Curriculum Intent - History

Curriculum Intent Statement

Department of History

The Vale Academy


We believe that students deserve a broad and ambitious History curriculum, rich in skills and knowledge, which immerses students in a range of cultures and engenders an enquiring and critical outlook on the world. Our History curriculum will give students the opportunity to:

  • study issues at a local, national and international level in Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern and Modern time periods
  • understand Britain’s influence on the wider world
  • study the history and influence of different peoples and places across time
  • assess the impact of events on individual and communities
  • be exposed to a high level of historical and conceptual vocabulary
  • learn to interpret a broad range of sources including visual sources and propaganda
  • be exposed to different peoples’ perspectives on issues and events
  • develop an understanding of how to apply and write about historical concepts such as causation; continuity and change; significance; consequence; diversity
  • challenge received wisdom about historical figures and issues
  • develop confidence in orating and debating historical issues and evaluate historical interpretations




Our pedagogy is underpinned by:

·         enquiry based studies set within a broader historical context

·         a focus on developing students’ analytical writing by focussing on description, explanation and evaluation

·         the regular use of live modelling and exemplar answers to demonstrate processes, standards and expectations

·         a range of strategies to deepen knowledge so that it is committed to long term memory

·         the importance of giving students regular opportunities to improve work

·         interrogating current historical debates

·         students understanding what they are doing well and how they need to improve

·         students will develop new skills through a variety of interesting contexts to foster enjoyment

·         students will develop a rich and deep subject knowledge

We will enrich our curriculum by:

·         establishing cross-curricular links

·         providing on and off-site subject or topic related experiences

·         offering opportunities for children to learn outdoors where appropriate

·         holding Trust-wide competitions to celebrate best work and extraordinary effort

·         encouraging students to contribute to the life of the school and the community, including remembrance activities

·         developing partnerships with external providers that extend children’s opportunities for learning

·         build on their understanding of the importance of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and tolerance and respect

·         improve their spiritual, social, moral and cultural understanding

The curriculum is sequenced to ensure:

·         students learn within a coherent chronological framework

·         key concepts and themes such as civilisation, society, government are interwoven

·         there is opportunity to measure pace, extent and trends in change and continuity over time

·         students are able to make relevant links between historical episodes such as the black death and the industrial revolution

·         there is progression between key stages 3 and 4, with students being exposed to themes and content that will allow all students to access the KS4 content

·         there is an increasing level of challenge and complexity to enquiries

·         there is appropriate division of time between Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern and Modern topics


History is a subject that forms the bedrock of our understanding of the culture in which we live as well as the wider world around us.  The content covered gives students the opportunity to explore issues at a local, national and international level from the ancient era through to the twentieth century.  This range of history offers the opportunity to explore different peoples’ perspectives on issues and events and think critically about the world in which they live.  Our curriculum is carefully sequenced to give students a broad understanding of the chronological development of British history, as well as being able to make links to other societies, cultures and world events. 

Understanding key concepts within History, such as significance and causation and consequence, unlock the door for students to be able to ask leading questions, analyse information and convey their views in a methodical and structured way.  These skills are honed and developed progressively through the curriculum to create historians confident in communicating their views, both in writing and orally.  Each topic is framed around a challenging historical question which is linked to a key historical concept. Lessons mirror this, with key questions forming the basis for each lesson enquiry. This will ensure students access and apply high level vocabulary with increasing rigour over their time in history classrooms.

The History curriculum offered immerses students in a range of cultures and engenders an enquiring and critical outlook on the world, with skills that can be applied in other subjects and in their future endeavours.