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Our context

Dorset is steeped in rich history. Stonehenge, perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument is only, pardon the pun, a stone’s throw away. Our location close to sea provides rich historical learning experiences for the children. The infamous Titanic set sail from Southampton in 1912 with many local people on board. Some of our staff have relatives that were on board! Poole Harbour has a fascinating link to smuggling with Harry Paye well known for his interception of French ships and stealing gold, wine and exotic fruits for the people of Poole. Beaulieu Motor Museum is built on a former royal hunting lodge and Bucker’s hard has a fascinating ship building history and built three ships which fought in Nelson battle or Trafalgar.


At Ferndown First School we believe History is an essential part of the curriculum as it helps children to understand why the world is the way that it is today. It teaches children that life is constantly changing. Children understand the ways in which significant individuals, through their ideas, inventions, influences and beliefs have shaped the world in which we live in today.

Good things have happened and not so good things have happened. We can and should learn from the decisions everyone has made in the past.

We strive to help children understand that everyone has their own identity and personal history. We believe it is important to help children understand that we too are facing challenges and one day in the future we will be history too!

We are aware that history can often be manipulated or misinterpreted. It is crucial that children are presented with accurate and balanced facts. Too often history can be heavily male dominated. We seek to present children with as many influential, and often forgotten and overlooked women from the past who deserve be celebrated and their legacy understood.

In a nutshell, ‘History is understanding how past events and people shaped our world.’


  • History is taught through the big ideas Chronology, World History and Working Historically.
  • Chronology is the understanding that events can be sequenced in order. The key knowledge categories are event, time periods and significant individuals.
  • World history is developing an awareness of key events and times that have shaped the world. The key knowledge categories are settlement, location, food and farming, cultures and pastimes, society, travel and exploration, beliefs, conflict and
  • Working historically is the use of sources of evidence and artefacts to investigate questions about the past. The four types of enquiry are mystery enquiry, pattern enquiry, debate enquiry and decision point enquiry.
  • There is progression in chronological understanding, knowledge and enquiry skills through the school. This is evident in the progression document.
  • Vocabulary is also built upon. Key vocabulary features in all knowledge organisers with definitions. There is a progression of vocabulary through the school. Previous words learnt are revisited.
  • Key areas of world history are returned to and built upon.
  • A variety of significant individuals are studied, including peoples of different genders, ages, nationalities, beliefs and social statuses.
  • History lessons are taught regularly. Some units are half a term long whereas other span a whole term.
  • Children are provided with a variety of sources of evidence and artefacts which they study to learn about the past. This will include maps, letters, video clips, songs and people’s recounts.
  • Children are encourage to be inquisitive and ask questions about the past.
  • Opportunities are provided for children to research the past using high quality texts and websites.
  • A long term plan has been created which provides opportunities for progression and repetition of skills and knowledge.
  • Medium term planning identifies key knowledge and skills that are taught and assessed.
  • Knowledge organisers have been prepared by the subject lead to support both teacher subject knowledge, and understanding of progressing as well as a support tool for children within lessons.
  • The children benefit from visitors such as experts from the Sea City Museum in Southampton during the Year 2 unit on the Titanic. Classes enjoy trips to support their learning such as to Beaulieu Motor Museum in Year 1.
  • Lessons involved paired, group and independent learning. Investigations and discussions play a part in the lessons and not all learning is recorded in books.
  • Lessons are made accessible for all.


Children at Ferndown First School will become historians who:

  • Know that everyone has their own identity and personal history.
  • Have excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events, and contexts from a range of historical periods and of historical concepts and processes.
  • Think critically about history and communicate ideas very confidently in styles appropriate to a range of audiences.
  • Consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources.
  • Think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry.
  • Show passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and their understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
  • Show respect for historical evidence and the ability to make robust and critical use of it to support their explanations and judgments.
  • Know that life is constantly changing.
  • Know that in the future, today will be history too!
  • Understand how women have played a key part in shaping history.