
Columbus – KQ6 – How and why should we remember him?

Having seen the different ways in which Columbus achievements are still commemorated today, 500 years after his death, pupils have…

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top 10 history teaching
10 key messages about teaching significant people in KS1 history

The most important changes in the way we teach this aspect of the KS1 curriculum are: a. the need to link…

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Common assessment tasks in history at KS1

It is often difficult knowing how to assess pupils’ historical thinking at KS1. Are we simply testing literacy and /or…

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Judging pupils’ work in history at KS 1

This section of the site offers a few words of advice about assessing individual pieces of work and provides commentaries…

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assessment and progression
Principles of good assessment in history at Key Stage 1

Assessment in Foundation subjects is not well-developed, and is nearly always found wanting in successive OFSTED reports. When assessment in…

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assessment and progression
Progression in history at Key Stage 1 by Skill / Concept

The problem Trying to secure progression within your Key Stage 1 history curriculum is not always as easy as it…

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What would your pupils say about getting better at history, when they leave your school?

Recently two university education departments carried out a broad-sweep survey of primary pupils’ experience of history at KS1 and 2…

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It’s time to think about the teaching of time at KS1 and 2

Time is probably the concept most fundamental to understanding history. This presents problems, of course, particularly with the youngest children….

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