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At Sudbourne we are Historians!     

Our History Curriculum aims to allow pupils to make sense of the present, as well as the past and to appreciate the complexity and diversity of human societies and developments. To move into the future successfully, a realisation of what has gone before is necessary.  In studying History, that sense of curiosity about the past is met.  The past influences all aspects of our lives; it shapes the customs and beliefs of the communities to which we belong.  Learning about core knowledge concepts from the past and using historical skills to study them, enables our pupils to make sense of the world in which they live and foster a global perspective. 


Cumulative progression and coherent substantive concepts 

Using CUSP History from EYFS to Phase 3, ensures that our pupils become ‘more expert’ as they progress through each study and grow an ever broadening and coherent mental timeline. This guards against a superficial, disconnected and a fragmented understanding of the past.    

CUSP History is planned so that the retention of knowledge is much more than just ‘in the moment knowledge’. The cumulative nature of the curriculum is made memorable by the implementation of Bjork’s desirable difficulties, including retrieval and spaced retrieval practice and deliberate practice tasks. This powerful interrelationship between structure and research-led practice is designed to increase substantive knowledge and accelerate learning within and between study modules. That means the foundational knowledge of the curriculum is positioned to ease the load on the working memory: new content is connected to prior learning. The effect of this cumulative model supports opportunities for children to associate and connect with significant periods of time, people, places and events.   

Substantive knowledge concepts - CUSP has defined substantive concepts that are the suggested vehicle to connect the substantive knowledge. These are defined at the start of every study in the Big Idea. 

CUSP History strategically incorporates a range of modules that revisit, elaborate and sophisticate key concepts, events, people and places.  

Disciplinary knowledge – this is the use of that knowledge and how children construct understanding through historical claims, arguments and accounts. We call it ‘Working Historically.’ The features of thinking historically are below;  



Specific and associated historical vocabulary is planned sequentially and cumulatively from the outset of our pupils' learning journey. High frequency, multiple meaning words (Tier 2) are taught alongside and help make sense of subject specific words (Tier 3). Pupils are required to not only analyse, connect and define words but also to use them in the correct context. Relevant idioms and colloquialisms allow us to connect learnt and be agile in approach to reflect our community and close the vocabulary gap.  


CUSP EYFS supports children’s foundational understanding of History through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World’. Core foundational knowledge is identified and embedded in daily practice for example through the use of daily language, during structured story time or delivered within provision - for example in small world or role play areas

Phase 1 - 3 

Our two year cycle ensures that children meet all of the National Curriculum objectives by the end of the phase / key stage. At the start of each cycle, we deliver a ‘Strong start’ lesson. This is focused on a core disciplinary concept to promote pupils to think more like a historian. Blocks  have a reference lesson to secure foundational knowledge and ensure pupils all start at a shared point.  

Our History overview can be found below.