Peter Gladwin Primary School, Brighton and Hove



At Peter Gladwin, our intent is to develop children’s historical understanding through engaging and exciting termly topics. High-quality teaching ensures pupils gain a deep understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world.

We aim to stimulate the children’s interest so they can reflect on how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. Through this, the children develop empathy and admiration for other cultures and traditions, appreciating the multiple global cultures that contribute to the country we live in today. They see the diversity of human experience and understand more about themselves as individuals, as members of society and as citizens of the world.

Teaching follows a history progression of skills strategy, which outlines the key historical knowledge and skills that are covered at Peter Gladwin, aligned to the National Curriculum. Our topics build upon children’s prior knowledge, developing and refining their understanding as they move up through the school.  


At Peter Gladwin our motto is ‘Dream, Believe, Achieve’. Children are encouraged to ask and answer questions, to broaden their vocabulary and to apply what they have learned, developing a ‘Growth Mindset’ – a curiosity for knowledge and a passion for lifelong learning.

We focus on four key historical skills, which children develop and refine in their time at Peter Gladwin:

  • To investigate and interpret the past
  • To build an overview of world history
  • To understand chronology
  • To communicate historically.

These skills ensure that pupils’ knowledge and understanding is built upon as they move through the year groups. Wherever possible, activities are linked to year group topics to provide meaningful and purposeful learning.

Within class, the children are encouraged to develop their key and subject-specific vocabulary through focused discussions. Class assemblies take place regularly, giving children the opportunity to share and celebrate their learning.

Children use topic-based and subject-based ‘knowledge organisers’ designed to support learning across the curriculum. These summaries of key skills and knowledge are shared with the children, referred to throughout the topic and used as a means of assessment. Each term, home learning grids include a history-based task, providing children with additional opportunities to develop historical knowledge outside of school.

When topics have a specific historical focus, children take part in enrichment experiences such as organised trips and school visitor workshops, to immerse them in the topic or subject and to consolidate their learning in a meaningful way. As well as discrete history lessons, teachers plan opportunities to think about history within guided reading and writing, and often also in other subjects such as art and design technology; this cross-curricular approach serves to reinforce children’s historical understanding.  


Our history curriculum ensures that children leave Peter Gladwin with:

  • knowledge and understanding of key historical facts, as detailed in the National Curriculum for history in KS1 & KS2.
  • curiosity and a desire to develop an understanding about Britain’s past and the wider world.
  • a developing understanding of key elements of local history.
  • knowledge of the process of change over time, the relationship between different groups and the diversity of society.
  • the ability to ask questions, think critically, gather evidence, develop opinions and make reasonable judgements.
  • a broad and useful range of key vocabulary with which to discuss their historical knowledge and understanding.