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The Federation of St Mary’s Catholic Schools are a secure, friendly and faith-centred community where we seek to realise the full potential of all our family through the living love of Christ. All our work with children and their families, staff, governors, parishioners and the wider community is influenced by our core values which are: Compassion, Respect and Resilience.

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The purpose of our Arches Curriculum is to ensure that our children are successful in life and learning. The ‘Nine Arches’ Sankey Viaduct in Newton-le-Willows has been the inspiration for our curriculum.  The viaduct was built by George Stephenson between 1828 and 1830 and the bridge, built to let trains cross above the Sankey Canal, has international significance as the world’s earliest major railway viaduct still in use.

The ‘Nine Arches’ signifies excellence in engineering that is still successful.  Our curriculum is designed to show our children that our ambitious curriculum will offer them rewards for the future. As a school, our curriculum sets high expectations for each and every child, meaning that we are relentless in our commitment to overcoming barriers faced by our pupils and to developing children to be resilient and self-motivated in their pursuit of learning.

With Christ at the heart and encompassing our Mission Statement, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” we provide a high-quality education within a creative, stimulating, encouraging and mutually supportive environment where children are enabled to develop the skills they require to become successful in history.  

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To have a secure understanding of history as a subject discipline. 

To ‘think like a historian’ by interrogating sources and artefacts 

Understand historical concepts: locality, rule and transport 


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A selection of carefully chosen historical figures to promote resilience within the history curriculum including local significant people. 

Make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions  

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As a Catholic school we place Christ at the centre of all that we do. We integrate Gospel values and the teachings of the Catholic Church into every aspect of learning and teaching in our history teaching. 

We hope to open our hearts and minds to learning about things in the past and how these people or events have impacted on our world today, helping pupils develop their own identities through an understanding of history at personal, local, national and international level.

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Empathising with people from the past.

Having a profound appreciation for what people in the past have done and how they have impacted modern day society.

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            To have a secure knowledge of the history strands including chronology, historical enquiry and knowledge and interpretation 

Disciplinary literacy – reading like a Historian!  

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To have a secure substantive knowledge based to enable our children to make connections

Laying the foundations for future study and beyond

To be enthused and engaged about history. 



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At St Mary’s, students aren't just recipients of historical knowledge; they're budding historians, exploring the past and constructing their understanding of the world. Our curriculum goes beyond facts, fostering a passion for human experiences.

Being a historian means asking insightful questions, analysing evidence, and uncovering the stories that shape our world. Critical thinking is paramount students evaluate historical sources, make connections, and construct well-reasoned interpretations.

Our historians explore the past with a keen eye for context, understanding the social, cultural, and economic dimensions. Hands-on experiences, including simulations and projects, create a profound connection with history.

Mastering historical literacy, students read, interpret, and critically analyse texts and artifacts. Being a historian at St Mary’s means reflecting on the significance of the past. Students gain a deep appreciation for diverse perspectives, fostering empathy and understanding.

Transport and rule play a pivotal role in this journey. Students examine the influence of transportation on historical events, understanding the impact of rule in shaping societies. Chronological understanding and reflective inquiry guide students in organizing events and discerning their significance.

In our dynamic environment, Key Stage 2 students become historians, navigating time and transport, equipped with the skills and curiosity to understand the past's complexities and their role in shaping the present and future.

In essence, geography is about comprehending the world through activities such as comparing locations, conducting investigations, researching diverse sources, expressing thoughts in writing and speech about different places, and posing and answering questions. Through these engaging learning experiences, we aim to nurture well-rounded individuals who are not only academically proficient but also socially and environmentally conscious.


Our meticulously designed curriculum is underpinned by a set of guiding principles aimed at fostering a profound and secure understanding of historical disciplines. Our commitment is to deliver a history curriculum that is universally accessible, maximizing outcomes for every child to ensure a comprehensive acquisition of knowledge, retention, and understanding. Our pedagogical approach in history seeks to cultivate a secure knowledge and understanding, encompassing not only local history but also the historical narratives of Britain and the wider world.

The curriculum is thoughtfully structured to facilitate the establishment of connections between current and preceding learning. Our educators employ long-term plans for history, facilitating comparisons between previously taught historical periods. This intentional design aids in the development of children's chronological knowledge, spanning from the Stone Age to the present day.

Our aspiration is to instil in children a curiosity to delve deeper into the past, equipped with the requisite skills to explore their individual interests. History lessons are centred on cultivating the mindset of historians and honing historical skills. Furthermore, our curriculum offers numerous opportunities for enrichment through historical visits, guest speakers, and events hosted within the school.

At the core of our objectives is the aim to empower children to pose perceptive questions, engage in critical thinking, evaluate evidence, discern arguments, and develop perspectives and judgments. Recognising the significance of history in shaping identity, we endeavour to instil a sense of connection with the past in children, elucidating how historical narratives have shaped their own lives. To achieve these objectives, we conscientiously leverage the local area, dedicating a specific unit of work to a thorough exploration of local history. Each year group focuses on a distinct aspect, ensuring that by the culmination of Key Stage 2, children possess a profound understanding of their locality.

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VALUED - We value vocabulary in history and it underpins everything we do.
IDENTFIED - History vocabulary is identified by the history subject leader and is explicitly planned for.
TAUGHT - Vocabulary is explicitly taught in every lesson. Our knowledge organisers are used as a teaching tool for key history vocabulary and the history medium term plans include additional vocabulary to be taught.
APPLIED - Once vocabulary is taught, it is applied. Children apply their vocabulary in their speaking and listening, writing and assessment outcomes in history.
LEARNED - Vocabulary is revisited and relearned. Vocabulary sticks in the children’s long-term memory. Lesson by lesson, year by year, children revisit and relearn key art and design vocabulary.


Through an ‘explosion of experiences’, our youngest historians are exposed to the foundations of their history learning. Carefully planned science experiences are provided for our children. High quality lessons, stories and rhymes and continuous provision in EYFS provides the building blocks for our St Mary’s historians. History vocabulary is planned for and staff ensure children are exposed to the correct terminology when exploring experiences that have historical links. Staff are role models in demonstrating historical vocabulary and this is further enhanced in our excellent provision. The foundations of history learning in EYFS is linked to Year 1 and beyond. 


Both our staff and children are enthusiastic about history. Through ongoing quality CPD, we strive to ensure our teachers have expert knowledge of the history that they teach. Our pedagogy is firmly based upon our curriculum intent of embedding concepts into long-term memory so that they can be recalled, to ensure substantive and disciplinary knowledge and skills can be applied fluently. Recap sessions within our five-part lesson structure is designed to ‘interrupt the forgetting’. 

Our ‘St Mary’s Quality First Teaching’ model ensures that lessons are effectively sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and towards defined end points. Pre-assessments are planned with the lesson structure to support staff when planning for learning. 

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We understand that we may not see the true impact of our history curriculum on our children as our history curriculum is just the beginning of a lifetime of learning.

Our well-constructed and well-taught history curriculum leads to great outcomes. Our results are a reflection of what our children have learnt. At St Mary’s, our philosophy is that broad and balanced leads to great outcomes and meeting end points at the end of each key stage. National assessments are useful indicators of the outcomes our children achieve.

We ensure all groups of children are given the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. We strive to ensure that our children are equipped with the skills (through a growth mindset approach) to fluently be able to retrieve key facts from their semantic memory.

The quality of our children’s work, at every stage, is of a high standard. All learning is built towards an end point and at each stage of their education, we prepare our children for the next stage.

We ensure all our children read to a stage appropriate level and fluency. Reading is the beating heart of our history curriculum. Through disciplinary literacy in history lessons, the impact of reading on the children’s historical learning is paramount.

The impact of St Mary’s history curriculum is measured through the following:

Assessment at the end of each unit of work

Vocabulary and knowledge are assessed at the end of each lesson and at the end of each sequence

Pupil voice

Progress evident in children’s books and record of experiences

Seeking views of parents where appropriate

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