Chronology - an Olympic timeline

Primary History article

By Pat Hoodless, published 1st September 2013

Please note: this article pre-dates the 2014 National Curriculum and some content may be outdated.

Pat Hoodless illuminates how chronology can provide a spine, a backbone and an ‘essential framework' to support and shape pupil learning of NC History.

The Olympic movement provides the perfect opportunity to consider the broad sweep of chronology linking ancient times to the present day, where children can find examples of both change and continuity over a long period of time (see Ferguson, 2011). This lesson idea, planned for Years 4/5, looks at how architecture can be used to illustrate these important historical concepts.

Intended learning outcomes

  • An understanding of chronology over a long period of time and ways of illustrating this.
  • A developing understanding of chronological terms: BC/BCE , AD /CE , period, century, span, millennium.
  • Use of sources such as pictures, photographs and ICT .
  • Making observations, asking questions and drawing conclusions about continuity and change.


  • Images of various Olympic stadiums over time: 1896, 1908, 1948, 2012.
  • Outline timeline of dates for children to use.
  • Selection of websites, books and other reference materials

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