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The Oval


Subject Information 

 ‘The more you know about the past, the better prepared you will be for the future.’

Theodore Roosevelt

At The Oval School, we believe that the study of our history allows pupils to understand that history is the narrative of the past and that they are the characters in the narrative of shaping the future.

Our lessons have been carefully planned so that pupils are able to regularly develop their chronological understanding, analyse and evaluate historical evidence, compare and contrast life in different periods and empathise with people from different eras. Children link their historical learning from each year group by using the timeline displayed in every classroom, which helps to embed their chronological understanding. Pupils at our school know that the examination of the past demands critical use of evidence and that they should raise questions about what sources of evidence tell them before making their own judgements and arriving at a conclusion.  Therefore, pupils are provided with many opportunities to investigate how and why different versions of the past differ – a vital skill for any historian.

We strongly believe that local history can be used to give pupils a sense of place and identity as it helps them to understand that where we live and grow up is an important part of who we are. Fortunately, The Oval School is situated in a historically rich area as the school is a short walk away from Old Yardley Village which has a history that dates back many centuries.

As survivals from history, artefacts offer us an unrivalled way of touching past lives. At the Oval, we are incredibly lucky to have our school log books dating back to when the school first opened on 7th November 1938.  These wonderful, original sources of evidence are used by pupils in lessons to make deductions about what school life was like in the past, how school life was affected by national events such as WWII and how our school is different today.


During their time at our school, pupils will gain knowledge and develop skills, not just through experiences within the classroom, but also through workshops, competitions and educational visits, enabling them to deepen their understanding of who and what has shaped our world today.

 Educational Visits

In Year 1, during the Great Fire of London topic, pupils visit Blakesley Hall where they are given the opportunity to interrogate an account from Samuel Pepys’ diary and consider the value of his eyewitness report. Our Year 2 pupils visit Tamworth Castle to learn more about the castle household, medieval knights and weapons. Solving the curse of King Tutankhamum is a task given to our Year 3 pupils when they meet Howard Carter during an interactive drama workshop. When studying Roman Britain, the pupils in Year 4 visit Lunt Roman Fort where they experience life as a Roman soldier by taking part in a Roman battle drill in the gyrus. In Year 5, the children travel back in time to meet a Viking warrior who shares information from home-life to battles and allows the pupils (under adult supervision) to handle his armour and weapons. While studying World War 2, the Year 6 pupils visit Cannock Chase Museum to experience what life was like on the Home Front to help them to understand Britain’s past and how the war would have affected them.

Our history curriculum provides pupils with a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. They leave our school as budding historians who know that their knowledge of the past can have an impact on the future.

To find out more about what your child will be learning in History, please visit the year group curriculum pages.

The Oval pupils feature in a short film on the life, work and legacy of James Watt.




The Oval pupils feature in a short films on the life, work and legacy of James Watt.




EYFS & KS1 Rationale
KS2 Rationale
Progression Map