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An Introduction to the Historical Discipline

The live session was run on October 19th. Some of the responses and answers may appear out of context because they are responding to the live session’s chat feed which you are unable to see via the recording. You may NOT use the live session as a staff meeting unless you have paid a small surcharge. If you wish to do this, please email specifying the session title you’d like to use.

Supporting Videos and Documents:
As part of the session, I mentioned a number of resources that you may wish to invest in or access at no charge. Below you can see examples of how I use a range of sources in order to construct as clear a picture of the past as I am able to or compare and contrast source material. You MAY use these shorter videos with staff in school. If I receive a financial remuneration for recommending a company, it will be openly declared in the video and is written below. Please do mention my name if you decided to purchase. If you buy any books via the links shared in the session and/or the supporting videos, I will be making use of Amazon affiliate links therefore receive a small referral fee from the company. The price you pay does not change.

Inspire.Education – you can access a free 30 day trial by emailing: Please do mention you saw me use it in a webinar as I receive remuneration for the recommendation.

For lesson ideas, you may want to look at my recent blog on activities in history. It is freely accessible and unpicks how and why I work in certain ways.

The YouTube playlist below is a new venture to help teachers understand what certain historical concepts mean and how they may look in history lessons through the primary phase.

Where to find Quality Resources:

Printables – Wildgoose Education

Artefacts (replicas etc) – Starbeck Education

The National Archives Education Service have a range of source packs that can be downloaded free of charge and run session for classes at Kew or via Zoom.

As mentioned in the live session, you may want to learn more about historical enquiry. Therefore, you can buy access to my introduction to historical enquiry session for £5, which is 75% off. To do this, click here and then enter the coupon code: enqdisc. Please do not share the code with anyone else. You can gain additional support by using the Historical Association’s Enquiry Toolkit. Available by signing up to the website here.

The live session was recorded on September 12th 2023 on a zoom call. Some of the comments may be in response to chat feed questions which you cannot see, therefore can appear out of context. As per the ticket terms and conditions, you may not share the live session with any other staff member at your school or another school even when in a MAT/MAC/Federation or affiliated partnership.

An Introduction to Historical Enquiry
My previous web CPD session on historical enquiry gives a broader introduction to what enquiry is and how enquiry questions are devised. If you find this session too deep, you may wish to purchase that session. As a special offer only available here, this can be done for £5.00. To do this, click here and enter the code MasteringEnquiry at checkout. You DO NOT need to purchase the precursor session if this one is clear enough for you.

Second Order Concepts
These are the concepts which lead the ‘how’ of the curriculum. A simple explanation of each is included below but I would recommend the Historical Association’s What’s the Wisdom on series for a much more in-depth explanation and discussion of each.

Enquiry Questions use throughout a unit
Enquiry questions need to be utilised in different ways throughout a unit of history as stated in the live session. The videos below are designed to give further explanation on how this may be done in different phases of a history unit and in different year groups based on the curriculum model shared in the session and my book. Delegates ARE allowed to share these videos with staff during a staff meeting but not the longer live session without explicit written permission.

Further Support on Historical Enquiry
Included in the session are several references to alternate resources on historical enquiry. Some are free access while others require a subscription. For ease, the links are available below with a clear indication if they require a cost via subscription.

Here is my playlist on teaching historical concepts which focuses on the second order concepts which are a key aspect of teaching via historical enquiry. The playlist will be added to throughout Autumn term.

The Historical Association’s Enquiry Toolkit – FREE access for website members which does not cost anything.

What’s the wisdom on enquiry part 1 and part 2 – only available for paid website members of the Historical Association. Whilst originally intended for a secondary audience, they are a rich and in-depth discussion on enquiry.

This live session was recorded on January 10th. Any resources may be used in ONE school and not shared more widely without express written consent from Mr T does Primary History Ltd. This can be requested by emailing with the subject Sources Access Request.

This KS2 worked example should be used in conjunction with the main video for it to make full sense.

Videos of resources I recommend (many can be used alongside sources of evidence or form part of the range of sources we can use across the units of history).

The live session was recorded on November 8th. I apologise for the quality of my voice; I was in the midst of tonsillitis but wanted to run the session as many had booked onto it. Any resources may be used in ONE school and not shared more widely without express written consent from Mr T does Primary History Ltd. This can be requested by emailing with the subject Chronology Access Request.

Pre-Record – The mechanics of chronology

Additional Links and Resources:
My Chronology Playlists – be aware some of the scales are backwards (I was concussed from rugby when I made them… whoops!)
Rosenshine’s Principles in Action by Tom Sherrington book
Kate Jones: Retrieval Practice A Guide for Primary teachers and Leaders

All aspects of this course are designed to be used in conjunction. Remember, you need to tailor them to your school’s pedagogy and pupils.

Main Session Recording:

World Building:
When teaching history, it’s key to remember that it is a totally abstract world to children which we must mitigate. This is also an important opportunity to introduce some purposeful geography to contextualise where the civilisations, people and events took place. As a minimum, we must answer when and where in the past did this happen? However, we can go much deeper with careful use of quality historical fiction and other representations of the past.

In the Key Stage 1 example, we would focus on chronology to highlight when each car came from. In addition, we wouldn’t need to complete the full process because the emphasis is on the vehicles and not the world around them.

The example below focuses on using maps to consider the implications of physical geography on the expansion of the Roman Empire. In addition, it combines with the overall narrative timeline to highlight the connections between the British Iron Age, Egyptians and Greeks because of the expansion of the Empire. Timemaps is an exceptional resource to support this concept alongside Youtube videos which show the expansion of the Empire over time (play double speed).

A quality historical fiction text can supplement this and give children an insight into the aspects not being explicitly taught within the limited number of history lessons. There will be overlap between the two but, at the very least, it adds richness.

Additional reading:
Mike Hill – world building (this is what prompted me to consider this in more depth)

Enquiry Questions:
Enquiry questions are a great way to combine teaching a knowledge-rich curriculum alongside developing the disciplinary understanding needed to make sense of the past. They enable teachers to emphasise aspects of the past to be studied in sufficient depth so children can understand the concepts and ideas more thoroughly. The methods of historical enquiry are an integral part of the NC14 in aim 5.

Additional reading:
The Historical Association’s enquiry toolkit

Teaching Chronology:
I have written several blogs on chronology in the primary classroom which can be read here. In addition, there are many YouTube videos which can be accessed here. The core principles on chronology are that it should be used to connect new knowledge to a child’s existing knowledge base and act as an organisational tool to help make sense of the historical narratives we choose to teach.

Additional websites to use:
Chronozoom – the ultimate scaled timeline which zooms in and out to highlight varied durations.
Timemaps – links the geographic location to the timeline of a civilisation (KS2 only)
My reviews of each can be found here.

Teaching with historical sources:
There are a range of historical sources which we use to teach children about the past. Within every history unit of work, we should teach using a range of them so children can understand that our understanding is built up using a range of sources; how what we can learn from them is dependent upon the question(s) we are asking and the type of source itself; and we must combine our knowledge from all of them to gain as clearer picture as possible.

Teaching using testimonial sources is challenging but something that can help children appreciate the importance of understanding the who, when, why and where of the account not just what they wrote. Below is a video exemplar linked to an extract of the Roman historian Tacitus’ account of Boudicca’s revolt.

Where to find quality materials:
Museums and archives are a great source to use… even better to visit! It allows you to make links between local, national and world history – aim 6. Always get in contact with local libraries, museums, archives, churches and community groups because you never know what could turn up.

My personal favourites:
British Library – pre-Victorian documents
National Archives Education Service

Supporting Resources:

This booklet may be used by the person that attended the web CPD session. It may not be shared with other schools for any reason without express written permission from Mr T does Primary History Ltd. Please do not share any resource that is behind a paywall.

The session is broken into three parts:

Part 1

  • The National Curriculum
  • Substantive vs Disciplinary

Part 2

  • Disciplinary Concepts
  • What are they?
  • How and when to teach them

Part 3

  • Stretch and Support
  • Use of scaffolds
  • How to use disciplinary concepts to stretch
This video was recorded live on zoom on December 2nd when the session was delivered.

Should you wish to buy my resource pack on disciplinary concepts, you can do so at 50% off by using the code WebCPD.

Shop link

Video Recorded 1.3.22

​The purpose of the session is to introduce teachers to a modelled approach to chronological progression using certain core principles explored in the video.

​The supporting documents are for use within your own school. They may NOT be used beyond your school without express written permission from myself. 

​Please remember that sharing a file without permission reduces the capacity of small businesses to invest in more time for research, writing and development.

There is an example PPT for Key Stage 1 and 2 and a PDF of the session slides.

Chronology Books:

During the session, I mentioned a number of chronology books which I personally enjoy using as part of reading lessons, for additional historical context or to have in the class library. Anecdotally, children really enjoy exploring many facets of chronology beyond what we cover during individual sessions. It also reduces the interval between which chronology is covered. Remember, the key element is to be really clear on what you want them to achieve to ensure their use is maximised.

Session recorded 18.5.23. Answers and comments may be in response to the chat feed which you can’t see; they may appear out of context because of this.

Session Outline:

This session focuses on the chronology elements of the 2014 English National Curriculum for History. It focuses on how chronology can be taught through the primary school age range.

The National Curriculum:

This is a quick video which narrates the chronological references in the NC2014. It will hopefully open your eyes to the sheer volume of chronology within the history curriculum. 

It should be used in conjunction with the live webinar. 

The Chronology jigsaw I made reference to is part of my Whole School Chronology Resource. As part of this CPD session, I have created a 50% off discount code for all those that attended. The code is:


Shop Link:

Chronology Books:

During the session, I mentioned a number of chronology books which I personally enjoy using as part of reading lessons, for additional historical context or to have in the class library. Anecdotally, children really enjoy exploring many facets of chronology beyond what we cover during individual sessions. It also reduces the interval between which chronology is covered. Remember, the key element is to be really clear on what you want them to achieve to ensure their use is maximised.

Terms and Conditions:

Everyone that paid to attend the CPD session or access the recording is allowed to share these resources in their school and no further. This includes not being able to share with other schools in a MAT/MAC/Federation or other group of schools working together under any partnership without express written permission from myself. 

​Sharing resources damages the livelihood of those that create them and is a breach of copyright law. 

Live session recorded: 13.9.22
Any references to the chat box cannot be viewed in the video. If you have any questions while accessing the recording, they should be sent via email to with the subject: Historical Enquiry recording

The session has the following emphasis:

What is history?

What is historical enquiry?

Why does it matter?

How does it scaffold a knowledge-rich curriculum?

Substantive and disciplinary concepts in history

Assessment and progression

Supporting Video and Resource:
Video 2 – modelled examples of how enquiry questions could be introduced in the classroom. Linking disciplinary (historical) concepts to prior learning where appropriate.

Video 3 – possible lesson sequences based on enquiry questions for KS1, LKS2 and UKS2. This is from a previous edition of the CPD so contains some differences in the KS1 and UKS2 questions used.

For more support on historical enquiry, please consider joining the Historical Association. A multitude of schemes of work all led in this manner written by specialists and reviewed to the highest of standards.

​Terms and Conditions: 
You are welcome to share the resources within your individual school but not across your MAT/Federation/Cluster or equivalent without express written permission from myself. I cannot keep web CPD so reasonably priced without your cooperation. 

I just wanted to send a quick email to say how fantastic the resources and planning are for your recent unit on Ancient Greece. So far, I have only done the first session, but have prepared/read through the second session and it is so pleasing that I have very little to do for it!! The kids loved the lesson style - so much time to chat and dig deep into proper history talk and I feel their learning will progress so much more satisfactorily because of all this.

A. Amos – Teacher, Leeds

Your visit was really inspiring, and having a pair of impartial eyes to look over our curriculum and books is just what we needed. We have really clear points going forward on how we can improve. Staff were so positive about the training too, something for everyone to take away. I'll be doing a follow up staff meeting in a few weeks.   You are genuinely brilliant at what you do and it was great to chat with a fellow history nerd! Really appreciate the documents you have sent over too, very generous.

N. Evans – History Lead

Really informative, great ideas, helpful advise and some fab resources. Thank you so much

C. Fielder, Curriculum Lead, Milton Keynes

We had a training day today; it was both fun and very inspirational. Lots of sensible and clear ideas to make History more engaging and purposeful for pupils.

A. Wells, Deputy Headteacher, Lincolnshire

I can’t recommend Mr T does Primary History enough. I am new to leading this particular subject and I left his training today feeling completely inspired. Thanks again Mr T

Louise Hill, History Subject Lead

Just purchased the Ancient Greek unit plan for 3/4 and its excellent! Certainly made my planning a lot easier! Many thanks, look forward to buying other units throughout the year!

I. Fern, Teacher

Awesome day spent with Mr T today going through our books and curriculum with a fine tooth comb. Great to know we were on the right track and to get clarity and direction on what we weren't sure about. Great staff meeting about how to use historical sources in a range of ways across the year groups.

H. Doust, History Subject Lead, Kirton Lindsey School