We are historians


At Walmley Infant School we believe that our children should develop a love of learning and show care and respect for each other within the context of a happy, secure and challenging learning environment.

This belief is reflected in Walmley Infant School’s values and philosophy towards the teaching and learning of History. We aim is provide a History curriculum that is stimulating, challenging and captivates children’s interests and curiosity; ready to lay the foundations for further learning and to inspire children’s interest in the past.

Children will develop historical skills, build and consolidate historical knowledge and vocabulary and make links in their learning by understanding key historical concepts.

Walmley Infant School follows the EYFS and National Curriculum regarding how and why History is taught in our school:

“A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.”

(National Curriculum, 2014)


The aim of history teaching at Walmley Infant School is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding of the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children a sense of chronology, and through this they develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. Through this, they learn how to value their own and other cultures in modern multicultural Britain. Also, by considering how people lived in the past, they are able to make informed life choices today. We teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today. We also teach them to investigate these past events, and, by so doing, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving.

The objectives of teaching History in our school are:

  • To foster in children an interest in the past, and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that history has to offer.
  • To enable children to know about significant events in British history, and to develop a sense of chronology.
  • To have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world.
  • To help children understand society and their place within it, so they develop a sense of cultural heritage.
  • To develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation.

Early Years Foundation Stage

In Early Years, History is taught through an integrated topic-based approach, enabling children to make progress towards and meet the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) in “Understanding the World” in particular. Topics in Nursery include: “Let’s Explore!” and “Awesome Authors”. In Reception topics include: “Once Upon a Time” and “Sweet Dreams”.

In the context of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), the teaching of History is incorporated into the planned activities and experiences that are designed to promote children’s personal, social, and emotional development. For example, children have opportunities to explore their own family history through storytelling, art, and role-play activities. They can also learn about the history of their local community, country, and the wider world through books and videos. By incorporating History into their learning, young children can develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their community, and the world around them.

In Early Years, children start to deepen their understanding and strength their critical thinking skills by asking how and why questions. They are encouraged to use the past, present and future tense; to talk about their own lives and the lives of family members. They start to recognise similarities and differences between families and develop mutual respect for others.

Key Stage 1

The National Curriculum states that in Key Stage 1:

  • Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.
  • To ensure the progression described above, through teaching about the people, events and changes outlined below, teachers often introduce pupils to historical periods that they will study more fully at key stages 2 and 3.

Pupils should be taught about:

  • changes within living memory – where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life.
  • events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries.
  • the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements, some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods [for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and LS Lowry, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell.
  • significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.

During lessons

Staff at Walmley Infant School use a range of teaching and learning styles in History lessons. Our principal aim is to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of History. We believe in whole-class teaching methods and combine these with enquiry-based research activities. We believe children learn best when:

  • They have access to and can handle artefacts.
  • They go on visits to museums and places of interest.
  • They have access to secondary sources such as books and photographs.
  • Visitors come in to talk about their experiences and to share their knowledge.
  • They listen to and interact with stories about the past.
  • They undertake fieldwork by interviewing family and older friends about changes in their and other people’s lives.
  • They use drama and dance to act out historical events. They are shown resources from the internet.
  • They are able to use non-fiction books for their research.
  • They are provided with opportunities to work independently or collaboratively, to ask or answer historical questions.


Throughout school, there are children with extremes of skills and children who have had a wide variety of experiences before they come to school. Our school aims to provide the children with stimulating and challenging activities which cater for the wide range of abilities throughout our school:

Differentiation – learning may be differentiated by task, by outcome or by the amount and type of support children receive. This should always be planned for all children to succeed. Children may be participating in a common task, carefully chosen to be manageable for children with a variety of both special education needs and those who are More Able and Talented. Children may be undertaking a common task, with a specific group of children being given guidance by the teacher whilst other groups work independently. Children with learning and/or physical difficulties will be enabled to take an active part in historical learning and practical activities and to achieve their goals. Some children will require closer supervision and more adult support to allow them to progress whilst more able children will be extended through differentiated activities:

  • By being given enhancing and enriching activities, More Able children will be able to deepen their knowledge and understanding appropriate to their needs.
  • Use of questioning throughout a lesson to assess and review learning to challenge and support all learners. If necessary, lessons will be adapted to meet all learners’ needs e.g., if an activity is too easy/difficult adapt it for specific children.
  • Valuing children’s own self and peer assessments to assist planning and future differentiation
  • Judging learners’ understanding with accuracy and using this to inform future learning opportunities and planning: through the use of success criteria, self and peer assessment, questioning, prior knowledge assessments as well as subject-specific assessment procedures.
  • Identifying where a learner is and providing necessary stimulus to ensure that learners recognise and accept the next stage of learning.
  • Having high expectations and using personal and social targets (linked to the Behaviour Policy) to motivate all learners to achieve their full potential.


We plan History as part of our topic-based approach to ensure aims and objectives set out in the National Curriculum programme of study for History are achieved. Learning activities should be sequenced to ensure progression and continuity throughout the school.

Children will be enabled to demonstrate Historical learning in a variety of ways. Teachers will assess learning through a combination of formal and informal tasks, by making informal judgements during the lesson, discussions, question and answer techniques and observation.

On completion of the lesson, the teacher assesses the work by marking and commenting as necessary and uses the information to plan future learning. Written or verbal feedback is given to the child to help guide his or her progress. The teacher will then record and track their assessment using Tapestry; which is used to record all assessments.

Continuity and progression in History is ensured through year-group meetings when teachers work together to produce medium and short-term plans for teaching and learning. These will be uploaded and can be accessed on the school’s intranet


Resources form an integral part of curriculum delivery in History. As part of their historical learning, all children have opportunities to use ICT and a variety of data, such as books and historical artefacts which enhance their learning. Good use is also made of the Espresso website in the delivery of the History curriculum.

Many resources are stored in shared learning areas for each year group. They are kept in clearly labelled boxes. Visits are planned to enhance learning and give hands-on activities. People with an interest or expertise in a particular topic or area of history are invited into school to discuss/ share information with the children. These might be parents, grandparents, or other family members, neighbours or members of the local community.

Many school trips are planned to have cross-curricular links across many areas of learning. These enrichment opportunities include:

  • Nursery – The Children’s Play Village
  • Reception- Hatton Adventure Farm
  • Year 1 – Selly Manor Museum
  • Year 2 – Cadbury World

Before any visit, a risk assessment will be carried out and submitted in accordance with the School and Education Authority’s guidelines (see Policy for Educational Visits).


We have carefully considered and analysed the impact of this policy on equality and the possible implications for pupils with protected characteristics as part of our commitment to meet the Public Sector Equality Duty requirement to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations.

It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that all children are treated equally, regardless of their background, gender, race or ability and have an equal entitlement to historical activities and opportunities. We are an inclusive school and teach History to all children respecting individual needs. Through teaching History, we provide learning opportunities for all pupils. We strive to meet the needs of all pupils including those with special educational needs, disabilities, More Able and Talented and those learning English as an additional language (See Equality and Diversity Policy).  Learning to live and work together, and respect each other is encouraged throughout the school.


SMSC is intrinsically linked to the History curriculum. Through planning for History, we aim to develop a positive attitude towards individuality and respect for different cultures. Learning resources are carefully selected to support and develop an awareness of different cultures and faiths. Moral and social responsibility is promoted through the choice of topics.

Unicef Rights Respecting

In 2017 Walmley Infant School became a UN Rights Respecting School. We have now gained our Silver Award. The Convention has 54 articles that cover all aspects of a child’s life and set out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all children everywhere are entitled to. We aim to respect and promote the rights of children through the teaching of History.

The following articles from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are particularly relevant to the teaching of History:

  • Article 12: Every child has the right to be heard.
  • Article 13: Every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law.
  • Article 14: Every child has the right to think and believe what they choose and also to practice their religion as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights.
  • Article 17: Every child has the right to reliable information from a variety of sources, and governments should encourage the media to provide information that the children can understand. Governments must help protect children from materials that could harm them.
  • Article 28: Every child has the right to an education. Primary education must be free.
  • Article 29: Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.

Cross Curricular links


Children develop their oral communication skills by discussing historical questions with their peers or presenting their findings to the rest of the class.


Children have to use numbers when developing a sense of chronology through activities such as creating timelines.


Children develop self-confidence by having the opportunity to explain their views on a number of social questions e.g. how should society respond to poverty and homelessness? They learn how laws are made and changed, and to appreciate that racism is a harmful aspect of society. They learn how society is made up of people from different cultures and they start to develop tolerance and respect for others.


By the time children leave Walmley Infant School, we aim for them to become historians with:

  • A strong sense of identity and belonging. By understanding their family’s heritage and cultural background, children appreciate their unique identity and feel more connected to their family and community. At Walmley Infant School, we celebrate our differences.
  • Greater empathy and understanding: Learning about different historical events, including those that may have affected their own family, help children to develop empathy and compassion towards others. Children have the opportunity to learn about the struggles and triumphs of significant figures in History such as Rosa Parks and understand how they overcame obstacles to build a better future.
  • A greater understanding of the world around them: Children at Walmley Infant School start to understand their own history in the Early Years. As they develop their historical skills, children develop a better understanding of the world around them. They have opportunities to learn about different cultures, traditions, and customs, and how they have evolved over time. This helps them appreciate diversity and develop an open-minded attitude towards others.
  • Enhanced critical thinking skills: Learning about the past helps children develop critical thinking skills by analysing and interpreting information from different resources. Children will have learnt to question assumptions and develop a more nuanced understanding of historical events and the significance and impact of them in 21st-century Britain.