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What a gift that humanity has, to be able to comprehend and analyse human civilisations’ past. With it, we can make sense of our present and perhaps our children can influence the future.


At Colby, we place a huge importance on a balance between acquiring knowledge alongside developing skills. We want children to experience learning about a great variety of times and people whilst building their ability to interpret, investigate, understand, present, organise and communicate their ideas at the same time as being able to recall key figures from the past and their achievements along with important concepts and events.


Throughout the three years in KS1, children start with being able to talk about their family members, exploring similarities and differences between their own and others’ lives and places. They explore topics such as family and dinosaurs in Amber Class, before moving onto areas such as naturalists past and present and The Great Fire of London in Sapphire Class. All the while, they build skills to be able to compare, observe, select, sequence and describe.


As children move into KS2, they experience the full range of human history from Ancient Egypt to WW2 evacuation. In Year Five and Six they once again progress across history moving from ancient civilisations to the Battle of Britain. The knowledge they acquire allows them to further their historical skills to analyse, evaluate and synthesise in greater detail. 


We have chosen our curriculum carefully. Whilst we follow the National Curriculum, we have a great deal of freedom to choose our own investigative topics and the knowledge we expect the children to learn. We use the local area as inspiration for much of this learning. For example, we ensure a balance of study relating to males and females and people of colour and we acknowledge our unique location. Our situation on an ice age riverbank influences the knowledge we teach in Iron Age units of work, Henry Bloggs as a significant individual in KS1 and Douglas Bader in KS2. Norwich Castle is local and Edith Cavell hugely important in Norwich. Colby received evacuees in WWII, Colby is Viking name and we are near Yarmouth, which was once one of most influential ports in the country for the wool trade and latterly fishing.


We are proud of our local and national history and we want the children to share this when we research the development of steam and the railways or scientific, literary or heroic achievements of the UK whilst balancing a good overview of world history.


What the children learn and do feeds into subsequent units of work, which are assessed using quizzes, longer investigations, mind maps or direct questioning.

Children enjoy history at Colby School and have told us:


“The way we’re taught really makes us visualise history, like we’re really there!  I think that is great!”


“It’s important to learn from the mistakes in History and to not do the same things ourselves.  I am inspired by people who stand up for what is right like Rosa Parks.”


“I love it when we dress up during History projects – it helps me to remember what I have learnt.”

Here is the history we teach at Colby School:


  • Nurturing nurses

  • My family-simple chronology

  • Neil Armstrong

  • Toys

  • Kings and Queens

  • Seaside heroes of the past-Grace Darling

  • Naturalists past and present

  • Great Fire of London

  • Who was Nelson Mandela?

  • Florence Nightingale/Edith Cavell

  • Colby-Victorian school days


  • Crime and punishment

  • Local history study

  • Introduction to Summer, Egypt and The Shang Dynasty

  • Children and evacuation

  • Roman invasion

  • Ancient Greece

  • Egypt

  • Shang

  • Britain's settlement by Anglo-Saxons/Scots/Vikings

  • Railways

  • Early Islamic Empire

  • Stone Age to Iron Age

  • Mayans

  • The Peasants' Revolt

  • The Battle of Britain/Douglas Bader

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