Access Key Definitions
Skip navigation
Access key details
Home page
Latest updates
Site map
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Terms and conditions
National Curriculum

History key stage 1

Statutory content

This content relates to the 1999 programmes of study and attainment targets.

See related downloads and key actions

During key stage 1 pupils learn about people's lives and lifestyles. They find out about significant men, women, children and events from the recent and more distant past, including those from both Britain and the wider world. They listen and respond to stories and use sources of information to help them ask and answer questions. They learn how the past is different from the present.

Explanatory text


Knowledge, skills and understanding

Chronological understanding

1. Pupils should be taught to:

  1. place events and objects in chronological order
  2. use common words and phrases relating to the passing of time [for example, before, after, a long time ago, past].

Knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past

2. Pupils should be taught to:

  1. recognise why people did things, why events happened and what happened as a result
  2. identify differences between ways of life at different times.

Historical interpretation

3. Pupils should be taught to identify different ways in which the past is represented.

Historical enquiry

4. Pupils should be taught:

  1. how to find out about the past from a range of sources of information [for example, stories, eye-witness accounts, pictures and photographs, artefacts, historic buildings and visits to museums, galleries and sites, the use of ICT-based sources]
  2. to ask and answer questions about the past.

Organisation and communication

5. Pupils should be taught to select from their knowledge of history and communicate it in a variety of ways [for example, talking, writing, using ICT].

Explanatory text

Note for 1a

Cross reference to mathematics

Ma3 Shape, space and measures: Understanding measures

4. Pupils should be taught to:

a. estimate the size of objects and order them by direct comparison using appropriate language; put familiar events in chronological order; compare and measure objects using uniform non-standard units [for example, a straw, wooden cubes], then with a standard unit of length (cm, m), weight (kg), capacity (l) [for example, 'longer or shorter than a metre rule', 'three-and-a-bit litre jugs']; compare the durations of events using a standard unit of time

Note for 3
Different ways in which people have represented the past include: in pictures, plays, films, reconstructions of the past, museum displays, TV programmes and fictional stories.

Note for 4a

ICT opportunity

Pupils could use information from a CD-ROM to find out about the life of a significant person, or the way of life in the past.

Cross reference to English

En1 Speaking and listening: Listening

2. To listen, understand and respond to others, pupils should be taught to:

a. sustain concentration
b. remember specific points that interest them
c. make relevant comments
d. listen to others' reactions
e. ask questions to clarify their understanding
f. identify and respond to sound patterns in language [for example, alliteration, rhyme, word play]

En2 Reading: Reading for information

2. Pupils should be taught to:

a. use the organisational features of non-fiction texts, including captions, illustrations, contents, index and chapters, to find information
b. understand that texts about the same topic may contain different information or present similar information in different ways
c. use reference materials for different purposes

Note for 5

ICT opportunity

Pupils could order important events in a story on an onscreen timeline.

Cross reference to English

En1 Speaking and listening: Speaking

1. To speak clearly, fluently and confidently to different people, pupils should be taught to:

a. speak with clear diction and appropriate intonation
b. choose words with precision
c. organise what they say
d. focus on the main point(s)
e include relevant detail
f. take into account the needs of their listeners

En1 Speaking and listening: Drama

4. To participate in a range of drama activities, pupils should be taught to:

a. use language and actions to explore and convey situations, characters and emotions

En3 Writing: Composition

1. Pupils should be taught to:

a. use adventurous and wide-ranging vocabulary
b. sequence events and recount them in appropriate detail
c. put their ideas into sequence
d. use a clear structure to organise their writing
e. vary their writing to suit the purpose and reader
f. use the texts they read as models for their own writing

En3 Writing: Planning and drafting

2. Working with the teacher and with others, in order to develop their writing, pupils should be taught to:

a. write familiar words and attempt unfamiliar ones
b. assemble and develop ideas on paper and on screen
c. plan and review their writing, discussing the quality of what is written
d. write extended texts, with support [for example, using the teacher as writer]

Breadth of study

6. During the key stage, pupils should be taught the Knowledge, skills and understanding through the following areas of study:

  1. changes in their own lives and the way of life of their family or others around them
  2. the way of life of people in the more distant past who lived in the local area or elsewhere in Britain
  3. the lives of significant men, women and children drawn from the history of Britain and the wider world [for example, artists, engineers, explorers, inventors, pioneers, rulers, saints, scientists]
  4. past events from the history of Britain and the wider world [for example, events such as the Gunpowder Plot, the Olympic Games, other events that are commemorated].

This content relates to the 1999 programmes of study and attainment targets.

Back to top