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Planning a rich and empowering primary history curriculum

A joint HA-SHP online CPD course in planning primary history

The Schools History Project and the Historical Association have come together to support primary teachers and curriculum leaders in the principles of strong primary history curriculum design. The series will focus on the SHP principles that have been fundamental in shaping key strengths in school history in England for five decades and how they can underpin a rigorous, exciting and accessible curriculum.

Session 1: Breadth, diversity and coherence in substantive knowledge
Tuesday 1 March 2022, 3.30pm–5.30pm

Christine Counsell, independent consultant 

How can we make a primary history curriculum broad, diverse and coherent? Why does this matter? What does this look like in practice? How can we build it over time? What’s the relationship between knowledge, literacy and inclusion? How does effective sequencing make all this work together? The session will build a rationale for a broad, diverse and coherent curriculum, illustrating it with models of planning on different scales. It will explain why Ofsted is interested in scope, coherence, rigour and sequencing. 

Session 2: Building in the disciplinary dimension
Thursday 28 April 2022, 3.30pm–5.30pm

Christine Counsell, independent consultant 

Why are enquiry questions so important in a primary history curriculum? How can we use them to introduce pupils to history as an open, dynamic and participatory subject? What is meant by the disciplinary dimension and how do we build it over time, across the primary years? Why does introducing pupils to diverse interpretations and rich source material matter, and what practical approaches are successful in their integration? This session will show how rich, secure substantive knowledge and lively, rigorous disciplinary thinking can serve each other in a well-planned curriculum.  

Session 3: Putting it into practice – reflections on one school’s journey towards better history
Tuesday 21 June 2022, 3.30pm–5.30pm

Megan Bedicant and Laura Sutton, Willingham Primary School, alongside Matt Stanford and Penelope Harnett, SHP

In this session, Megan Bedicant and Laura Sutton, teachers from Willingham Primary School in Cambridgeshire, invite you to evaluate the extent to which they have met the challenges posed in the previous sessions. The session will focus on two units. One unit uses historical fiction to enthuse Year 6s learning about the diversity of the Roman Empire. The second explores how getting children to think about one issue over a long time-span can help them remember what they have been taught and begin to build a coherent picture of the past. Alongside Matt Stanford and Penelope Harnett from the Schools History Project, the teachers will offer their experiences of the journey they have been on to try and improve their history curriculum. They will talk about why they wanted to change their practice, what challenges they faced, how they try to make their history curriculum work in the context of their school and what they are doing next.


How to book

The course will take place on Zoom in three sessions. Bookings will be taken online using Eventbrite and only one booking is required for all three parts.

Book now for the full course

Price: Historical Association members £115.61, non-members £141.17. Prices are inclusive of VAT and online booking fees from Eventbrite.

For any enquiries please contact