Gateway Academy Westminster

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Curriculum Intent

We believe that History is an exciting and engaging part of our school’s curriculum and that ‘a high-quality history education will help our pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding about Britain’s past and that of the wider world’.

At Gateway Academy, we promote the learning of History through cross-curricular activities and an enrichment programme of visits, visitors and workshops, designed to awaken and inspire our pupils’ inquisitiveness about the past.

Through the study of History, pupils develop the key skills of enquiring and posing questions, thinking critically, considering evidence and evaluating arguments. We hope that these skills will support pupils to reflect on the constant process of historical change and the diverse nature of societies and relationships, equipping them as global citizens to face the challenges of their lifetime.

Our Academy follows the programmes of study from 2014 National Curriculum that specifies what to teach in each year group.


We want children to:

  • Be positive and enthusiastic towards the study of history
  • Be able to understand how events that occurred in the past have shaped the way people live in the present.
  • Be able to make cross curricular links
  • Know about significant events in British history and to understand how things have changed over time
  • Develop an understanding of chronology
  • Develop an awareness for society and their place within it in order that that they can develop a sense of their own cultural heritage
  • Develop the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation, debate, interpretation, problem solving and presentation


To ensure the continuation and progression of skills, we have organised our learning into four key themes which are repeated across a range of units:

  • To investigate and interpret the past
  • To build an overview of world history
  • To understand chronology
  • To communicate historically


The Curriculum

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The early learning goals at EYFS are very much focused on the memories of the child. It may be that they are asked to remember a special event or routine or custom for their family. They may talk about differences between different family members or different generations.


Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)

At Key Stage 1, children learn about specific people or events that are both within and beyond living history. This will include people like Neil Armstrong or Tim Peake, Grace Darling, Maru Seacole or Florence Nightingale. Events such as the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight, or themed toys are included to help children learn about the past.


Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6)

At Key Stage 2, the children learn all about the following periods of British history over the 4 years in Key Stage 2.


  • Stone Age
  • Ancient Romans
  • Anglo Saxons and Scots
  • The Vikings
  • A local history unit
  • A period of history later than 1066 (e.g., World War 2, Tudors).


Children will also be introduced to some world civilisations in history. Ancient Greeks:

  • Ancient Egyptians
  • The Mayans (AD 900-1300) to contrast with British history

The curriculum overview for the school is as follows:


Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Term 4

Term 5

Term 6

Year 1






London: monarchy, then and now

Year 2

Nurturing Nurses:

  • Florence Nightingale
  • Mary Seacole


The Great Fire of London





Year 3


Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age


Achievements of the earliest civilisation: Ancient Egypt



Year 4

The Roman Empire and its Impact on Britain

Britain’s settlement by the Anglo-Saxons and Scots

Viking and Anglo-Saxon Struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor







Year 5



A Theme in British History: The Tudors

A Non-European society that provides contrasts with British History: A study of Mayan Civilisation C.AD900



Year 6


A Local History Study: Life in London During WW2

Ancient Greece: A study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the Western World.





Recent Projects

Year 6 Project and Film: Regent's Park Mosque

Year 6 were invited to take part in a project with Historic England to look at the history of the John construction company, the group responsible for the building of the Regent's Park Mosque.


The children interviewed people involved in the construction of the mosque and went to visit the site. Here is the film that resulted.


Yr6 Project – Regents Park Mosque

Year 6 were invited to take part in a project with Historic England to look at the history of the John  construction company, the group responsible for the building of the Regent's Park Mosque.


The children interviewed people involved in the construction of the mosque and went to visit the site. Here is the film that resulted:


Year 2 – The Great Fire of London

Year 2 visited St. Paul’s Cathedral who were learning about the Great Fire of London and Samuel Pepys. Actors retold the story and brought to life the characters of Samuel Pepys and Sir Christopher Wren.  The children were fascinated and the visits were a great success.



History Bus

We were lucky enough to be visited by the Home Front Bus. This mobile museum taught us about the Second Word War and provided us with a real insight into what life would have been like in Britain during the war. We were taken to safety in an air raid shelter, taught how to cook using rations, taught how to sew our own clothes, shown artefacts from homes in Britain during the war and saw real war medals! This was a fantastic way of making our learning interactive and we had a lot of fun!




How Parents Can Help

Often there will be a history day at school. These days also provide something to remember and a link with the history being learnt.

Another way to help is to visit museums, historic houses and talk about the topics that they are doing. The children who love history are often the ones who have seen a love of the past in their parents. There are many free museums, especially in London. Use them as a resource and spend time sharing the past together. Otherwise, watch age-appropriate history programmes on TV.

There are some fantastic children’s books based in the past. Whilst these are often fiction, there will be facts and figures in the books that children will remember. Some good examples include anything by Caroline Lawrence (the Roman Mysteries), Goodnight Mr Tom (WW2 and evacuation), Stig of the Dump (Clive King) and picture books or non-fiction books that you can share at bedtime.


Further Support And Useful Weblinks

  • The BBC website (though no longer being updated) has loads of links to videos, games and information a range of historical periods
  • Try Teaching History with 100 Objects for some great ideas for using artefacts to teach history