History is a vocabulary intense subject that can be hard to understand for students who have difficulties with memory retention and learning new word meanings. Wherever possible, real life experiences, visits, objects and photographs should be used to teach new concepts and vocabulary.

Symbol support reinforces vocabulary in a precise way

  • Abstract temporal vocabulary, such as long ago, oldest, past, ancient, route, far, near supported by symbols will enable pupils to have a greater understanding of their meaning
  • Activities supported with symbols provide pupils with opportunities to over-learn specific vocabulary by repetition


Egyptian symbols

Roman symbols

SIP Resource Packs

Y3-6   The Egyptians
Y3-6   The Ancient Greeks
Y3-6   Romans
Y3-6   Victorians
Y3-6   World War II
Y1-2   Homes Long Ago
Y1-2   Tales of Seaside Holidays

For a full list of symbol resource packs visit:


QCA Learning Objectives

Unit 2 What were homes like a long time ago?

To identify features of homes today and at a time before living memory; recognise household objects from the past and present; know how the objects were used and in which room they belonged; handle, observe and draw the objects in order to find out about them; use appropriate language when talking, writing and role playing.

Unit 3 What were seaside holidays like in the past?

To order objects correctly in chronological sequence; recognise some similarities and differences between holidays now and in the past; collect information about the past by asking questions of people who were alive before the children were born, and from objects and pictures; recognise that there are several ways they can find out about the past; write sentences about seaside holidays in the past, using words related to the passing of time.

Unit 9 What was it like for children in the Second World War?

To demonstrate factual knowledge and understanding of the impact of the Second World War on children in particular and society in general; give reasons for, and the results of, evacuation; identify different ways in which the Second World War has been represented; ask questions and answer them using a range of sources; communicate their learning, using specialist terms in ways that show understanding.

Unit 10 What can we find out about Ancient Egypt from what has survived?

To recognise that the past can be divided into periods, eg ancient, modern; demonstrate factual knowledge and understanding of characteristic features of life in ancient Egypt; identify some of the different ways the past is represented; ask and answer questions about the past by using sources in ways that go beyond simple observations; communicate their learning, making appropriate use of specialist terms.

Unit 11: What was it like for children living in Victorian Britain?

To lace the changes in the period within a chronological framework; make appropriate use of dates and terms; demonstrate knowledge and understanding about the everyday lives of children in the Victorian period; show how some aspects of the period have been interpreted in different ways; select and combine information from a range of visual, textbook and documentary sources; communicate their knowledge and understanding of changes to children's lives in Victorian times in organised and structured ways.

Unit 14 Who were the Ancient Greeks?

To place the ancient Greek civilisation accurately on a time line and demonstrate their understanding of BC and AD; describe important features of life in ancient Greece, and compare life in different city states; explain some of the beliefs of the ancient Greeks and why they held them; understand the reasons for and results of key events; interpret an event from one perspective and in so doing show an appreciation of other possible interpretations; select and combine information from written and archaeological sources.

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