Marlborough History intent and rationale

History Intent

At Marlborough, we aim to deepen children’s knowledge about history by offering a curriculum which encourages an enquiry based approach, focused on the rich history in our local area. The children will use fieldwork skills to gain an appreciation of local history and their cultural heritage, giving them a sense of identity from studying aspects in history. Our key focus is to develop the children’s ability to communicate confidently as historians and therefore we have planned our curriculum accordingly, focusing on the links and chronology to ensure the progression between year groups.

History and Geography Intent

History and geography have meaningful links which will deepen the children’s knowledge and understanding of our world and where we live. Examples of this are exploring the 7 continents in year 2 when investigating Christopher Columbus’s travels to America, understanding rivers and their uses when learning about the Egyptians in year 3 and linking land use and settlements with the Vikings in year 4. By making these links purposeful, we feel that children at Marlborough will gain a broad understanding of the humanities.



Children begin their time at Marlborough by exploring the passing of time, starting with the sequencing of a day. This will progress to understanding ages with regards to a peers’ birthday, noticing that some children are five while others are still four. Following on from this, they discuss the changes in their life from when they are babies to develop their concept of time. To begin to develop their understanding of chronology, children will create a timeline of their life in pictures using each birthday and will discuss something that they notice from each.

They will start to explore the past and the present, looking at how these differ. This will be through discussions about teachers’ school lives which the children will then compare to their own. They will begin to observe and discuss simple similarities and differences between things in the past and now.

Through work on significant events such as Bonfire Night and Christmas, children will discuss significant people from the past and how our lives have changed since then.

Year 1

Building from their work exploring Tytherington and Macclesfield in geography, year 1 will look at the changes in the local area since the 1960’s and develop their understanding to how national life has changed over time and how this impacts their life today. They will study houses, toys and transport and begin to make comparisons and links between the 1960’s and now. Children will develop their historical enquiry skills by asking simple questions about the past to a class visitor who lives locally to find out more about the 1960’s. In addition to this, they will use their map knowledge from autumn 1 to be able to identify similarities and differences in aerial maps and compare changes over this period of time.

After looking at changes in the local area, children will link this time period with significant people, places and events in relation to explorers. Linking with their study of transport in the local area, children will begin this study by developing an understanding of modes of transport and how these are appropriate for different destinations. Using a range of fieldwork and visual stimuli such as film and photographs, the children will learn about what makes an explorer and how they have impacted our lives today. They will follow this with an in depth study into the 1969 moon landings and start to develop their breadth of understanding of chronology by placing this on a timeline. During this study, they will learn about Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and the Apollo 11 mission, developing an understanding of why they visited the moon and how this is a significant point in history. From this study, they will develop their historical vocabulary by making observations about the Apollo 11 mission using historical terms. Using their knowledge, they will be able to create a basic recount of the significant event.

Year 2

In year 2, the children develop an increasing sense of chronology, moving to time periods beyond living memory and developing their vocabulary across the year. To begin their topic, they will learn about significant events that we remember in Great Britain including Remembrance Day, The Gunpowder Plot and The Great Fire of London (GFOL) and understand when these events happened relative to today and previous time periods studied. Continuing on from this, the children will do an in-depth study on The Great Fire of London. Linking with their geography knowledge of exploring capital cities, they will develop an understanding of the exact location of the GFOL and use maps to compare buildings and landmarks in London in 1666 to today. Using the local area, the children will observe Tudor houses and compare these to their own houses. They will then use this knowledge to gain an understanding of how the fire spread so quickly. The children will develop their historical enquiry skills by beginning to look at different sources of evidence provided by the teacher such as historical maps, photographs and the diary of Samuel Pepys to improve their knowledge of life beyond living memory. This will also help to improve their historical vocabulary.

Moving on from this, the children will focus on the Victorians as a significant period beyond living memory. To continue their understanding of chronology, they will add this onto a timeline of previously taught periods in history. To link to their 1960’s topic in year 1, children will look at the transport and toys in the Victorian times and compare how these are different from today. Children will develop an understanding of children’s jobs in the Victorian times and discuss the wealth divide in the Victorian era. This will be supported by a visit to the mill at the Macclesfield Heritage Centre to understand the cotton making process and school life in the Victorian times. Through this trip, the children will begin to develop their skill of analysing artifacts and start to develop a basic understanding of how artifacts can help us understand about the past.

Linking to their work on Neil Armstrong in year one, children will then study Christopher Columbus as another significant explorer. They will identify the similarities and differences between them and begin to link this to the time periods to discuss why they are different. This will link to the geography of this half term where children will be studying the Americas. Children will begin to understand why Christopher Columbus sailed to America and the effects it had on the Native Americans as a significant point in history.




Year 3

In year 3, children develop an increasing sense of chronology, moving to look at the earliest past (the Stone Age) and how life changed in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. From this study, they will begin to use appropriate chronological conventions such as ‘BC’ correctly.  As they begin Key Stage 2, they are beginning to understand that many points in history are interlinked and have happened at the same time to further develop their historical understanding.

When looking at the Stone Age, children will further develop their understanding of sources of evidence from the earliest time periods, particularly archaeology which relates to our study of fossils in science. They will identify artefacts and use their inference skills to make predictions and ask questions about the daily life of the people at this time. Progressing from their geography in the autumn term, the children will look at the settlements, land use and survival of the Neolithic man, focusing on their location and features. This links back to their work looking at houses in Key Stage 1 and how these have changed over time. To build on their knowledge of chronology further, the children will look at the changes in life from the Stone Age to the Iron Age and link this to the changes in settlements. This will be supported by a Stone Age workshop.

After focusing on a national study, the children will look at the other key worldwide ancient civilisations including Ancient Sumer, The Indus Valley, Ancient Egypt and The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China and consider the similarities and differences between these civilisations which were happening in the world at the same time, focusing on the aspect of them being centred around a river.

Once they have done this, they will move on to an in-depth study of Ancient Egypt and look at the achievements of the Ancient Egyptians with a focus on the Great Pyramids. They will make observations based on the fact that they chose to settle near a river, linking to their work in year 1 and year 3 of different uses of rivers and canals. Children will understand the significance of the River Nile in transport, trading and farming. This links to their study of settlement and land use in the spring term. Additionally, they will look at why the pyramids were constructed and briefly study the beliefs of the Ancient Egyptians and their social hierarchy. Following on from their understanding of archaeology as a source of evidence in the spring, they will look at Howard Carter and his discovery of Tutenkahmun’s tomb and why this was a significant point in history. To develop their understanding of a variety of sources of evidence, the children will use photographs, artefacts and Howard Carter’s diary to help them answer questions and begin to formulate basic written responses based on these.



Year 4

In year 4, children will move back to a focus on Europe in both history and geography. They will further develop their historical enquiry skills by discussing change, cause, similarity, difference and significance through a study of the Romans and the Greeks. They will also be able to use a range of sources of evidence more independently and look at pros and cons of each.

Following on from the work in year 3 of identifying significant landmarks built by the ancient civilisations, the children will look at the legacy of the Ancient Greeks’ architecture and how this has impacted architecture in the western world today. They will build on their knowledge of the distribution of resources, trade and transport and how this was significant in Ancient Greece and link this later to the trade links when studying the Romans. They will begin to weigh evidence and develop their own perspective on the validity of sources. Additionally, the children will study the Greeks’ legacy of the Olympics and look at what their beliefs represented in relation to the Olympics. This builds on their knowledge of how the Ancient Egyptians’ beliefs were represented in their society.

Whilst studying the Romans, the children will narrow their focus to looking at the Romans’ impact on Britain and compare aspects of this to the Greeks. They will study Roman invasions, roads, settlements and architecture, developing an understanding of how the Roman Empire expanded trade links throughout Europe, giving the children an opportunity to increase their knowledge of river use for trading from year 3 and earlier in year 4.  As part of the study of the Romans, the children will also study the Celts and Boudicca, understanding the significance of her rebellion and how the Celts were driven to Scotland which was then separated by Hadrian’s Wall, helping them to further understand that many periods of history overlap. Their study of Celts will also build on from their Key Stage 1 and year 3 knowledge of settlements as the children will link Celtic settlements to Roman invasions. Developing their skills from previous years, they will start to write at length to describe the changes in history between time periods.

Year 5

In year 5, children will apply their growing understanding of chronology, developing their own timelines with their knowledge of different periods and use increasingly complex historical terms accurately. They will be able to use different sources independently to find out information about the past.

Following on from the Romans in year 4, the children will study Britain’s settlement by the Anglo Saxons and the Scots. Looking at the differences between the Romans and Anglo Saxons will give children the opportunity to discuss cause and effect in detail. They will draw on their prior knowledge of invasions from year 4 when studying the reasons that the Vikings invaded England and the effect this had on England at the time. Surrounding this, children will be able to identify that the past can be interpreted and represented in many different ways. From this, they will go on to study Viking settlements and why they chose particular areas, linking this to their modes of transportation which builds on their knowledge of transport in Key Stage 1 and Roman invasions in year 4. They will further develop their chronological knowledge by studying the Anglo Saxon and Viking struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor.

In the spring term, year 5 will study the Mayan Civilisation and contrast the legacy of aspects of the Mayans with the numbers of Roman numerals and the calendar of today. They will study how the Mayans survived as hunter gatherers before settling on one area, linking this to their settlement area, building on the work on the Stone Age in year 3. Children will pose questions and analyse trends when considering why the Mayan civilisation declined so quickly, analysing evidence and using their own judgements to draw conclusions.

Year 6

Pupils at Marlborough will use their first term in year 6 to complete a local history study project, coming back in a full circle from their first term in year 1. They will study the changes in Macclesfield and Manchester during and since the Industrial Revolution and understand the effect that this had on human geography. This will help them to develop the skill of understanding the complexity of people’s lives in the past and discuss the changes and challenges that are the cause of this using the correct historical terminology accurately. They will do an in depth study of why Macclesfield and Manchester was the centre of the textiles industry, focusing on its geographical location and transport links which builds on their learning from key stage one and lower key stage two. The children’s focus will be on fieldwork, going on trips to both Macclesfield and Manchester, which they will then use to compare Macclesfield and Manchester now to before the Industrial Revolution began. From completing this project, children will leave Marlborough able to confidently discuss the history of their local area.

As a focus in the spring term, children will study wars through time that have taken place in Great Britain, making valid comparisons between the different wars and locations of these. Building on this, they will do an in depth study of world war 2, using their knowledge of Europe from year 5 to gain an understanding of allies and enemies and how this impacted the war.  Children will develop a deeper understanding of a chain of events being significant to a period in history, building on this knowledge from year 2. They will focus on what life was like for children in the war and discuss evacuation to rural areas, linking to topics taught about settlements in previous years. This will aid their progression in writing, allowing them to build empathy and use emotive language using history as a stimulus.

To end year 6, children will follow on from their work on Anglo Saxons in year 5 by studying crime and punishment from 1066 until present day. They will see the relationship between different eras and make valid comparisons between time periods studied. Using this, children will be able to create their own accounts, drawing from a range of sources, to analyse information about crime and punishment.