History is taught in order to stimulate the pupils’ interest and understanding about significant events and the lives of significant people in the past and how these important factors have influenced our lives today.

We aim to foster in pupils an interest in the past and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that history has to offer through knowing about significant events in British and world history appreciating how things have changed over time.

Children are taught to begin to develop a sense of chronology and to understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage.

Children will have the opportunity to develop their skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation through a variety of hands-on practical activities.  Children experience real history through visitors to school, drama, visits to historical sites such as Norwich Castle and Holkham Hall.  Such activities provide a stimulus for exciting and relatable cross curricular opportunities, including speaking and listening and writing. We also use artefacts, visual resources and Information Technology to inspire children to find out about the past.

History is planned and delivered in Key Stage 1 in line with the National Curriculum and is integrated within topic teaching.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage children learn about history through child centred activities as part of their Understanding the World area of development.


History is taught cross curricular in the Early Years Foundation Stage.  The Early Learning Goal is called Understanding the World , People and communities.  In Nursery and Reception children are encouraged to talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members.  The children will learn through experiences that introduce the concept of time and change.

Your child’s teacher may ask ‘What happened next?’ after reading a story or looking at other sequences of events, such as getting dressed, planting a seed or making a sandwich. Children may be asked to think about themselves and how they have changed over time.

How you can help your child:

  • Encourage your child’s awareness of features in the area you live. Point out how some buildings look older than others.
  • Take your child to museums, galleries and history-themed events.
  • Discuss events that occur regularly within your child’s experience, for example seasonal patterns, daily routines and celebrations.
  • Help your child to develop a sense of change over time and help them to differentiate between past and present by growing plants or looking at photographs of their life. Talk about past and present events in their own lives and in those of other members of the family or friends.
  • Encourage investigative behaviour and raise questions such as, ‘What do you think?’, ‘Tell me more about?’, ‘What will happen if..?’, ‘What else could we try?’, ‘What could it be used for?’ and ‘How might it work?’
  • Use language relating to time in conversations, for example, ‘yesterday’, ‘old’, ‘past’, ‘now’ and ‘then’.
  • Read stories that introduce a sense of time and people from the past.

Year 1

In Year 1 we learn about a variety of interesting and inspiring topics.  The topics which have a strong Historical focus are ‘Space’ and ‘Time Travellers’.

During the ‘Space’ topic we look at significant events and individuals who have contributed to national and international achievements, eg: the first man in space (Yuri Gagarin) and the first man on the moon (Neil Armstrong).

During the topic ‘Time Travellers’ we will learn facts and information about Queen Victoria, and we’ll visit Holkham Hall and learn about a typical Victorian day. On our visit we look back at the history of the building and families that lived there. When we learn about the Victorians, we research the industrial revolution and learn about a famous local person of national importance called Edith Cavell.  In our cooking lessons we bake a traditional Victorian Sponge Cake.

Year 2

In Year 2 we learn about a variety of exciting and thought provoking topics.  The topics which have a strong Historical focus are ‘Medieval Norwich’ and ‘Land and Sea’.

Through the topic ‘Medieval Norwich’, we use a variety of sources to gather information including books, posters and the internet.

Our work focuses on how people lived and we identify differences between the past and present. We visit Norwich Castle as part of our history studies to allow the children to experience a castle first hand.

Our topic of ‘Air, Land and Sea’ includes work across lots of curriculum areas. In History we learn about Lord Admiral Nelson as he is a local figure in history.  We also learn about the life of Monet and look at his famous artwork.

We’re looking forward to showing you pictures of our exciting Historical learning throughout the year so please check back regularly.


  • History Summer Term 2019

    Early Years

    The children have been encouraged to talk about any significant past events in their or other people’s lives.  Their interactions with other children and adults have been observed and noted on Tapestry (the online and interactive Learning Story used in Early Years).  They have explored artefacts during a visit to Gressenhall Rural Life Museum.

    Year 1

    During the topic of ‘Step back in time’ the children have talked about the similarities and differences today compared to Victorian times. This topic included a visit to Holkham Hall and participating in a Victorian wash day.

    Year one have also looked at famous inventors in history, including Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb and Alexander Graham Bell who invented the telephone.

    Victorian Wash Day

    The children experienced what it would have been like to wash their clothes in Victorian times.  They took turns to have a go at each stage and hung the clothes on the line to dry.  This was an excellent way to show the children how things have changed over the years and how lucky we are nowadays to have machines to help us.

    Year 2

    During the topic of ‘Art around the world’ has looked at the children have learnt about the life of a variety of artists such as Kandinsky and Andy Warhol and the impact they had on art history.  In the lessons they also created art in the style of these artists.

    The children have also had the opportunity to learn about the history of art in other countries such as Australia and Egypt. They have seen and recreated aboriginal art and Egyptian hieroglyphics as well as performing their own version of the Haka after learning about the Maori people from New Zealand.


History Spring 2019

Early Years

This term the children have been encouraged to reflect on Christmas and any other significant past events in their or other people’s lives.  Reception children have shared photographs of themselves as babies and discussed how they have changed.

Year 1

The topic of ‘Our Planet and Beyond’ has looked at the Geography of our planet this term.  The children learnt about the history of space travel including learning about the race to space and the astronauts Neil Armstrong, Yuri Gagarin. They have looked at time lines for the events of space travel.

Year 2

During the topic of ‘Air, Land and Sea’ the children have learnt about Lord Admiral Nelson.  They found out about important dates in his life and then created their own timeline.  Some of the children were able to expand on the information and wrote more facts for each date.


Autumn 2018

Early Years

The children have been encouraged to talk about any significant past events in their or other people’s lives.  Their interactions with other children and adults have been observed and noted on Tapestry (the online and interactive Learning Story used in Early Years).  Some of the observations are shown below:

A group of nursery children were pretending to camp in the tents. They took turns to cook breakfast and lunch and pretended to sleep in the tents. Children shared their experiences of sleeping in a tent. “It was cold,” “It was fun!” “We didn’t have a toilet!” “We had beans!” they explained.

A child talked about his experiences of riding the Cannonball Express roller coaster at Pleasure wood Hills. Whilst playing, he pretended to put his seat belt on and travel up and down the bumpy track.

Year 1

Winter Wonderland

During the topic Winter Wonderland the children have learnt about a significant person from the past, Robert Falcon Scott.  They talked about why Robert Falcon Scott is significant, why he went to the Antarctic and they thought of reasons for and against Robert Falcon Scott going to the Antarctic.

Year 2

Night time

As part of our topic Night time the children have learnt about a siginificant person from the past, Guy Fawkes.  The children wrote about who Guy Fawkes was and why he is an important historical person.

They picked some items that Guy Fawkes might have used in 1605 and described how he would have used them. They then explained the difference between objects that Guy Fawkes could have used, compared with what he might have used today.

Remembrance Day

As part of our learning about History and British Values we invited the Dereham Branch of the Royal British Legion to come and talk to us about why we have Remembrance Day and why we wear a poppy. Mr King spoke to the children about the history of the British Legion and what conditions were like for people in the war.  He showed the children a siren and asked if they thought it would wake them up. Mr King also spoke about how the Royal British Legion still helps people today who have been injured or affected by war.  It was important for the children to understand why they buy poppies and how their money helps other people.

Reception classes have been talking about Remembrance Day and creating their own poppies.

Families across the Federation have created poppies using plastic bottles and yarn. These have been placed on the school gates and the net between the two schools.

Year 2 Medieval Day

We have been learning about life in medieval times.  We had the opportunity to practise lots of different skills which were used in a castle.  Staff from Goldcrest came into our school to work with all the Year 2 children and to teach them how to be an archer.  We practised lots of archery skills.  We learnt how to stand strong, how to hold the bow and how to shoot an arrow. We found it extremely interesting and exciting.

We also had the chance to be a jester.  We entertained each other by balancing on stilts, and playing lots of games.  We then became knights and took part in a jousting tournament.

In the afternoon our school hall was turned into a banquet hall.  A lord and lady from each class sat on the top table and we ate bread, cheese and grapes together. Each class performed a medieval class dance for the other guests.

Castle Museum Trip

Year 2 have been on a trip to the Castle Museum in Norwich.  They learnt about the history of the castle, the objects which were found in the castle, the daily life of the people and about the clothes the knights wore in battle.

Visiting real places that are historical really helps bring the learning to life for the children. They found out lots of things from their visit.

History is taught in order to give pupils’ an interest in and understanding of significant events and people in the past, the influences that they have on our lives today and to teach them to have empathy with others (understanding that modern views of society are different to those held in the past).

We aim to enthuse pupils with an interest in the past, developing their understanding, enabling them to enjoy the richness of cultural and social heritage in Britain (including British values SMSC) and the world and appreciating how things have changed over time.

Pupils are taught to develop a sense of chronology and to understand society and their place within it. They are presented with opportunities to develop their skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation through a variety of activities.  Pupils experience real history through themed days within school e.g. Roman Day for Year 4 and Viking Day for Year 5, drama, debates and visits to historical sites such as Norwich Castle Museum. Such activities provide a stimulus for cross-curricular opportunities, including speaking and listening and writing. We also use artefacts, visual resources and Information Technology to inspire children to learn more and stimulate their curiosity about the past.

D-Day 75th Anniversary Commemoration at Toftwood Juniors

As part of our Enrichment Week, we took the time to celebrate and commemorate the D-Day landings on 6th June 1944 “the beginning of the end of the war.”  Today, the children of Toftwood Juniors were humbled when they learnt about the great sacrifice of those who took part in WW2.

“We don’t always get to reflect on how they risked their lives for us.  We should be grateful for what they did.” William Year 5

All the children were shown images and a presentation of the Normandy landings on D-Day and each class discussed how significant the event was for future generations. They were shocked to learn about the brutality that had engulfed most of Europe during the Nazi reign of terror and found it difficult to understand how a person could be persecuted because of their ethnicity or religion. Children from all year groups, commented how silly it was to dislike someone for this reason.  One child said “It is not a good way to behave.”

The children’s comments were all about the importance of standing together and being resilient in the face of adversity. They reflected on how important working as a team is and how closely the Allies worked together in order to be victorious and end the war.

“There would have been more casualties and destruction without the help of our allies.” George Year 6

“If we didn’t have our allies then the operations would have failed.  We would have been outnumbered as they had better weapons than us.”  Blake Year 6

The final comment has to go to Martha, Year 5

“I appreciate what they did for us.  They are heroic, brave and extremely selfless – no matter how big or small their job was – they are all heroes.”

  • Year 4 Anglo-Saxon Day

    What an amazing fact filled, fun fuelled day Year 4 have had exploring Anglo Saxons and how some lived so many years ago!

    Year 4 immersed themselves in the daily lives of Anglo Saxons.  We learnt all about runes  – the language system they used to record events.  We decoded a message written with runes, created our own message for partners to decipher and used clay to make our own runes.

    We were able to create our own pots using one of the three methods the Anglo-Saxons were known to have used – thumb, pinching or coil.  We then shaped the pots into various styles to try and follow the design we had created based on Anglo Saxon pottery uncovered by archaeologists.

    To taste Anglo Saxon cooking, we used an authentic Anglo-Saxon recipe for Honey shortbread and worked in pairs to create this delicious dish.  We were able to use our maths skills: Measure and showed how well we could work as part of a pair in the kitchen.  Loved ones have been able to sample the Anglo-Saxon recipe as we took it home for eating at the end of our busy Anglo-Saxon Day.

    After lunch, Year Four were engrossed in the tale of Beowulf and then took part in riddle making a favourite Anglo-Saxon pastime.  We were told riddles from Anglo-Saxon times – which were really difficult!  Then we created our own riddles ready for the riddle competition later on in the afternoon.

    Having experienced Anglo-Saxons at work and at play, we then took part in Anglo-Saxon dancing.  It was quite tricky and not like modern dancing.  First, we learnt how to complete the dance sequence really slowly, then we added faster Anglo-Saxon music and had a dance off with each other.  It was brilliant and really tiring – the Anglo-Saxons were very energetic and fit!

    Finally, we learnt how to play an Anglo-Saxon board game: Nine Men’s Morris.  It was a little like Tic Tac Toe but more complicated.

  • Year 4 meet the Anglo-Saxons

    On Thursday, 7th March, Year 4 enjoyed a fascinating day at Norwich Castle, learning all about the Anglo-Saxons.

    As they arrived, the children met a metal detectorist who discovered a brooch in Norfolk that reveals the story of Thurweald, an Anglo Saxon King and his people. As part of the day, the children met different Anglo Saxon characters who revealed the story of Thurweald, who had died. The children enjoyed making replica Anglo-Saxon broches, they met a trader and handled some genuine artefacts, sat with a wonderful story teller to act out the legend of Thurweald’s defeat of the monsters in the forest and even learned how the Anglo-Saxons buried their dead.

    One of the children said, “I enjoyed the trip because I actually thought I was an Anglo-Saxon. I learnt how the women had their legs bent when they were buried but the men’s legs were straight.”

    Another commented, “I learnt about how the Anglo-Saxons traded things, even to India! It was amazing!”

  • Year 3 Stone Age – Spring 2 2019

    Today Year 3 had a visitor to teach us about the Stone Age. We began the day by talking about timelines and considering how far back in time the Stone Age was. We used a tape measure and had to imagine that each year was worth 1cm. It was an incredible distance from our lives now!

    He described to us the history that was in our county 12’000 years ago. He talked about how important Norfolk was for history because of the Iceni tribe in Norfolk. We were shown maps that demonstrated how Britain was land locked and how people could walk between different countries that we know now. He described how people would seek sustenance and how people lived in small communities to protect each other from predators.

    We considered creatures that would have roamed the Earth at the time. Harrison held 2 million year old tooth, Amelia held a Rhino shoulder bone, Nelly held a mammoth tooth which was 80’000 years old and Jacy held a mammoth rib and then together they held a whole small mammoth’s tusk. Sumer held a Hyena’s fossilised poo! This is called a coprolite. Jacy held a horse’s leg bone whilst we found out about how horse’s hooves were boiled to make glue. Thomas held an 18’000 year old Elk antler. Eva held and high-fived a cave bear’s fossilised paw! Jamie held a Wolf’s rib from America. Emily held a 20’000 year old bison’s jaw bone. We learnt about wild boars and were told that they were found near Wales during the Stone Age and that that was why most people lived in fenced off areas. Charlie held a cave lion’s jaw which was the largest predator. In the afternoon, we were allowed to handle all of these.

    We discussed how dinosaurs didn’t belong in the Stone age but still got to see part of a Triceratops. Arthur modelled a Homonid shape and we discussed the different types of Hominids that used to live on Earth. We took part in an activity that showed how our brains can reason and imagine and how that separates us from other animals. We looked at a diagram of our brains and which part helps with different processes and responded using our reflexes.

    After break we looked at different types of weapons and compared them to ones we have now. We saw how sharp a stone razor was compared to a craft knife that had gone blunt in modern day usage. We saw spears and axes and how spears could be fire hardened and discussed how tools were developed to have handles and the impact this would have on daily life. Joana handled a stone-topped spear that was very, very sharp! Jacy correctly suggested that the next step may have been a bow and arrow and was allowed to handle the Hungard bow.

    We also saw how fire was made. He clipped pieces of metal together to show us the sparks that came off! He also showed us how a bow-drill (made with sharpened flints) could be used to create fire and how fungi would be dropped in the fire and then held on a stick to transport fire.

    Some people then dressed up as Hominids over time and we discussed the changes.

    After lunch we learnt all about Boudicca, “The Queen from Norfolk” and her army who almost eradicated the Romans from Britain! We learnt about the weapons that they would have used and how they would have been made. We heard about the beginning of the use of copper before bronze.

    Then we had a tribe competition where 2 groups had to try to rebuild Stone-Henge and later, a fishing competition with make-shift fish and fishing rods.

    It was a great day and our visitor commended the children on their knowledge and behaviour. Well done Year 3!

History Spring Term 2019

Year 3  

Stone Age Day

Year 3 has a special Stone Age visitor who taught them all about the history of our country over 12,000 years ago.

Year learnt all about the different types of amazing creatures and animals (bison, boar, cave lion, mammoth and wolf) that roamed the earth then and how Stone Age people lived and fought.  We had no idea that the Stone Age people sought the protection of living together in Community or that they were prey!

It was very exciting to see how Stone Age people made fire using a bow drill.  Our visitor showed us how the fire is started by hitting two sharp pieces of metal together.

Year 3 really enjoyed the day and loved dressing up as Stone Age people.  It was fun and we learned so much about this time period.

Year 4

Anglo Saxons at Norwich Castle

Year 4 enjoyed a fascinating day at Norwich Castle, learning all about the Anglo-Saxons.

As they arrived, the children met a metal detectorist who discovered a brooch in Norfolk that reveals the story of Thurweald, an Anglo Saxon King and his people. As part of the day, the children met different Anglo Saxon characters who revealed the story of Thurweald, who had died. The children enjoyed making replica Anglo-Saxon broaches, they met a trader and handled some genuine artefacts, sat with a wonderful story teller to act out the legend of Thurweald’s defeat of the monsters in the forest and even learned how the Anglo-Saxons buried their dead.

Year 4

Anglo Saxon Day

Year 4 took part in a fun-filled, fact-fuelled day to round off their Anglo Saxon topic.  They learnt about runes; how to make Anglo-Saxon pottery and how to cook an Anglo-Saxon recipe – honey shortbread.  It was delicious!

The children were told with the Anglo-Saxon tale ‘Beowulf’ and then, like true Anglo-Saxons, deciphered original Anglo-Saxon riddles before creating their own.  Year 4 were taught how to do an authentic court dance and then learnt how to play Nine Men’s Morris – an Anglo Saxon board game.

The day was a fantastic finale to a truly memorable topic!

Year 5

Maya Civilisation

Year 5 have had an interesting and fun project learning all about the Mayans. We did not even know where they lived or when at the beginning of the topic and now we know all about their religion.  This involved lots of sacrifice of animals and people.  We have discovered about their everyday lives and how some aspects of their culture lives on in the present day.

We explored them through the Text “The Corn Grows Ripe” which we all enjoyed and we have created some rather spectacular Mayan masks.

Through this topic, we went on to have a South American Day where we learned how to weave and how and where cacao beans are produced and then turned into chocolate.

It was a really information topic and the South American Day was a great finale!

History Autumn Term 2018

Year 3

Ancient Egyptian Day

The year 3 children learned about the fascinating Egyptian civilisation and how the mummification process occurred.

They had a visitor from Portals to the Past and during this day they completed a fact finding activity, played some Ancient Egyptian board games and had the opportunity to look at some artefacts.

An amazing day was had by all Year 3’s and they left Ancient Egyptian Toftwood familiar with everyday Egyptian life!

Year 4


The children in Year 4 had a very special visitor to link in with their history topic, pupils were immersed in all things Roman.

The children learnt about key historical figures, significant places, weapons and battle techniques and important dates relating to Roman Britain. After splitting into the three classes, each group participated in themed activities. These included playing a Roman board game called ‘Delta’ which involved sliding counters and scoring points using Roman numerals; learning about and handling real Roman artefacts; and finding out lots of facts as part of a Roman quiz.  In the afternoon, the children were immersed in a Gladiatorial fight in our very own Toftwood Arena with our Toftwood Emperor!

Year 5

Viking Day

On this brilliant learning day, Year 5 met a rich Viking man (who had expensive trousers).  In the hall we learnt about the Vikings as that was our topic in history.  All of year 5 were in the new hall as it was a good experience and fun way to learn about the brutal invaders.  Also it is a bit like a school trip but in school.

First off, we went into the hall and there was a very well dressed Viking who was called Thor. The Viking explained what their countries were called and were they came from which were Denmark Norway and Sweden. He also said that the reason they came to England was because there conditions were very poor and cold .Thor then showed there countries on a massive map and there was also the countries they invaded on there.

Next, year 5 rushed into the assembly hall as we were very late, we were late because we talked about what equipment they would have in their house and what it looked like also the Vikings jobs for the girls and boys. After brake, some classes were lucky enough to play a board game named fox and geese. After that, our class did a quiz on their lifestyle, gods and toys the children played with in the activity we did it with a partner my partner was Amelia.

Then, we went and had lunch in the other smaller hall and had a play before going to see him again. Secondly, we all came back to the new hall and sat around the tall, hairy Viking.  When we were sitting in the circle with all of year 5s classes.  Whilst in the circle, Thor showed us some metal and some coins he then put the coin on the stand and put the decorated metal on it and hit it with a very heavy hammer.  When he was making the special coins there were lots of bangs and some coins did not have the pattern centered so he had to make more.

After that, the man showed us many different weapons that only the men would use because they went to battle. Some of the weapons varied in types like an axe that was as big as a toddler also there was a spear and sword the spear was bigger than him and the sword was very precious as it can break or snap easily.

Then, we saw some armour: a real Viking helmet that had a sharp point on top which was almost as pointy as the spear that was quite scary to be honest. Thor said that the Vikings did not actually have horns on their helmets it was from an opera to tell which Vikings were bad or good. After that, someone from year 5 went up on stage and wore real Viking chain mail! The boy from the crowd said it was very heavy and tried to jump but only managed 2cm off the ground.

Some people had quotes on the afternoon “my favorite part was the afternoon” also “the afternoon was the best because we got to see the weapons”

Near the end of the day, the tired Viking asked us things in old English then we had to figure out what he was saying then say it in English. Most of the time he was saying parts of the body some of it was tricky even though we are learning old English in our English lesson. It was very funny hearing some words.

The overall opinion from Year 5 on Viking day is that it was mind blowing, factual and informative.

Year 6

Ancient Greeks

In the Autumn term, Year 6 studied Ancient Greece as part of our history topic for that half term. We studied the History of Greece by learning about the geography of Greece, roles of women, education in Ancient Greece and the Greek gods and goddesses.

We took part in a ‘Greek themed day’ where a Greek visitor helped us to play Greek games and we took part in our own Olympic games! We dressed up as traditional Greek characters.

This learning inspired us to write our own Greek myths using the stories of Theseus and the Minotaur, The Gorgon’s Head and Persephone. We debated the differences between Athens and Sparta to decide who had the better way of life.

Remembrance Day 2018

With the centenary of World War 1, Toftwood Juniors chose to commemorate the event by having a whole school assembly with Mrs Hughes and then discussing it further in class with the teachers.

The children understood why we wear a poppy as a symbol of Remembrance Day.  The children across the Federation, have been creating their own poppies as a sign of respect.  These were tied to the gates and fences of the Federation schools.

The day was also commemorated by the Kitchen staff. They baked and decorated poppy biscuits for the children as yet another visual reminder of Remembrance Day.

In class, the children participated in discussions about the trenches. They found the trench life of World War One unbelievably difficult to grasp and displayed great respect for the soldiers that took part in it. Many children also shared family anecdotes about their own relatives that had been in both World Wars.