Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Using the site

How do I reset my password?
Please use the forgotten password page and enter your registered username or email

How do I add additional users?
If you intend to purchase additional users and haven’t yet subscribed use the multiple users button. If you have subscribed and would like more users please contact us here

Finance and billing

I don’t want to pay online, can my school pay via invoice?
Yes you can.  Please complete the online Invoice my school form

Is Keystage history VAT registered?
Yes.  Our VAT registration number is 338 3735 81

Is Keystage history a registered UK company?
Yes. Company number 06682420

Will our annual subscription be automatically renewed when it expires?
Don’t worry we NEVER automatically renew. You have purchased a year’s subscription only. At the end of that period you will receive an email telling you that your subscription is about to expire and asking if you would like to renew.

About Keystage history website

How long has Keystage history been running?
Keystage history was founded by in 2008 by Neil Thompson,

How frequently is the site updated?

The site is constantly updated in line with major changes to  curriculum and inspection frameworks. Older material is sometimes retained at teachers’ request

Is there a complete set of planning and lessons on all National Curriculum history topics at KS1 and 2?

Virtually all topics have a high-quality planner and a complete range of fully resourced enquiry-led lessons which flow from them. Often a diagnostic assessment task is included as well. All planners have 6 motivating key questions, well-targeted learning objectives which clearly show progression and imaginative learning activities-no worksheets. All questions have a central PowerPoint presentation supported by pupil activity material. Very rarely we have not been able to secure copyright permission to use a specific image and therefore you might find  the odd mention of the resource on the planning that does not appear in the lessons.

Always remember that this is a professional development site. The planning and the lessons are there to exemplify best practice rather than to save time. Our emphasis throughout has always been on quality not quantity. Having said that, because we have been building the site for over 10 years, we can safely say that virtually all topics are well-resourced.

Would OFSTED endorse the approaches advocated on this site?

Having carried out over 60 OFSTED inspections over a number of years, site author Neil Thompson is well-versed in applying OFSTED criteria to all our curriculum planning, lessons, and leadership advice. Because the site is constantly updated and blogs are always current, you can be assured that all advice is relevant and up to date. Over the last 12 months there have been over 20 blogs relating to OFSTED’s new inspection criteria, particularly as they relate to deep dives in primary history. Schools’ history inspection reports are analysed on a weekly basis and where issues arise are then discussed on the blog.

I am working on progression and assessment in my school. Will I find help on these topics?

The answer is a resounding yes! This is the best site there is for really practical and research-based advice on these key parts of improving the history that is taught in our schools. On the grey menu bar at the top of the Home Page you will find a whole section devoted to these issues.

We just want the materials for one topic only. Do we have to pay the full subscription?

Currently the only subscription options are related to which keystage you want. We are developing a bundle system for all the planning, lessons assessment tasks and new updates all in one package at KS1 and 2. We will keep all subscribers updated when this becomes available.

Why can’t we buy individual lessons and planners?

At Keystage history our mission is to continually  develop a site where we exemplify best practice in all areas of history teaching and leading within a very clear enquiry-led philosophy. Whilst we understand that some class teachers may want just one lesson that is not what we are trying to provide. We have taken great care to sequence the learning so the context in which individual lessons are experienced is crucial to us..and to OFSTED! By selling individual lessons we would lose this link with our key principles. Other sites do allow you to purchase resources for individual lessons, so you are best to go there. You will know these generic primary sites which have sections on history generic primary   sites: Saveoursundays; Twinkl: PlanBee , Risingstars, Schoolrun etc. 

Why should we invest in this site rather than the other primary resource sites?

The simple answer is it all depends what you are looking for. The philosophy behind this site is more about raising the quality of teaching and learning rather than providing ‘oven-ready ‘ lessons. You won’t find worksheets on the site. You will find hundreds of really imaginative learning activities you know your pupils will love and will learn a lot from in terms of knowledge and skills. We devote most of our energies to showing the best approaches to teaching key historical ideas. This takes priority over creating slick multi-media presentations . Having said that, we pride ourselves of finding just the right images to promote understanding and pay high prices to ensure we secure copyright permission from the best museums and picture and document archives.

How do I know that the lessons will lead to great learning?

The vast majority of the lessons have been tried-and-tested and adjudged to be outstanding by an OFSTED inspector who has seen them. Where this is not the case, the lesson will have been designed by the inspector alongside a teacher who then delivered the lesson. Given that the site author has seen over 2,000 history sessions at KS1-5, you can assume that a very large number of outstanding lessons have been seen, a large proportion of which have been written up and fully-resourced for the site. Although we know we could use lots of teachers’ ideas, we want to maintain strict quality control so have stuck with these lessons all produced within the same philosophy. This means that the same enquiry-led approach pervades the whole site. If you are looking for worksheets, look elsewhere.

Another way of reassuring yourself that they lead to great learning, of course, is to read the many site reviews. These are kept numerous up-to-date to show that practising teachers can report on recent lessons and the appropriateness of advice in addressing today’s issues.

Are all aspects of the new GCSE and A level syllabi covered?

No, they are not. Because the site is based on exemplifying best practice rather than simply providing resources, as other sites do, then we will not be trying for completeness of coverage, focusing instead on making sure that all the best lessons are made available. So if you are looking for material on a specific topic use the search facility to see what is provided before subscription.

Can we send material to you e.g. planning, to get your opinion?

Although I would very much like to do this for all our 1,200 subscribers, you can appreciate that it would not be feasible. We are looking into offering a premium service where this facility would be available as a subscription option. Many schools choose to employ me as a consultant offering detailed written appraisal of their plans and advice on how to improve. The cost of this will vary on the nature and extent of the task.

 

Multiple users

We want all members of staff to have access. Do we need multiple logins?

Yes, you do. 

The first extra 5 users are given logins at just £10 each. 

Extra logins beyond that cost just £5 each. 

Example: If you bought a primary subscription at £60 and wanted 4 extra users, one per year team and one for the subject leader the cost would be £100 +VAT. If you wanted all 19 staff to have access the cost would be £175 plus VAT (i.e. £60 + 5 @£10+ 13@£5 )

 

Free trials and discounts

Do you offer a free trial?

We do not currently offer a free trial service due to the nature of the site. To help you assess the value of the site for your particular needs before subscribing we offer:

  1. Genuine site reviews from currently practising teachers
  2. Full site search so you can view every page on the site.  Page content is however restricted to non members and will not show full number member only resources.
  3. Free samples so you can see what to expect from paid members access.
  4. Knowing who wrote all the material and his depth of experience and national reputation.

Is there a discount for small schools?

All schools with less than 100 pupils on roll qualify for a 50% discount. Contact us directly to see if you qualify. 

Is there a discount for Special schools?

Yes, when you subscribe online you qualify for a 50% discount. Contact us directly to see if you qualify. 

Is there a discount for trainee teachers?

Yes, you qualify for a 50% discount . Contact us directly, with the name of your training institution and we will give you your discount code.

Is there a discount for Newly qualified teachers?

Yes, you qualify for a 40% discount . Contact us directly, with the name of your school and we will give you your discount code

Is there a discount for home educators?

Yes, you qualify for a  discount . Contact us directly,  and we will give you your discount code  

 

Site issues

I can’t access a resource. It says the link is broken

From time to time, on all sites, there may be the odd broken link. We take this seriously and monitor the situation carefully. Because we feature actual lessons which may come from a few years ago, the on-line resource used in the lesson then may not be available now because the author has taken it down without warning. In this case we try to find an alternative. Because this is not possible we try to restrict the number of links to ephemeral sites. Please report broken links here

 

Consultancy

Do you offer a consultancy service based on this website?

Yes, I do but the logistics of travel from my base in Devon often mean that this is uneconomic proposition for many schools. Instead, I have found that postal service works better with you sending me the issues you want help with and I send you a detailed reply with opportunity for you to ask follow-up questions over the following few weeks.  Please see Neil’s bio here

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