Our approach to the History curriculum is through discrete lessons underpinned by the HCAT accelerated learning approach to teaching and learning.

The key concepts, principles and themes have been developed from the National Curriculum into a range of progressive knowledge and skills through which the children are helped to grow and develop to succeed in 21st century Britain. This progressive curriculum allows a purposeful way of teaching and learning, enabling us to provide a more meaningful and sequential approach to the schema for History. Pupils at Hoyland Common make progress in history through building their knowledge of the past, and of how historians study the past and construct accounts. Teaching supports pupil progress by embedding frameworks of content and concepts that enable pupils to access future material. Abstract concepts are best learned through meaningful examples and repeated encounters in different contexts.

An example of this is ‘substantive’ concepts. Planned, systematic encounters with substantive concepts in specific and varied contexts support pupils’ progress. Many of these concepts feature regularly throughout the study of history in a range of contexts. As a result, they are particularly important to pupils’ understanding of new material. At HCPS, we have collated 4 substantive concepts which are underpinned by second-order concepts, these support teaching and learning within historical contexts. Teachers will cover a range of key concepts during the study of a civilisation or era and these concepts will be revisited in children’s later studies to ensure progression in history.

  • Religion
  • Conquest
  • People & Places
  • Society

Chronological knowledge is embedded throughout the implementation of history at Hoyland Common. Understanding the broad characteristics of historical periods gives context to what pupils learn and increases pupils’ familiarity with new material. Securing an overview knowledge of the past supports our children to develop this knowledge into coherent narratives that are more memorable for them. The History Curriculum we offer is designed to meet the needs of all our pupils. It is rich, varied, imaginative and ambitious and meets the needs of individual learners by can easily be adapted for pupils with additional needs.


At HCPS, within our curriculum subject drivers, lessons of history will be taught discretely to ensure depth and rigour in historical concepts and context. The History curriculum is rich and varied and provides our pupils with the skills required for life in the 21st Century. The Accelerated Learning Cycle, based on the work of Alastair Smith, is applied in all lessons. It stems from the idea of a supportive and challenging learning environment. The cycle has active engagement through multi- sensory learning, encourages the demonstrating understanding of learning in a variety of ways and the consolidation of knowing. Our curriculum organisers support the planning and delivery of lessons to ensure children develop a deep, sequential understanding of specific knowledge and are able to apply these in a range of situations.

History at HCPS is delivered through knowledge rich and practical skill-based units of work designed by History and Curriculum Leaders to ensure that all children have the opportunity to study a range of concepts, time periods and applications of History which build upon their prior knowledge and understanding.


Formative assessment is ongoing throughout each lesson. It judges progress and enables teachers to make flexible adaptions to their planned teaching. Through this regular ongoing assessment, tasks are matched to the ability of each child through scaffolds, adult support and providing a level of challenge that is stimulating for pupils and questioning skills. Alongside formative assessment, Insights is used as a summative assessment to assess foundation subjects. Alongside the analysis of data from insights, the curriculum document for art is regularly highlighted to identify any gaps or misconceptions to be addressed. This allows children to acquire complex skills that depends on the fundamentals of their prior knowledge in a well-designed curriculum sequence.


At HCPS our curriculum is ambitious for all pupils, including those children with SEND. Curriculum designers and teachers have high expectations of what SEND pupils can achieve and the curriculum is not diluted or unnecessarily reduced for SEND pupils. Every pupil is different and so what works for each pupil varies. Pupil’s individual needs are considered and adaptations are planned to ensure the success of pupils in all subjects. The way that our curriculum is designed ensures that chunks of learning are sequenced in a coherent way to enable all pupils, including those with SEND, to build on prior knowledge. Too much information at once can be a barrier to learning which is one of the reason why we have chosen half termly curriculum drivers. Where pupils are identified with having complex needs it may be appropriate to provide a personalised curriculum which will be based on individual needs and will retain ambition for the pupil. Where working memory is an issue for pupils, including those with SEND, we look to reduce extraneous load as much as possible as well as identifying key information when teaching. This helps pupils to pay attention to the content which they are expected to learn. Adaptations to support individual pupils will be recorded on personal school support plans.

At HCPS we do not assume that pupils with SEND learn content better through practical work as this can cause distraction and cognitive overload rather than increase clarity or accessibility. The curriculum is not narrowed for any pupils. Knowledge is taught and then pupils are provided with opportunities for scientific enquiry to test and investigate the knowledge taught. Pupils specific needs determine the types of adaptations which are required. These adaptations are in how the subject is taught rather than the content pupils are expected to learn. Where appropriate, learning will be chunked into smaller steps and pre learning and consolidation time in planned in to support need. Time is also planned to ensure pupils with SEND are pre taught vocabulary to support their understanding. Adaptations may include supporting pupils to pay attention to key aspects as well as reducing excessive or unhelpful demands on working memory.

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