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What does history look like?

To ensure progression is shown in history,  we have a progression document with history vocabulary from EYFS to Year 6. These words have been taken from our knowledge skills organisers and cross checked with the National Curriculum. 

History Vocabulary Progression

Chronological Understanding

We use physical timelines to teach children about past events and help them with their chronological understanding.

Year 5 have been active creating human timelines placing important events from the Victorian period.

In Year 6, to recap on prior learning, children have placed different periods of history on a timeline. All years groups have completed this but only using the periods of history they've studied.

Across school, you will find timelines displayed in classrooms to help children develop their chronological understanding. In Year 1, children's focus has been 'changes within living memory'. They have looked at how shopping has changed over the years.

Using Sources as Evidence

Year 3 are using images of hunter-gatherers and farmers to find out more about their life and discuss why they may have done these things.

Year 6 are using different sources to study different crimes and punishments over different periods of history. They studied the sources really carefully as you can tell from this great piece of work!

Cause and Effect

Year 3 played a great interactive game showing the decisions hunter gatherers and farmers might have had to make to survive. This taught children about cause, effect and consequence in a fun, interactive way. .

Year 3 have focused again on the skill, 'cause and effect'. Children walked around the classroom looking at different sources, which had a statement describing the source. In the source below, there is an image of an Egyptian shaving their hair. Children had to discuss the cause (why) they did this and then the effect (what). After discussions, children had to search for the correct answers. They loved the lesson and didn't want it to end!

Historical Enquiry


Year 2 debated who was the greatest explorer. They then voted to decide the opinion of the class.

Still image for this video

Our 'Enquiry' board grows when our knowledge grows!

History Timeline

Continuity and Change

Take a look at this fantastic piece of work from a child in Year 5. They've looked at what happened during the Victorian times and focused on continuity and change to present day.

In Year 3, we love to complete 'Diamond 9' activities. For this skill, we looked at the different Ancient Egyptian inventions made and how they impact today's society. It created lots of debate and we couldn't agree on a 'most important' and 'least important'. We even made reference to previous knowledge when we looked at Stone Age inventions!


Focus Images

At the beginning of each history topic, children will be given a focus image. They will look closely at the source asking historical questions about it. At the end of the topic, children will be given the same image and write about what they've learnt throughout the topic to show lots of progression!

Across KS1 and KS2, children start their history enquiry with a focus image. They think of questions they'd like to find out the history period or write sentences based on their interpretations of that particular image. Year 4 have done this on their Ancient Greek period.

At the end of the term or half term, children are given the same focus image and children write as much information as they can about the historical period they have studied. It really does allow every child to show progress. Take a look at the progress made in Year 3 - they know so much about the Ancient Egyptians.

Black History Month 2020

To begin discussions, Adel Primary School took part in a 'zoom' assembly based on Martin Luther King. We discussed how influential he was and then followed a story which was written from a child's point of view. The children were really engaged and wanted to know more about him after the assembly.

Nelson Mandela

Year 3 decided to learn more about the great man, Nelson Mandela. We discussed his views and how he spent so much of his life fighting to make things fair and equal. This worked well with our concept, 'continuity and change'. We discussed what Nelson Mandela had managed to change in South Africa and across the world and also some issues that have continued to stay the same.

Year 4 watched a short drama about Winnie who came to England in the Windrush. We acted in role as she faced the various views of society and expressed how she must have been feeling.

Black History Month in Year 6

What did history look like in 2019/2020?

Why is Enquiry so important in history lessons?

Enquiry involves asking questions about the past and finding answers by exploring the sources left from the past.


At Adel Primary School, we're shaping our lessons around enquiry questions and giving the pupils a chance to explore, discuss and investigate.  

Year 1 - Enquiry Question?

Why do we buy poppies in November?

Whilst we were re-enacting WW1, we discovered that poppies grew in the field were the soldiers fell and are a symbol to remember them by.

Year 2 Enquiry Question - Who was the greatest explorer?

Year 3 Enquiry Question - Would you rather live in the Stone Age, Bronze Age or Iron Age?

Year 4 Enquiry Question - How can we find out about the civilisation of Ancient Greece?

Year 5 Enquiry Question - Would you like to be a child in Victorian Britain?

Year 6 Enquiry Question - Are modern day punishments too harsh?

Year 6 Enquiry Question - Was the Battle of Britain a significant turning point in World War 2?

What does History look like at our school?

Year 5 at Armley Mills Victorian schoolroom 

Year 6

Active learning, exploring sources of Victorian Crimes and Punishments 

Drama at Skara Brae

What are the threats and assets for a Stone Age hunter gatherer?

What are the similarities and differences between a hunter gatherer and Neolithic farmer?

Year 3 have been trying to get to grips with cause and effect whilst studying the Ancient Egyptians

Did the Anglo-Saxons settle in our local area?

What was it like for Victorian children working down the mines?

Year 5 studied the Early Islamic Civilisation and they had to compare what it was like in Baghdad and London in 900AD

Year 6 used a variety of primary and secondary sources to answer this enquiry question

The all new and exciting Leeds Curriculum


Check out the website below for some fascinating and interesting facts about what life was like in Leeds years ago.


Did you know hippos once roamed the streets of Leeds?


Go and see for yourself what it was like in Leeds in the past