Year 1 Topics


This project teaches children about everyday life and families today, including comparisons with childhood in the 1950s, using artefacts and a range of different sources.

Children will understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.



Common words and phrases, such as here, now, then, yesterday, last week, last year, years ago and a long time ago, can be used to describe the passing of time.



Use common words and phrases relating to the passing of time to communicate ideas and observations (here, now, then, yesterday, last week, last year, years ago and a long time ago).



The Great Fire of London

In this history unit, the children will discover what London was like in 1666. They will make
simple comparisons between then and the present day. The lessons will move on to discover
what happened on the night of 2nd September 1666 when the Great Fire of London started.
They will discuss why the fire spread quickly and how it was tackled. The children will be
introduced to key historical individuals, such as Thomas Farriner, Samuel Pepys, King Charles
II and Christopher Wren. The children will consider how we find out about the past. They will
have the opportunity to study evidence, such as Samuel Pepys’ diary and objects left behind
after the fire, to help them form opinions about what happened over 350 years ago


Knowledge and Understanding

Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the
passing of time. They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological
framework and identify similarities and dierences between ways of life in dierent periods. They
should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They should ask and answer questions,
choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key
features of events. They should understand some ways in which we find out about the past and
identify different ways in which it is represented.

Pupils should be taught about the following:
• Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally


Our Wonderful World

This essential skills and knowledge project teaches children about physical and human features, maps, cardinal compass points, and positional and directional language. They learn about the equator, hemispheres and continents and are introduced to the countries, capital cities and settlements of the United Kingdom. The children carry out simple fieldwork to find out about local physical and human features.


Fieldwork includes going out in the environment to look, ask questions, take photographs, take measurements and collect samples.

Data is information that can be collected and used to answer a geographical question.

Natural environments can be affected by the actions of humans, including cutting down trees or dropping litter.

Humans can protect the environment by choosing to preserve woodlands and hedgerows, recycling where possible and disposing of waste carefully.

A map is a picture or drawing of an area of land or sea that can show human and physical features.

A key is used to show features on a map.

A map has symbols to show where things are located.

An aerial photograph or plan perspective shows an area of land from above.

Google Earth is a computer program that accesses aerial images of the world via satellites.

A settlement is a place where people live and work and can be big or small, depending on how many people live there.

Towns and cities are urban settlements.

Features of towns and cities include homes, shops, roads and offices.

Places can be compared by size, amenities, transport, location, weather and climate.

Warmer areas of the world are closer to the equator and colder areas of the world are further from the equator.

The equator is an imaginary line that divides the Earth into two parts: the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Continents have different climates depending on where they are in the world.

The climate of a place can be identified by the types of weather, plants and animals found there. A continent is a large area of land.

The world’s seven continents are Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.

The five oceans are the Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean and Southern Ocean. Physical features are naturally-created features of the Earth.

Physical features include a beach, cliff, coastline, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley and lake.

Human features are made by people.

They include a city, town, village, factory, farm, road, bridge, house, office, port, harbour and shop. Positional language includes behind, next to and in front of.

Directional language includes left, right, straight ahead and turn.

A location is a place or the position of something.

Direction is the way you travel to get somewhere.

The compass points north, south, east and west can be used when giving directions.

Litter and pollution have a harmful effect on the areas where we live, work and play.


Carry out fieldwork tasks to identify characteristics of the school grounds or locality.

Collect simple data during fieldwork activities.

Draw or read a simple picture map.

Describe ways to protect natural environments, such as woodlands, hedgerows and meadows. Identify features and landmarks on an aerial photograph or plan perspective.

Identify the similarities and differences between two places. Identify the characteristics of a settlement.

Locate hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the equator. Name and locate the four countries of the UK and their capital cities on a map, atlas or globe.

Name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans on a world map.

Use basic geographical vocabulary to identify and describe physical features, such as beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley and vegetation.

Describe how pollution and litter affect the local environment and school grounds.

Use simple directional and positional language to give directions, describe the location of features and discuss where things are in relation to each other.