Our Lady and St Anselm'sRoman Catholic Primary School

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History is made up of two key concept strands:

  • Substantive concepts (the knowledge).
  • Disciplinary/Second order concepts (the way we understand, debate and organise said knowledge).


​Throughout each unit of work, we teach each of these concepts as we believe that without both, children cannot understand how the past created and still influences the modern day. It’s also key that they are carefully planned, then sequenced to ensure the curriculum is as effective in supporting progression. We plan units to ensure that that children learn the key 'knowledge' needed and that they also have the opportunity through each year to revise and repeat the disciplinary elements below:


Similarity and Difference:

In its simplest, this concept is what is the same and difference about two sources. However, it’s also useful to encourage children to look beyond general assumptions and stereotypes about the past. It can also be a concept that is taught to identify how chronologically similar periods of history differed, or were the same.


Continuity & Change:

Continuity and change is looking at aspects of history that either remain the same or change over time. It is also a way in which children can be taught trends and turning points over time. It is somewhat similar to to similarity and difference but the key difference is the matter of it be tracked over time and not a snapshot.



In its base form, someone or something is significant if they are ‘sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention’. It is important to distinguish between significant and famous. The children will explore factors such as:

  • Changed people’s lives (this can be for the better or worse).
  • Changed events at the time they lived.
  • Had a lasting impact on their country or the world.
  • Had been a really good/bad example to people of how to live and/or behave.


The children will have the opportunity within each unit to study not only significant individuals such as Florence Nightingale and the Wright Brothers for their impact on the wider world, but also other local significant individuals such as William Turner.


When children progress into KS2, they will begin to gain more understanding of the significance of events and achievements. They will develop more enquiry based skills to answer questions such as: 

Which change in life had the greatest impact?

​The Olympics are a more significant achievement that democracy. To what extent is this true?


Cause & Consequence:

Cause and Consequence (effect) is vital to understanding the historical narrative that children are taught. It is the focus on the causes of events that happen and then the consequences of them. There can be any number of causes and consequences around a single event that relate to the short or long-term historical period in question. It is taught whenever there is a key significant event such as WW2.




The use of sources is paramount to allow children to understand how our knowledge of the past has been gained. The evidence is what we gain from the sources to enable us to build up the knowledge base we need. This is why we have Curiosity Chests within each classroom with replica artefacts to revise and discuss past topics. We also make use of the Lancashire Loans Service for History boxes to allow the children to handle real life objects of the past.

It is vital for children to learn how to find the evidence from sources and then also what to do with it as part of the overall enquiry approach. 


​Over the course of their history education, children should be able to gain and use evidence from an increasing range of sources and be able to use them with more precision, confidence and combine them to produce more accurate representations of their understanding.

Primary and Secondary Sources

When we use evidence in history lessons, we carefully select the type of source and what type of evidence it contributes to our understanding. Before starting, we make sure the children have the necessary background context to be able to understand the author of the source and, if relevant, their perspective to understand the way in which they present what happened.