To clarify the issues surrounding the teaching of history in schools: the
National Curriculum can be found online, and this link will take you to the
units of study that pupils may study at key stage 3 (ages 11 - 14) in
It does stress: The scheme is not statutory; you can use as much or as
little as you wish.
Schemes of work must cover the 5 strands:
knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past;
organisation and communication;
from which you can see chronological understanding is an important element!
So of course narrative plays a part in history teaching; typically a unit of
work may start with a timeline of events to gain an overall view and show
how the unit fits in with previous units studied, and then particular events
and their interpretations are chosen by the teacher or department as a focus
The National Curriculum for Wales differs in that the emphasis is on Welsh
history in the first instance. And I don't know much about the curriculum in
Scotland and Northern Ireland although I assume it's a similar case there.