We aim to inspire pupils to be curious and creative thinkers who develop a complex knowledge of local Cornish and national history and the history of the wider world. We want pupils to develop the confidence to think critically, ask questions, and be able to explain and analyse historical evidence.

Through Kapow Primary’s scheme of work, we aim to build an awareness of significant events and individuals in global, British and local history and recognise how things have changed over time. History will support children to appreciate the complexity of people’s lives, the diversity of societies and the relationships between different groups. Studying history allows children to appreciate the many reasons why people may behave in the way they do, supporting children to develop empathy for others while providing an opportunity to learn from mankind’s past mistakes. 
Kapow Primary's history scheme aims to support pupils in building their understanding of chronology, making connections over periods of time and developing a chronologically-secure knowledge of history.

We hope to develop pupils’ understanding of how historians study the past and construct accounts and the skills to carry out their own historical enquiries.

In order to prepare pupils for their future learning in history, our scheme aims to introduce them to key substantive concepts including power, invasion, settlement and migration, empire, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of humankind, society and culture.

Kapow’s scheme of work enables pupils to meet the end of key stage attainment targets outlined in the national curriculum. 


In order to meet the aims of the national curriculum for history and in response to the Ofsted  Research review into History, Kapow Primary have identified the following key strands:  

The Kapow Primary scheme emphasises the importance of historical knowledge being shaped by  disciplinary approaches, as shown in the diagram above. These strands are interwoven through all our history units to create engaging and enriching learning experiences which allow the children to  investigate history as historians do.  

Each six-lesson unit has a focus on chronology to allow children to explore the place in time of the  period they are studying and make comparisons in other parts of the world. Children will develop  their awareness of the past in Key stage 1 and will know where people and events fit chronologically.  This will support children in building a ‘mental timeline’ they can refer to throughout their learning in  Key stage 2 and identifying connections, contrasts and trends over time. The Kapow Primary  timeline supports children in developing this chronological awareness. 

Units are organised around an enquiry-based question and children are encouraged to  follow the enquiry cycle (Question, Investigate, Interpret, Evaluate and conclude,  Communicate) when answering historical questions. 

Over the course of the scheme, children develop their understanding of the following key disciplinary  concepts:  

  • Change and continuity.  

  • Cause and consequence.  

  • Similarities and differences.  

  • Historical significance.  

  • Historical interpretations.  

  • Sources of evidence.  

These concepts will be encountered in different contexts during the study of local, British and world  history. Accordingly, children will have varied opportunities to learn how historians use these skills to  analyse the past and make judgements. They will confidently develop and use their own historical  skill set. As children progress through the Kapow scheme, they will create their own historical  enquiries to study using sources and the skills they have developed.  

Substantive concepts such as power, trade, invasion and settlement, are introduced in Key stage 1,  clearly identified in Lower key stage 2 and revisited in Upper key stage 2 (see Progression of skills  and knowledge) allowing knowledge of these key concepts to grow. These concepts are returned to  in different contexts, meaning that pupils begin to develop an understanding of these abstract  themes which are crucial to their future learning in History.  

The Kapow scheme follows the spiral curriculum model where previous skills and knowledge are  returned to and built upon. For example, children progress by developing their knowledge and  understanding of substantive and disciplinary concepts by experiencing them in a range of historical  contexts and periods.  

History in Action videos explain the careers and work of those in history and heritage-related fields.  Historians, archivists, archaeologists, museum curators, teachers and heritage experts discuss their  love of history, how they became interested in the subject, how they got into their jobs and what  their jobs involve.  

Lessons are designed to be varied, engaging and hands-on, allowing children to experience the  different aspects of an historical enquiry. In each lesson, children will participate in activities  involving disciplinary and substantive concepts, developing their knowledge and understanding of  Britain’s role in the past and that of the wider world. Children will develop their knowledge of  concepts and chronology as well as their in-depth knowledge of the context being studied. 

Differentiated guidance is available for every lesson to ensure that lessons can be accessed by all  pupils and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are available when required. Knowledge  organisers for each unit support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging  recall of key facts, concepts and vocabulary. 

Strong subject knowledge is vital for staff to be able to deliver a highly-effective and robust history  curriculum. Each unit of lessons focuses on the key subject knowledge needed to deliver the  curriculum, making links with prior learning and identifying possible misconceptions. Kapow has  been created with the understanding that many teachers do not feel confident delivering the history curriculum and every effort has been made to ensure that they feel supported to deliver lessons of a  high standard. 

Useful documentation to support implementation:  

Kapow Primary’s national curriculum mapping document shows which of our units cover each of the  national curriculum attainment targets and aims, as well as showing cross-curricular links  available.  

Kapow Primary’s Progression of skills and knowledge shows the skills and key knowledge that are taught  within each year group and how these skills develop year on year to ensure attainment  targets are securely met by the end of the key stage.

At Gerrans Primary School, we alternate between geography and history on a half-termly basis. Therefore, three units of each are taught during the year. This allows for effective coverage of the national curriculum over the two-year rolling programme. Further to this, children are given sufficient time to really get to grips with a topic and its new learning. We find that outcomes are higher as a result of this approach. Children are given the opportunity - in both key stages - to find out about the history of our locality. 


The impact of Kapow Primary’s scheme can be constantly monitored through both formative and  summative assessment opportunities. Each lesson includes guidance to support teachers in  assessing pupils against the learning objectives. Furthermore, each unit has a skill catcher and  knowledge assessment quiz which can be used at the end of the unit to provide a summative  assessment.  

After the implementation of Kapow Primary history, pupils should leave school equipped with a  range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education. They will be enquiring  learners who ask questions and can make suggestions about where to find the evidence to answer  the question. They will be critical and analytical thinkers who are able to make informed and  balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past.  

The expected impact of following the Kapow history scheme of work is that children will:  

  • Know and understand the history of Britain, how people’s lives have shaped this nation and  how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.  

  • Develop an understanding of the history of the wider world, including ancient civilisations,  empires, non-European societies and the achievements of mankind.  

  • Develop a historically-grounded understanding of substantive concepts - power, invasion,  settlement and migration, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of mankind and society.  Form historical arguments based on cause and effect, consequence, continuity and change,  similarity and differences.  

  • Have an appreciation for significant individuals, inventions and events that impact our world  both in history and from the present day.  

  • Understand how historians learn about the past and construct accounts.  

  • Ask historically-valid questions through an enquiry-based approach to learning to create  structured accounts.  

  • Explain how and why interpretations of the past have been constructed using evidence. Make connections between historical concepts and timescales.  

  • Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for hstory.