National Curriculum Levels

Level 1
Pupils recognise the distinction between present and past in their own and other people’s lives. They show their emerging sense of chronology by placing a few events and objects in order, and by using everyday terms about the passing of time. They know and recount episodes from stories about the past. They find answers to some simple questions about the past from sources of information.

Level 2
Pupils show their developing sense of chronology by using terms concerned with the passing of time, by placing events and objects in order, and by recognising that their own lives are different from the lives of people in the past. They show knowledge and understanding of aspects of the past beyond living memory, and of some of the main events and people they have studied. They are beginning to recognise that there are reasons why people in the past acted as they did. They are beginning to identify some of the different ways in which the past is represented. They observe or handle sources of information to answer questions about the past on the basis of simple observations.

Level 3
Pupils show their developing understanding of chronology by their realisation that the past can be divided into different periods of time, their recognition of some of the similarities and differences between these periods, and their use of dates and terms. They show knowledge and understanding of some of the main events, people and changes studied. They are beginning to give a few reasons for, and results of, the main events and changes. They identify some of the different ways in which the past is represented. They use sources of information in ways that go beyond simple observations to answer questions about the past.

Level 4
Pupils show their knowledge and understanding of local, national and international history by describing some of the main events, people and periods they have studied, and by identifying where these fit within a chronological framework. They describe characteristic features of past societies and periods to identify change and continuity within and across different periods and to identify some causes and consequences of the main events and changes. They identify and describe different ways in which the past has been interpreted. When finding answers to historical questions, they begin to use information as evidence to test hypotheses. They begin to produce structured work, making appropriate use of dates and terms.

Level 5
Pupils show their knowledge and understanding of local, national and international history by describing events, people and some features of past societies and periods in the context of their developing chronological framework. They begin to recognise and describe the nature and extent of diversity, change and continuity, and to suggest relationships between causes. They suggest some reasons for different interpretations of the past and they begin to recognise why some events, people and changes might be judged as more historically significant than others. They investigate historical problems and issues and begin to ask their own questions. They begin to evaluate sources to establish evidence for particular enquiries. They select and deploy information and make appropriate use of historical terminology to support and structure their work.

Level 6
Pupils show their knowledge and understanding of local, national and international history by beginning to analyse the nature and extent of diversity, change and continuity within and across different periods. They begin to explain relationships between causes. They begin to explain how and why different interpretations of the past have arisen or been constructed. They explore criteria for making judgements about the historical significance of events, people and changes. They investigate historical problems and issues, asking and beginning to refine their own questions. They evaluate sources to establish relevant evidence for particular enquiries. They select, organise and deploy relevant information and make appropriate use of historical terminology to produce structured work.

Level 7
Pupils show their knowledge and understanding of local, national and international history by analysing historical change and continuity, diversity and causation. They explain how and why different interpretations of the past have arisen or been constructed. They begin to explain how the significance of events, people and changes has varied according to different perspectives. They investigate historical problems and issues, asking and refining their own questions and beginning to reflect on he process undertaken. When establishing the evidence for a particular enquiry, pupils consider critically issues surrounding the origin, nature and purpose of sources. They select, organise and use relevant information and make appropriate use of historical terminology to produce well-structured work.

Level 8
Pupils show their knowledge and understanding of local, national and international history, constructing substantiated analyses about historical change and continuity, diversity and causation. They analyse and explain a range of historical interpretations and different judgements about historical significance. They suggest lines of enquiry into historical problems and issues, refining their methods of investigation. They evaluate critically a range of sources and reach substantiated conclusions independently. They use historical terminology confidently, reflecting on the way in which terms can change meaning according to context. They produce precise and coherent work.

Exceptional performance
Pupils show a confident and extensive knowledge and understanding of local, national and international history. They use this to frame and pursue enquiries about historical change and continuity, diversity and causation, constructing well-substantiated, analytic arguments within a wide frame of historical reference. They analyse links between events and developments that took place in different countries and in different periods. When exploring historical interpretations and judgements about significance, pupils construct convincing and substantiated arguments and evaluations based on their understanding of the historical context. They evaluate critically a wide range of sources, reaching substantiated conclusions independently. They use historical terminology confidently, reflectively and critically. They consistently produce precise and coherent narratives, descriptions and explanations

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