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St Mary’s C of E Primary School

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

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‘A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots’

-Martin Garvey

At St. Mary’s, we aim to enable our children to develop a deep understanding of, not only our own cultural heritage, but also that of the wider world as well as an ability to understand the perspective of others.

In equipping the pupils with the knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past, they also develop the skills to:

  • explore cultural identities of the past and understand how this affects our cultural identity in the present.
  • find how some historical civilisations are linked.
  • understand that innovations from the past have shaped much of how societies function today.
  • understand how events globally have shaped our modern world.
  • Ask increasingly complex questions
  • question evidence
  • develop perspective of the wider world


Throughout the curriculum, we will encourage pupils to identify similarities and differences between ourselves and the period or culture being studied. This will enable pupils to develop an appreciation for our own and others’ cultures and is intended to breed celebration, tolerance and understanding of others. 

Learning in history is based on three 'Big Ideas':

British history topics covered are:

The History topics in Year 1 are Medieval Castles where the children compare life in a castle to live in the modern day. This culminates in a trip to Hedingham Castle.

The Great Fire of London forms the study in Year 2. The children study the causes and effects along with buildings from that period of time, comparing them to modern buildings. They then dress in period clothing for a Great Fire of London Experience Day.

Year 3 study the invasion and impact of the Romans in Britain. They learn how advanced they were as a society and that evidence of their innovations which shaped much our present day way of living, can still be seen. A trip to Colchester Castle rounds this topic off.

Year 4 study the Anglo-Saxons where the children learn how they influenced our language, culture and religion and where many of the localities where the children live and visit in East Anglia have Anglo-Saxon names. The topic ends with the building of an Anglo-Saxon village which they create in The Withy on school grounds.

Year 5 look in depth at World War 2, researching causes and effects, innovations developed during that period to help bring the war to a successful conclusion, and the crucial role of women and how that changed their role in society in the years that followed. A trip to Duxford Air Museum rounds off this topic.

The Tudors are the first history topic in Year 6 and over its course, relates to the buildings of Tudor England in Hadleigh. They look at the reign of Henry V111, his achievements and failures, the Protestant Reformation, and the impact that the changes had on our present day in Britain. They also explore the Reign of Elizabeth 1 and the Spanish Armada while researching famous Tudors.


Other topics covered are:

Pre – historic Britain (Year 1)

Women through history (Year 2)

Ancient Egypt (Year 3)

The Maya Civilisation (Year 4)

Ancient Greece (Year 5)

20th Century Post War Britain (Year 6)

The children have been enjoying their learning in history!