Neil set up Keystage history in 2008 as a one-stop website for teachers looking to improve the learning experience in history for all their pupils. Neil’s extensive advisory work as county history inspector in Hampshire and extensive OFSTED experience in both primary and secondary schools, had shown him that there were two pressing, unfulfilled, needs for history teachers, at all levels, in all key stages.
The first was simply to have one place where you could immediately, and reliably, find innovative, high quality, well-pitched learning activities on all relevant history topics. There is no shortage of ‘stuff’ for history teachers to use-the web is full of it- but finding the highest quality is far more difficult. Where can you go for a fully-resourced set of lessons on a full range of topics all judged as outstanding by an experienced history OFSTED inspector? Neil wanted not only to write up all the lessons he had judged outstanding over 18 years of work in schools but also to do it in such a way that all the necessary resources would be provided along with a step-by-step guide which teachers are encouraged to adapt. There are too many people in education offering ideas but not examples of what outstanding learning looks like in the classroom. Simply too many sites full of resources but lacking imaginative ways of engaging pupils and ensuring that deep learning occurs.
The second need was for a source of advice on leading and teaching history that was at once both comprehensive and authoritative and also covered the whole 5-19 age group. Neil’s unrivalled experience gave him the breadth of perspective that he wanted to pass on to other teachers. He has inspected over 60 schools and has worked with over 300 primary schools and 70 secondary schools over a period of 18 years. By taking a full perspective of all key stages this site, uniquely, provides and excellent insight into what progression and standards look like in history.
So, Keystage History is about professional development, not quick fixes. You can see from the photographs of children at work, and from the outstanding lesson write-ups from a wide variety of teachers, that this site has been created by someone who spends much of his working life in history classrooms. Neil is simply passing to you the fruits of his professional experience and the very best History he has seen in over 2,300 ‘lessons.