Copley Junior School


The National Curriculum for History aims to ensure that all pupils:
  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires and characteristic features of past non-European societies
  • gain understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, 'civilisation' and ‘parliament'
  • 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
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales

To read our Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement for History, please click here.

Year 3

Gods and Mortals

In January 2020, Year 3 launched their new creative learning project with a dress up day, when children came to school dressed as a Greek god or goddess. I am sure you will agree the children looked fantastic! 

In September 2020, Year 3 used a variety of sources to find out about Greek gods and goddesses. Great work, Year 3!

As part of their geography work, Year 3 used maps to identify and locate countries, seas, mountains and cities to help inform their history learning.

Children used a variety of maps to identify differences and similarities between ancient Greece and the country today before learning about some of the places Greece is famous for. What great work!

Year 3 learned about the key events in Ancient Greek history and then placed these on a given timeline in chronological order. The children learned that a timeline can be divided into BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini).

Year 3 used library books and the internet to research lots of facts about the history and famous monuments of ancient Greece, the climate and food to find out why modern Greece is such a popular holiday destination.

Children researched facts about gods and goddesses and presented their learning in PowerPoint presentations.

Children used books, pictures and the internet to identify key facts about Ancient Greek soldiers, their armour and weapons.

Children asked questions and found answers to questions about the past using a range of historical sources. They also described different accounts of a historical event, recognising some of the reasons why the accounts may differ.

Year 3 used laptops and library books to learn about life in Ancient Greece by observing the art work on Greek vases. In their D.T. lessons the children then created their own vases building up papier mache over a balloon structure, learning how to strengthen the structure of their models. Children then painted and decorated their vases, making their patterns and pictures look as authentic as possible.

Tribal Tales

Year 3 developed their knowledge of history by travelling back in time to the Stone Age. They used their prior knowledge of chronology to order events in Britain and across the globe during the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. 

As pupils continued to develop their knowledge of the Stone Age, they explored what everyday life was like for people during each period and how it changed. They were fascinated to learn about the changes to art, food, tools and weapons and climate. 

Year 3 pupils considered how we learn about the past, exploring what we can find out from primary and secondary sources. 

Year 3 used primary and secondary sources to explore the Stone Age settlement, Skara Brae. They drew their own conclusions about life in the past. 

Children made a virtual visit to the Stone Age monument, Stonehenge, and considered its purpose. They examined a range of primary and secondary sources before deciding why it was built. They drew their own conclusions, supporting their ideas with evidence. 

To complete their learning about the Stone Age, pupils in Year 3 explored the fossilised human remains of Cheddar Man. They used primary and secondary sources to draw conclusions about what we could learn from the discovery of Cheddar Man including his age, his height and the colour of his eyes from his DNA. 

Year 4

Raiders and Traders

To launch their project on 'Raiders and Traders' Year 4 went on an exciting trip to Murton Park in September 2020, to fully experience what it was like to be a Viking. The children were greeted by a strong Viking woman named Runa, who prepared them for the day ahead. The children dressed as Vikings and, for one day only, the adults dressed as the children’s slaves! They then made their way to the Viking village where they met ‘My Lord’. Once My Lord had accepted them into his village, it was time to get to work.

Throughout the day the children got to be craftsmen, shaping and decorating their own individual pots, farmers, preparing the land to ensure the crops would grow, they ground the flour for bread-making and collected wood, and they also learned how to be powerful Viking guards. It was a perfect, fun-filled day that helped to kick start our 'Traders and Raiders' project.

Viking Guards

In their history lessons, Year 4 learned about significant Viking events and historical figures, such as King Alfred and Eric Bloodaxe, and placed these in chronological order on a timeline using dates. Children used dates and terms to describe events, including BC, AD, century, decade, after, before and during.

In their geography lessons, Year 4 discovered where the Vikings came from and exactly where they settled, including looking at maps of places that were very close to home!

As Year 4 learned about where the Vikings settled, they looked in more detail at a map of our local area. Viking words can be found in many English place names and indicate the key feature of the local area where the Vikings settled e.g. -ton=hedge or fence, later a farm (Branton); -by=farmhouse/dwelling (Cadeby); -thorpe=hamlet/village (Armthorpe). Children looked at a map of our local area, produced a colour key and identified place names of Viking origin, locating these on a local map and recording their findings in a table.

Year 4 were given the choice of finding out about an aspect of Viking life they wanted to know more about. The children used library books, primary internet websites and information gained from their visit to Murton Park to research information and make notes. The children then chose how to present their learning. 

Children learned about Viking runes and then used their knowledge to translate letters they had written from English into Viking runes.

The children took part in freeze frame and role play activities to enact a battle scene and then used this to stimulate their writing 'Who will win?'

As part of their 'Raiders and Traders' creative learning project, children could choose from a variety of design technology tasks. In the gallery below, you can see fabulous Viking longboats, Viking embroidery patterns and small Anglo-Saxon charms threaded with other materials to create personalised necklaces.

Click on the first picture below to view a photograph selection of Year 4's project work.

At the end of the autumn term 2019 it was lovely to welcome so many parents/carers and relatives to Year 4’s Viking express event. The children showcased some of their fantastic project work, they demonstrated how to defend a Viking raid and even invited the parents to join in!

Click on the first picture below to view a photograph selection from Year 4's express event.

Year 4 demonstrated to the parents and relatives how the Vikings would defend themselves.

Then, very much to the children's delight, it was time for some of the parents to have a go!

There was high drama and excitement when the Vikings were surprised by a couple of Saxon intruders!

Year 4 'Vikings' Display

STEM Ambassador Visit

Many thanks to STEM Ambassadors Miss Watters and Mr Kirk who led fascinating workshops for Year 4. We learned about Miss Watter's work as an archaeologist and examined artefacts and jaw bones to uncover clues about the past. The interest and concentration in the children's faces was lovely to see and they asked so many great questions!

Year 4

Native American Indians

In their project 'Road Trip USA' Year 4 learned all about the culture and myths of Native American Indians. After reading different Native American myths children took part in drama and freeze frame work to tell the story of a Native American myth and performed these to the class.

Children used a range of resources to find out the names and capitals of the 14 states where Native Americans settled and in their geography work they used maps and atlases to locate these.

Children thoroughly enjoyed researching Native American symbols to find out what the symbols represent. This then supported the children’s learning and understanding of totem poles and the importance of totem poles in different tribes. The children were then able to choose different symbols to create a totem pole design that best represented them or someone in their family.

Children researched information about Native Americans and then chose how to present their findings.

Year 4

I am Warrior

Year 4 started their learning about Romans with a workshop day provided by museum staff from Murton Park with a Roman Centurion who taught the children all about life as a Roman soldier. The children learned all sorts of brilliant facts and enjoyed an exciting day full of activities including a themed presentation and interactive talk, illustrated with a wide range of authentic artefacts. This was followed with craft and artefact handling activities and an active session practising preparations for a Roman battle. By the end of the day, all children successfully passed their Diploma and became fierce members of the Roman Army!

Click on the first picture below to view a photograph selection from our 'I am Warrior' workshop day.

As part of their workshop day, Year 4 handled authentic Roman artefacts.

Click on the video clips below to see of the Roman Army training in action.

Children used information from their workshop day, library books, picture cards and iPads to research information in order to compare Roman soldiers and Celtic warriors in terms of armour, weapons, appearance and footwear.

Children found out that the Roman army wasn't always at war. They spent most of their time training for battle. Year 4 learned about legionaries and auxiliaries. Soldiers were well trained and had the best weapons and armour. When the Romans invaded Britain, their army was so good that it took on armies ten times its size and won!

Year 4 considered that one of the main reasons that the Romans became so powerful was because of the strength of its army. It conquered a vast empire that stretched from Britain all the way to the Middle East.

The children found out about ancient Celtic hill forts, drew a sketch map of one of these, explained why the Celts chose to build their forts as they did and considered the geographical features of Britain that would have hampered the Romans as they invaded.

In their history lessons, Year 4 learned about significant Roman events and historical figures and placed these in chronological order on a timeline using dates.

On the eve of battle, children wrote diary entries as either one of Boudicca's Celtic warriors or a Roman soldier.

As children learned about Boudicca's rebellion against Roman rule, they presented their interpretation of Boudicca's feelings and thoughts as different events unfolded.

Children then looked at different visual representations of Boudicca and used the source evidence from Cassius Dio to identify which image of Boudicca was most historically accurate.

In their drama work, Year 4 enacted a slow motion (and non contact!) dramatic gladiator fight between Maximus, the Samnite and Crixus, the Retarius. Back in the classroom, children watched the video of their drama work and wrote a commentary to narrate the unfolding events.

Children carried out research projects about their chosen Roman topic and used different layouts in Word e.g. headings, bullet points, bold, underlining, inserting text boxes and adding images to improve the presentation of their work.

Children chose relevant material and more than one source of evidence in order to present information about a chosen aspect of Roman life.

In their maths lessons, children found out about Roman numerals and then worked out problems using them.

As part of their history study of the Romans, children designed and created their own mosaic tiles. Lovely work Year 4!

Year 4 reflected upon how much of today's Britain has been influenced by the Romans - many of our buildings and how they are heated; the roads we use; some of the words and language we speak; the way we get rid of our sewage; access to clean water; numbers; street stalls and 'food on the move'; our calendar and coins to buy things with, to name just a few!

During their project, children used their research about Roman and Celtic shields and Celtic embroidery designs to develop and create their own beautiful shield and embroidery designs.

Click on the first image below to view the gallery of photographs. 

At the end of the spring term 2020, after an exceedingly busy few weeks learning (nearly) all there is to know about the Romans and Celts, Year 4 were finally ready to share all of the exciting activities and brilliant work they had done! Their express event was jam-packed (much like the Colosseum) with parents, ready to see what the children had been learning about.

First, the parents were invited into a Roman and Celtic camp on the night before battle where children shared their descriptive soliloquies. They were then transported through the medium of drama to the day of the final gruesome battle between Boudicca and her Celts and the Romans. The children made fantastic use of their impressive Roman and Celtic shields to recreate the battle and after the battle was over, the Romans then demonstrated the different formations: the wedge and the tortoise.

Suddenly, the hall transformed again into the colossal Colosseum and parents were able to witness a highly entertaining and dramatic gladiator fight between Maximus, the Samnite and Crixus, the Retarius. Once the battle was over and Maximus was victorious, parents were then challenged to beat the children in a game of Tabla Lusarius; to translate and write in Roman script and explore the fantastic work the children had done for their ‘I Am Warrior’ project.

Click on the first picture below to view a photograph selection from our express event.

Year 5


Kicking off their learning project on 'Pharaohs' with a trip to Weston Park, in the autumn term 2019 Year 5 explored the exhibitions in the museum before undertaking the task of mummification. Extracting brains through the nostrils and placing vital organs in Canopic jars were just a few of the tasks they undertook before making their own ‘shabti’ to be buried alongside ‘Dead Fred’.

Did you know that the Egyptians used to bury their slaves alive alongside their mummified bodies so that they would have a slave in the afterlife? This didn’t last long because the slaves would run away every time someone in the family fell ill. This is why they began making a ‘shabti’ (a small model of a slave) to be buried alongside their mummified remains. All of the children decided that making a ‘shabti’ was much kinder than being buried alive!

Click on the first picture below to view a photograph selection from Year 5's visit to Weston Park.

In November 2020, Year 5 developed their historical enquiry skills by finding out about Ancient Egyptian artefacts, considering where they came from, when they were made, what they were made from, what they were used for and who might have used the artefacts.

Children researched famous pharaohs and the role of pharaohs and they enjoyed presenting their learning in different ways.

Research about Cleopatra, presented in a very creative way!

Year 5 used information from their workshop at Weston Park and research back in class using library books and the internet to present their learning about the mummification process in their 'Royal Embalmer's Guide to Embalming'.

Children learned about the symbolism of the canopic jars used by Ancient Egyptians to hold the organs of the human body as part of the mummification process. Year 5 then used their D.T. skills to design and make canopic jars using papier mache and lots of gold paint.

Year 5's canopic jars

As part of their geography work Year 5 learned about the importance of the River Nile to the Ancient Egyptian people.

Year 5's class text 'The Egyptian Cinderella' linked to their history project and inspired their own writing.

Year 5 also enjoyed finding out about Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and creating their own messages.

Children also created fact files, sketches and got involved in design technology tasks by building a model of a pyramid, constructing an Egyptian temple and decorating the walls with hieroglyphics, designing and creating a sarcophagus and creating a mask for a great Pharaoh.

Click on the first image below to view the gallery of photographs. 

Year 5

Local History

As part of their 'Local History Study', Year 5 used the internet and old photographs to find out about the fascinating history of the Copley family and the Copley Medal and then presented their research in their own preferred way. Our School Houses are named after some of the eminent scientists who have been awarded the Copley Medal - Einstein, Darwin, Hawking and Hodgkin. To find out more about the Copley Medal please click here.

Year 6

A Child's War

Evacuated to Murton Park

Year 6 children from Copley Junior School were evacuated from Doncaster to Murton Park to launch their study of 'A Child's War'. On arrival, they were met by an evacuation officer who escorted them to the village hall. During their visit, children experienced what life was like for children during World War 11. Activities included: washing and ironing clothes; making farmhouse crunch and butter; blast taping windows; carpet making; air raid drills and most children’s favourite - extinguishing a small incendiary bomb!

Click on the first picture below to view a photograph selection from the visit to Murton Park.

Children worked collaboratively to research and present information about an aspect of World War II e.g. evacuation, the Blitz, rationing etc. Here are some of their posters below:

Children then worked independently to choose an aspect of World War Two that they wanted to find out more about, they carried out their own research and then decided how to present their learning. Great work Year 6!

Research on rationing in World War 2

Research on World War 2 Ocean Liners

The Life of Anne Frank

Year 6's silhouette paintings of the Blitz.

Year 6 learned that during World War 2 propaganda was used to increase support for the war and commitment to an Allied victory. Year 6 researched propaganda posters and then designed posters of their own.

Pupils in Year 6 used textbooks and websites to research information about the causes of World War 2 before creating their own written reports.

In their geography work, children used maps and atlases to locate the UK ports and cities that were bombed in the Blitz and considered why these were targeted. The children then recorded and labelled the locations on their own map of the UK.

In Year 6 the children have worked in pairs to create poetry on the theme of war and evacuation and we have shared some of their poems below.

In their maths work, Year 6 used their investigative maths skills to take on the challenge of solving a World War 2 Transposition Cipher. Using their knowledge of factors and multiples children had the vital job of codebreaking Nazi messages in order to protect ships bringing essential supplies to Britain.

As part of their 'Child's War' creative learning project children got involved in the project home learning tasks by building a miniature Anderson shelter; making bunting for the VE street party celebration; making a card gas mask with instructions for its use or writing a wartime recipe using rationed ingredients and, best of all, they brought in the dish for evaluation!

We were very pleased to welcome so many parents/carers and relatives to our Year 6 express event in November 2019. The Copley Museum opened and our highly organised Year 6 tour guides led the adults around the different exhibit spaces. This was an entirely pupil-led initiative, with the children deciding how to organise and present their learning. I am sure you will agree that the children have learned an incredible amount about what life was like during World War 2 and it is lovely to see how confident they were to share their learning with the adults. Thank you so much for your support of this event.

What Our Pupils Say

Here are some of the children's most recent reflections on their learning:

  • “I have enjoyed all of the projects but my favourite was ‘Pharaohs’. I love learning about the past and what life was like.” Eve C
  • “This year I have enjoyed the ‘Pharaohs’ project because I loved learning about the lives of the Ancient Egyptians and exploring the artefacts. It helped me to understand the culture of the civilisation and how it was different to our lives today.” Lidija
  • “The work I am really proud of is my Greek timeline because I enjoy history.” Oliver
  • “I really enjoyed learning about life in World War Two. The visit to Murton Park was so interesting and we spent a day as if it were World War Two. I am proud of my Blitz painting, our poem and information poster and our presentation for the express.” Charlie
  • “I enjoyed all of the projects but my favourite was ‘Pharaohs’ because I love learning about the past – it is so interesting!” Eden
  • “The best visit this year was Murton Park because I got to be a Viking guard and I enjoyed making a clay lamp. Also, I really enjoyed the Roman Day at school and I loved being a Roman soldier for the day.” Livvy
  • “My favourite subject has been history because we got to find out about different people in history.” Scarlett
  • My favourite topic has been ‘Pharaohs’ because I enjoyed finding out new facts about the pyramids and life in Ancient Egypt.” Robyn
  • “My favourite topic has been ‘I am Warrior’. I enjoyed this topic because a Roman man came into school and taught us lots of facts about Roman soldiers. I also enjoyed learning all about Roman Gladiators and writing about them fighting.” Alfie T
  • “Year 5 has been an amazing learning opportunity because every day I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone. I’ve enjoyed all of the projects but my favourite was ‘Pharaohs’. I’ve been interested in Ancient Egypt since I was around 4 years old.” Stanley
  • “The work I am really proud of is my history work because doing the timeline was a bit challenging but I did it really well!” Olivia