All parts of this site have been written and quality assured by Neil Thompson, who has vast experience of history teaching from years in the classroom, leading a department, and being part of SLT. For even longer he was an OFSTED history inspector, the county history adviser to Hampshire primary and secondary schools and  consultant and author for the BBC, DFE, exam boards, publishers, and QCA. Neil continues to support teachers by running national courses and works with teachers in schools. He also runs school-based INSET and acts as ‘virtual adviser’ offering crucial support to new subject leaders.

Vikings Illustration
KS2 Example Planner – Vikings Medium Term Planner

Here is a typical example of a medium term plan which exist for all main KS2 topics, in line with…

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runaway family
Teaching KS3 History: Black Peoples of the Americas and slavery

The title of this section reflects the fact that the new curriculum should not any longer be boxed up  into…

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Teaching Life in Tudor Times for KS2

The world has gone mad! Gove has axed the Tudors from Key Stage 2 history. My advice. Carry on regardless….

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Eric the Evacuee
WW2 – KQ2c – Extending the BBC website on Eric the evacuee

The BBC children’s history section has been in touch with the school asking for their help in extending their website…

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Saxon Grave KS2
Anglo-Saxons – KQ2 – The mystery of the empty Saxon grave.

This highly engaging lesson places pupils in the role of detectives.  After a short briefing they have to work out…

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Going to the seaside – KQ2 – What did people do at the seaside 100 years ago?

From mime to movie. SMART TASK This fun activity is carried out by children working on tables of six.  Half…

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hardwick hall lesson
Life in Tudor Times – KQ3 part 2 – Linking history with numeracy; a Tudor enquiry

More glass than wall? Is this a fair description of Hardwick Hall? And how do we find out? This SMART…

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Tutankhamun's tomb
Ancient Egypt – KQ3 part 1 – The opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb

The opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb: a brilliant reconstruction relay The activity that forms the basis of this lesson is called…

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florence nightingale statue
Smart task Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole: Who said it? / Who am I?

This simple task encourages children to spot the differences between Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole. With a large A4 image…

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Free at Last? How far had the Civil Rights Movement come by 1963?

How far have Afro-Americans come in their struggle for equality over the last 160 years? With many schools operating a…

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american railroad
SMART TASK: A history puzzle – Opening up of the Western frontier by the railroads. A history mystery

This history puzzle focuses on a well-known painting, Across the Continent, but one which is actually more puzzling than might at…

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Medieval medicine
SMART TASK: Medieval medicine. What can we work out from the picture?

A smart task based on an original idea from Lorna Hunter, of Swanmore Technology College. This deceptively simple example of…

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amputation
SMART TASK Key Stage 4: GCSE SHP Medicine: 18th century surgery

This quick activity asks students to explore the detail in Rowlandson’s cartoon called ‘Amputation’.  They score one mark for each…

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back lbj
Smart Task: How popular was the Vietnam war? What can we learn from just two photographs?

This simple starter uses just two contrasting photographs, one showing the popularity of Johnson’s policy towards Vietnam, the other opposition…

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franklin d roosevelt
Hoover’s rubbish: Roosevelt moves in

This lesson on a fairly familiar theme approaches GCSE cartoon analysis in a different way.  Instead of showing the students…

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Millie
Thoroughly Modern Millie: How do we know this song is about Flappers? A quick musical starter

Students are given the lyrics of a song about flappers (copy provided) and have to find 10 references that prove…

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met police
GCSE SHP Crime and Punishment: The Metropolitan police force in 1830: SMART TASK

This quick starter uses the slow reveal technique which encourages students to explore parts of a cartoon in a particular…

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causes of ww1
How well do these cartoons cover the causes of World War One?

In pairs, Y9/GCSE students visit 9 different cartoons posted around the wall. They have to work out: a. Which cause…

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King of Cholera
Court of King Cholera: Where am I in the picture?

This activity works in two ways; it activates pupils’ prior knowledge in a fun way and raises questions about conditions…

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Missing slave
Puzzle corner 3: the strange case of the missing slave

Pupils will find that this example of a black slave, painted out of an eighteenth century painting of a tobacco…

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ww1 helmet
Puzzle corner: The strange case of the steel helmet

A short intriguing starter activity for pupils presents them with a puzzle to solve. In the First World War, why…

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guy fawkes
The Gunpowder Plot: Prove it using a gallery of images

This skilfully differentiated lesson places pupils in the role of detectives that have to find evidence to back up statements…

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Help Tom to fight the Great Fire. Smart Task

This ICT based activity draws heavily on the superb new website created as a joint enterprise by the National Archives,…

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4 strikes model
Raising attainment at Key Stage 4

This section of the site contains four different types of advice. There is general advice, outlining factors that usually explain…

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Italian foreign policy-outstanding lesson

At what point did Mussolini seem to side more with Germany than with Britain or France? Students arrive at the…

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How will your school commemorate the end of World War One in 2018?

This short advice sheet invites schools to consider how they will commemorate the centenary of armistice day and provides an…

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KS4 lesson
Squeezing the sources dry: how to make the most of source work in GCSE history

The downloadable six page document on answering source-based GCSE questions: matching learning strategies to question type, summarises the best advice…

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KS3 History
Expert Advice: Key Stage 3 and 4 – Using the 4 Bs

Using the 4 Bs to encourage independence You recognise the problem. No sooner have you set a piece of open-ended…

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KS3 History
Fit for purpose teaching Strategies at Key Stage 3

Personalising learning by establishing what students already know about a topic, before beginning teaching. Case study: Comparing students’ initial perceptions…

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Making ostracons from Ancient Greece
Imaginative learning activities at Key Stage 2

This section accompanies the ones on teaching and learning approaches. It offers you a few ideas you may not have…

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Mary Anning Expert Advice
Expert Advice: Key Stage 1 – Mary Anning

She sells sea shells: planning a topic on Mary Anning, Dinosaur hunter, using the Anholt’s Stone girl, Bone girl  “Would you…

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keystage 1 expert advice
Expert Advice: Key Stage 1 – Planning for a cross-curricular topic on Going to the Seaside

This advice is for KS1 teachers planning a cross-curricular topic and focuses on how to integrate history, geography, literacy and…

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'Geronimo and our policy'
Attitudes of the US government to the native Americans: milking an image for meaning

The simple PowerPoint presents students with an image which has six separate panels for them to investigate. Only by exploring…

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nazi election poster
SMART TASK Key Stage 4: Working out what the election posters tell us about Who Voted Nazi

This simple task engages students in thinking for themselves why people voted for Hitler in the 1930s. It uses the…

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suffragettes
SMART TASK: A Suffragette procession: comparing the evidence

New GCSE British history source enquiry, suitable for SHP or Modern World. Whether you are studying the OCR unit, AQA…

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stalin cartoon
SMART TASK Key Stage 4 Deciphering a Cold War cartoon, using the slow reveal technique.

The interactive PowerPoint presentation of the famous Stalin’ The Birdwatcher’ cartoon encourages students to add layers of meaning as more…

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Andreas Vesalius
Vesalius’ claim to fame. Using the B.A.D formula to prepare for a BBC interview

The BBC is making a documentary on Renaissance medicine in which they have devoted two minutes to the work of…

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Prehistoric Medicine: Getting your GCSE course off to a great start

This lesson was taught by Mike Herrity when Head of History at Wildern School, Hedge End, near Southampton. On an…

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Why was this World War One painting censored?

Students studying Britain during World War One, whether it be for AQA, OCR or Edexcel, need to know about censorship….

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liberal reforms
How have cartoonists portrayed the Liberals Old Age Pensions reforms?

This lesson takes a familiar cartoon but gives it an original twist. Instead of seeing the cartoon all at once,…

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Battalion 101. Why did they shoot? A history mystery

This lesson could be used as part of a Year 9 course or with the Germany module of Y10/11 SHP…

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What can we learn about the Empire from a Christmas pudding?

This lesson starts with a simple fun activity, working competitively in teams to locate the source of ingredients for an…

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runaway family
What made runaway slaves successful?

This short enquiry enables pupils to come up with their own ideas about runaway slaves working from first hand evidence…

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If life was so hard in Victorian cities, why did Wilf move his family there?

If life was so hard for families in the towns why did so many leave the countryside and move to…

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The mystery of the empty Saxon grave

This highly engaging lesson places pupils in the role of detectives. After a short briefing they have to work out…

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ww2 evacuation
Eric the evacuee

Extending the BBC website on Eric the evacuee The BBC children’s history section has been in touch with the school…

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Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale Lesson and sample planner

Fighting Fit. What did Florence do to improve the lives of the soldiers when she arrived in the Crimea? One…

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History assessment
Assessment for learning in Primary history

Assessment for Learning is much vaunted and many faceted. If we break down what it means in its constituent parts,…

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planning
Long term planning for history at Key Stage 1

Superficially, Key Stage 1 seems the least complex history curriculum to plan because the burden of content to be covered…

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Wright Brothers
Thinking skills in history at Key Stage 1

There is nothing particularly radical about using a thinking skills approach to history at Key Stage 1, but there are…

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