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We are not makers of history. We are made by history. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

History at Orchid Vale

Our history teaching will inspire pupils to be curious about the past and the people who lived in it.  They will gain a secure understanding of how the past influences the present and how people’s lived experiences were different from their own.  We want our children to be inquisitive and reflective about the diversity of societies in the past, understanding that different events and periods were experienced in different ways by different communities.  Our children will gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into a wider picture that develops as they visit new topics.  Their understanding of historical enquiry will be informed by their ability to evaluate and compare the sources of evidence that they have available to them.


We aim to use a variety of different experiences to immerse our pupils into historical topics, including the use of Now Press Play. This fully immerses pupils into their topic, through sound, story and movement.


What our pupils think

I like learning about history.  At the minute, we are learning about the Victorians and their lifestyle.

I enjoy History because I learn about interesting and key moments that happened in the past, such as the Victorian era. 

Lessons on history are very thorough and informative.  We learn many things about different eras: The Victorians (my personal favourite), The Tudors, The Vikings and The stone Age. 

I enjoy History because I like learning about things that happened in the past. 

History is interesting as we learnt about different events in time that have helped make the world how it is today.

I like learning about our current topic, ‘The Victorians’ because it highlights how different England was approximately a hundred and fifty years ago. 

What makes a great historian at Orchid Vale?


What can History lead to?

An interest in History can lead to a whole variety of future careers, including:

  • Academic researcher
  • Archivist
  • Heritage manager
  • Historic buildings inspector/conservation officer
  • Museum education officer
  • Museum/gallery curator
  • Museum/gallery exhibitions officer
  • Secondary school teacher

Supporting your child at home

History is a very exciting subject to learn but can be challenging due to the vast number of time periods, significant people and information to absorb.  At Orchid Vale Primary School we focus on historical skills which can be applied to any era in history.  These skills are chronology, historical language, historical concepts, enquiry and historical perspective. More information on each of these can be found on the progression document.

If your child would like to be an even better historian, here are some things you could try and do at home with them.


  1.  Family history

You could engage your children in a number of ways from simple ideas such as interviewing grandparents about what life was like when they were younger or tracing back a piece of jewellery or a family recipe by talking to different members of the family. If your child is already a confident historian, they could attempt to draw a family tree or even use online tools to do this.They could also investigate the family surname and where its origins are from.

  1. Stories

Share a range of historical stories with children – not just from the UK but on a global stage too.We can often be bogged down with dates and chronology but history really comes alive for children when they hear stories about real events or people and the impact it had on life e.g. how did things change because of an event or person, what is their own opinion about it and did the event have a positive or negative impact.

  1. Visits

Visiting museums, galleries and historical sites can be hugely engaging and really bring history alive for children and adults. Speaking to people with real expertise and who have a huge passion can be very beneficial to children’s interest and thinking. To go and visit a place of a historical event or even see a historical artefact in person is a very special and exciting moment.

  1. Films

Watching old films or programmes can tell children a huge amount of what life was like in the past.The internet has an abundance of video clips and footage e.g. Queen’s speeches, old children’s TV programmes can provide children with visuals, audio and historical scripts to keep them interested.To avoid historical misinformation documentaries are the best route.

Whatever you choose to do with your young people, always encourage them to ask questions and have opinions about what they have learnt or found out and even question where the information has come from.Try and encourage children to think about what life was like for the rich and the poor in the era they are interested in as history can look very different from different perspectives. This is all key to becoming a good historian and starting on a journey that could be endless.

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