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Irk Valley Community School

Irk Valley Community School

‘Welcome to our valley. We are proud to grow here together’


The subject leader for History is Miss Smith. While Miss Smith is on maternity leave, Mrs Lord will be leading History. 


What do we want children to learn in History (INTENT)?


The intent of the history curriculum is to

  • equip children with sufficient knowledge to be procedurally fluent historians
  • have children to think, act and work like professional historians
  • have a deep understanding of historical concepts
  • to contribute towards the cultural capital for children in terms of the knowledge and skills they need to be successful learners and in life
  • to meet the National Curriculum end points 
  • support our school vision and values in the ways listed below

“You will always succeed anywhere you go because you were grown in our Valley, Irk Valley.”

At Irk Valley we want our children to be historians and:

  • be curious about history and speak about history
  •  to progress, link knowledge and build a bank of rich vocabulary
  • make links to prior knowledge, skills and experience, in order to grasp a deeper understanding of new skills and knowledge.


We take pride in providing a diverse and progressive History Curriculum. The following concepts have been chosen to help organise knowledge: Activism and Power; Our History; Innovation and Exploration; Conflict and Resolution


Activism and Power

Use of voice, Democracy, Empire, Equality, Enslavement, Governance and Law, Monarchy, Politics and Parliament

This concept has been chosen because:

  • Manchester is known for being a place where people stand up for their rights and the rights of others
  • Giving children the knowledge of and stories about role models who have used their personal and social characteristics to enhance those around them and of those in the future
  • Understanding the role of power on a larger scale, and how it can impact people’s lives, not only here, but also across the world


Our History

Architecture, Civilisation, Settlement, Changes to Land, Significant People

This concept has been chosen because:

  • We want children to know more about their personal history
  • To know about the history of the area they live
  • To have a chronological understanding of the history of Britain and to place themselves within it
  • To enrich their lives and encourage pride in their British values and diverse society to which they belong


Innovation and Exploration

Discovery, Migration, Invention, Progress, Navigation

This concept has been chosen because:

  • Learning about innovators and explorers gives children inspiration and exposure to people who have pushed the boundaries of what was considered possible
  • It provides more opportunity to set into context the history of Britain and the wider world


Conflict and Resolution

Conquest, Invasion, Liberation, Treaty, Plague, War, Peace, Occupation

This concept has been chosen because:

  • Learning about conflicts over time shows children how important it is to play an active role as a global citizens
  • To understand global issues that affect themselves and others
  • To know and care about their own rights and the rights of others



We have ensured that our History Curriculum delivers the outcomes expected in the national curriculum as set out below:

How is History taught across Key Stages (IMPLEMENTATION)?

In Early Years, historical understanding is developed through stories from the past, explaining similarities and differences from the present day. We talk about familiar situations in the past, such as homes, schools, and transport. We offer opportunities for children to think about things that have happened in their own living memory and recognise some things that happened before they were born.

In Key Stages One and Two, children are taught History for three half terms across the year. In those half terms, their History learning is developed through a historical enquiry, drawing on the concepts above. Children gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history. The use of pictures, photos, video material and artefacts, visitors, workshops, as well as visits to museums and historical sites all serve to bring the 'there and then' of history closer to the here and now.


What are History lessons like at Irk Valley?

Highly skilled teachers have a good understanding of history pedagogy and teach engaging lessons.

  • Children learn by by being challenged in a series of well-designed historical enquiry tasks linked to meaningful contexts.
  • Teachers guide children to raise questions and design enquiries to find the answers to historical questions or hypothesis.
  • Teachers model the range of types of enquiry that children work with in history.

Children are taught to develop historical enquiry skills by:

  1. Investigation of the past – objects, artefacts, paintings, photographs, oral accounts, written sources, films buildings
  2. The creation of hypotheses and questions
  3. Research which follows up the questions and hypothesis
  4. Developing children’s understanding of chronology
  5. Presenting responses to historical enquiry questions

Teachers enable children to work as historians by providing opportunities for them to:

  • Construct their accounts of history
  • Question evidence from the past
  • Consider what the evidence tells us about the past
  • Make connections between periods in history
  • Research events and significant people of the past
  • Obtain historical data from libraries, archives and artefacts
  • Determine the authenticity of historical data