At Upper Arley C of E Primary School, we want our children use enquiry skills to discover past, encouraging them to be enthusiastic historians. This is not done through just building knowledge of historical events and repeating facts, but by developing the skills they need to approach, research and discover any period in history. We believe that there should be a clear progression of historical skills both in exploring historical sources and interpretation but to also have a language rich environment where historical concepts are continuously explored. 


Each term, the school focusses on a different strand of the curriculum and this is taught in every year group. Throughout each history strand taught, pupils will be able to make connections to previously taught areas of history as well as other areas of the curriculum.  

Before each unit, staff receive training in the strand and are supported with planning their unit of work by the curriculum lead as well as planning collaboratively with other staff across the Black Pear Trust. When planning, class teachers use the National Curriculum as well as the History Subject Syllabus document which outlines the progression for each year group.  

There are high expectations of pupils ‘talking’ like a historian as well as high expectation of pupils researching, interpreting and presenting like a historian. Each history topic will be inquiry-based fully involving the children as well as high quality teacher modelling and questioning with a mix of individual, paired and group instruction. 

The use of the comprehension express reading ‘expert tips’ in lessons will be key to developing children’s historical enquiry skills. These include:

  • Explore vocabulary – Lessons incorporate a focus on historical terminology and concepts which will be then used in the lesson. For example the concept of ‘empire’ is looked at and defined on a general sense then used when looking at the Roman Empire.
  • Ask a question – Children have an opportunity to ask meaningful questions based on what they see when looking at primary sources. This can be done at a start of a unit. It can also be used to reflect on evidence and help them analyse and explore cause and consequence.
  • Think and remember – Children use previous topics studied and apply it to what they know now. For example, the location of Italy in Europe from a previous geography lesson or remembering that the Stone Age came before the Bronze Age when placing events on a timeline.
  • Make connections and search for clues and Predict – Children use sources to look for clues about the past and make justifiable claims based on the evidence.
  • Read it again – When looking at more than one source (especially with online research) to validate accuracy and interpretations.

History Curriculum Road Map