Seven Mills

Primary School

Ambitious, Compassionate
& Empowered


History is led by Amy.  

Seven Mills has been involved in the Tower Hamlets History Project, which aimed to create a cohesive, rigorous curriculum from EYFS to KS3.  This new curriculum will start in September 2022.  


History Curriculum


Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2


Ourselves and our families

The area where we live before we were born

Learning about the past from people and objects in our community


Queen Elizabeth IIStories about Elizabeth’s childhood, growing up, living through WWII. What did the queen do in the war?  What did she see (the Blitz).The coronation: what happened when the queen was crowned? What is a coronation? Who watched the coronation (black and white TV - very new to watch an event on TV!). First time some people had ever watched TV. 

What does the Queen do today?

Learning about the recent past through our familiesWhat was life like for our families when they were growing up? Grandparents, great uncles and aunts as children.

Tease out varied stories of particular families, including migration stories.

Link back to the queen: the queen is a great grandmother who lived through the war. What wars did our great grandmothers live through? 

Traditional tales (Africa and Britain) that convey everyday life in different settings – all going beyond the immediate past.Alfred the Great and the cakesKing Cnut and the wavesRobert the Bruce and the spiderEfriam Duke and the King’s Magic DrumCreation of the Ile-Ife KingdomFounding of the Oyo Empire

Using photographs to understand the immediate past: Photographs of  families and our families in the past.Photographs of our houses /our streets  and other houses/ streets in the past. Local study: a street  in Tower Hamlets in the past.  Study through photographs and maps

Stories of 6 famous rulers from Britain and the world: BoudiccaMansa MusaHenry VIIIElizabeth IRani of Jhansi (leading figure in 1857 Indian rebellion)Nelson Mandela

Ships and seafarers through time.Stories of trade and exploration (c2 contrasting cultures; c3 periods - e.g. oars, sail, steam) with a focus on ships, life on ship, navigation, maps. Vocab on voyaging: ships, oceans, sailing, sailor, maps, navigate, compass, galleon, port, harbour, crew, rigging, vessel, helm, skipper;Expressions: ‘any port in a storm’, ‘as the crow flies’, ‘adrift’, ‘admiral’, ‘at a rate of knots’. Conclude with 2 classic poems about the sea & their historical settings


Great change-makers in history (stories of c.5 lives & their achievements/impact – keep broad, cultivating curiosity in diverse settings eg Harriet Tubman; al-Razi the doctor. Include one Victorian and link to children– eg Earl of Shaftesbury and the Climbing Boys

Queen Victoria and the Victorian period stories about Victoria and Victorian times, including Victorian Christmases. Great paintings of Victorian Christmases, eg. Martineau, the Christmas Hamper. What can we learn from it about Victorian times? 

Children’s lives in Victorian timesIn the countrysideIn the townsWorking childrenChildren in Victorian schools. What did they learn?

The ancient MayaCities, buildings, writing, calendar, landscape and agriculture. Sense of place and period. Sources and how archaeologists and historians investigate them. How do we know?

The story of flight – from the Kitty Hawk story (Wright brothers) through Amelia Earhart to the Moon landings and Mae Jemison.

The first humans in East AfricaandThe Stone AgeStone Age humans and hunter gatherers: how did they get their food? What tools did they make? How do we know?  Using evidence from cave paintings. 


The Neolithic revolutionThe first farmers. Moving from hunter gatherer to farming society.

Then, big timeline of the past. Where does everything we’ve done in history so far fit in? All that we’ve studied in KS1 to fit onto timeline. 

Ancient EgyptReligion and creation myths; structure of society, pharaohs, the kingdoms & how changed over time art; pyramids; Howard Carter; ongoing archaeology and ethics of western archaeology; beliefs about death, writing; the Rosetta Stone. EQ focus: change and continuity in Ancient Egypt

Mesopotamia and ancient Sumerthe first cities of ancient Sumer: the first cradle of civilisation; the ziggurats and the epic of Gilgamesh, Rulers and their conquests. EQ focus:What similarities and differences are there between Ancient Egypt and Ancient Sumer?

The Indus Valley civilisationsWhere? Why did settlements grow around river Indus? Bronze Age (c3000– 1300 BCE).way of life, ingenuity in technology, craft, trade, buildings, water.EQ focus on evidence: How do we know about the Indus Valley civilisations?

Local history study

Ancient GreeceOrigins – democracy in the city states, warfare.   


Greek theatre, plays, art, poetry (Homer & the Odyssey), games and religion. Use Homer / poetry as setting to examine:ships and seafaring in Greek times (build on KS1 (ships & seafaring: where do the Greeks fit?) Greek poetry (esp epic) warrior culture (link back to end Y3 on warfare). How the Greeks lived and worked: Greek craftsmanship and artistry - how it was driven by religion. Possible EQ (evidence): How and why did Greek art/architecture develop over time? (i.e. comparing it to Egyptian art so pupils have to recall and use Y3 work). 

Alexander the Great,including Greek ideas, beliefs and knowledge Vast scope of Alexander’s empire – reaching Indus valley!

Focus on knowledge: must cover: Aristotle, Euclid, Ptolemy, Galen, and the Great Library of Alexandria (will be crucial for later study of Muslim Baghdad).   

Interpretations of ‘Alexander the Great’ through time.

Ancient Romefrom founding legends, through monarchy and Republic to empire needs to be clear so that key terms: consul, senate, senator, tribune of the people, plebs, equites, slaves… are all understood. 


Depth study on Julius Caesar and/or Emperor Augustus (one could be depth and the other overview)

Two or three emperors (inc. Nero). Persecution of Christians in 2nd and 3rd centuries

Life in PompeiiLive in ancient Rome. including a focus on Roman daily life. Special focus on Pompei so that pupils get to know one place/setting really well.  Conclude with the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius.  Read Pliny’s famous letters about the eruption aloud.  Use archaeological finds and Pliny’s letter as evidence. Possible evidential focus for EQ.

Roman BritainAncient Britons before the Romans.

Roman roads. Roman villas (Fishbourne Palace). Local depth study on Roman London.

Caesar & Claudius invasions. Rebellions of Boudicca (recalled from KS1) and Caractacus.Interpretations of Roman Britain in archaeological reconstructions.

Constantine and Constantinople; fall of Ancient Rome; rise of Byzantine Empire

Conversion of Constantine. Christians no longer persecuted & Christianity spreads.

The rise of the Byzantine Empire – its art, architecture and linking Europe and Asia.Understanding the Byzantine empire through mosaics. 

The emperor Justinian (Justinian law code) and the Empress Theodora. Toleration of Christianity now give way to persecution of non-Christians


The African empire of AksumChristianity in Askum in the early fourth century.

Compare with Christianity in Rome in fourth century and Byzantine empire.

Anglo-SaxonsWhy they came to England and how they shaped our land and villages. 

The VikingsWhy they came to Britain. Conclude with wider than Britain – their whole diaspora, including Russia and Constantinople. Viking women: Historical fiction opportunity with Crossley-Holland’s: A Bracelet of Bones

Christianity in the British Isles: Celtic Christianity – Ireland, Scotland. St Augustine.  Synod of Whitby.Depth – St Bede and Northumbrian coast in time of Vikings. Local links – London example of early Christianity

Islamic civilisations: Life in Ancient Arabia, Muhammad, early Islam, Arab Conquests, Islam spreads – how this changed the middle east, North Africa

Depth study: Islamic Cordoba:  the city of light.  A city in which Christian, Muslim and Jewish peoples lived and worked together. Learning in Cordoba.

How Cordoba changed leading up to Christian re-conquest (prepares for focus on Catherine of Aragon and 16th century London at start of Year 6….)


A princess comes to London (early 16th century London)Catherine of Aragon’s journey to Spain to London (evoking London, capturing pupils with captivating story and linking to Spain). Picks up story from Muslim Spain at end Y5) Long journey.  Received  in London as a young princess (first night in Southwark, a terrifying new world).  Pageantry throughout London to celebrate her wedding to Arthur. Streets of early 16C London alive with plays, drama, processions. Marriage to Arthur. His tragic early death. She marries Henry VIII.Paint a 16th century world: England connected with the past, connected with Europe: a woman’s experience, a pawn in a big power game

London and Australia. London in the 18th century and early 19th centuryA city at the centre of empire, a multi-cultural city connected to the world through trade, migration, ideas, architecture and technology.

Spotlight on Australia. How were London and Australia linked? The aboriginal experience in Australia.  How can we know about aboriginal experience in Australia without seeing through colonists’ eyes? The convict experience, poverty and crime in London.

The kingdom of Benin (before European colonisation)Politics, art, architecture, rural technology, ways of life. Women in Benin. 

West Africa in the time of European colonisation: what happened to the Kingdom of Benin? Migration to, from and through Africa.

The Benin bronzes

Women campaigners in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Elizabeth Garret Anderson - battle for women to be doctors 

Two suffragists and/or suffragettes - battle  for the vote

Florence Nightingale - professionalisation of nursing

Alice Kinloch and the African Association 

London’s diverse communities in during the two world wars

Stories from multi-cultural London involved in war effort at home and overseas. 

Evacuation of children from London. 

The kindertransport - Jewish refugee children arriving in England

A detailed local study, picking up any theme studied so far, based on local museum, local figure, local source, local stories 

Our current priorities in History are: