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At Joy Lane Primary School, we aim to celebrate History, create a sense of wonder about the past and develop curiosity and empathy towards the lives of others. History perfectly complements our whole-school ‘Curiosity’ approach, as we when teaching History we foster our children’s curiosity to know more about the past, understand their roots and equip them to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and justified judgements.  Overall, we aim for children not to leave our school with simply a collection of ‘cool’ facts but an understanding of what it is to ‘think like a historian’ and a love of the subject. 

Our pupils learn the key historical skills of Historical Enquiry, using evidence and communicating about the past. No matter what their History topic, children throughout the school will be using these skills. Their historical framework will be further extended through choosing a concept to focus on, particular to each History topic. These concepts are made explicit and shared with children on Knowledge Organisers and these are placed under the following headings: Chronology, Diversity, Change and Continuity, Cause and Consequence, Significance and Historical Interpretation. These key skills underpin all History learning at Joy Lane.   



In Reception, our children learn to understand the world around them through their family members and wider community whilst developing their own sense of self. These skills are then further honed and developed through our Key Stage One curriculum which intends to examine the history of their own lives, families and town that they live in. This is then further embedded through the study of exciting historical events that lend to cross-curricular learning, such as the lives and achievements of explorers and the examination of famous people in history, such as Queen Elizabeth II and Guy Fawkes.

In Key Stage Two, our curriculum is underpinned with a chronological focus. Lower Key Stage Two follow key developments and changes in British history from the Stone Age through to Viking raids and invasion. Following this, the children begin to explore the Mayans as a historical civilisation that lived at the same time as the Vikings in England, giving them an understanding of different historic events occurring at the same time, in different parts of the world. At the end of Year 4 and the beginning of Year 5, children explore two great ancient civilisations, Greece and the Egyptians.

In Upper Key Stage Two, our children investigate history through different lenses as they begin to examine crime and punishment through the ages and explore significant individual’s actions both within in Britain and the wider world that have helped to shape the diverse world we live in today. In Year 6, our children explore the history of witchcraft, where pupils can use their understanding of the religious and superstitious Stewart times to make links with their study of Macbeth and enhance their understanding of Shakespeare’s witches. Finally, children will study the sinking of the ‘Titanic’, where they will be challenged to make judgements about the causes and consequences of this significant event. 

History Enrichment Days at JLPS 

Black History Month

At Joy Lane we have a proud tradition of celebrating Black History Month.  

For us, Black History Month is… 

  • A celebration of diversity and the history, arts and culture of black British people. 

  • An opportunity to learn about and be inspired by great role models who may be unfamiliar to us. 

  • A time to take a more balanced view of our past. The history of white British people is well-known but black British history is studied less in schools. This time helps us all learn more about our shared History as Britons. 

  • Black History is British history. 

Women’s History Day 

At Joy Lane, we enjoy raising the profile of inspiring women, from members of our own family to women of WWII.  

We have even teamed up with the Music Department to learn about significant individuals through the musical ‘Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World’.  

Remembrance Day 

At Joy Lane, we mark this important occasion as a whole school on the field. Thanks to Mrs Rawlings, our Music teacher, who is also Sgt Rawlings Band of the Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment, our ceremony has an extra sense of occasion as she plays the ‘Last Post’ on the bugle. Our service has grown over the years, with children from Nursery to Year 6 laying Poppy Pebbles as well as a wreath. Now that we are affiliated to the Whitstable Branch of the Royal British Legion, our service has a real purpose as we welcome our special visitors. 

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2023's winners of the Royal British Legion competition to design a Remembrance Day badge:    


Useful links for History

BBC iPlayer - Horrible Histories

Horrible Histories - CBBC - BBC

History - Q-files, The Online Library of Knowledge - Q-files - Search • Read • Discover

Home - History for kids

History | DK Find Out!

World and British History for Kids - Homework help brings history alive with easy to read information and photographs on many homework topics including Tudors, Victorians, Romans
Woodlands Resources

BBC Bitesize - KS2 History learning resources for adults, children, parents and teachers organised by topic.
KS2 History

Primary Topic Websites - short list of websites that may possibly be useful for topics.
Historical Association

History/Geography - This Virtual Tour of the Great Wall of China is beautiful and makes history come to life.

British Museum - This iconic museum located in the heart of London allows virtual visitors to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies.