Inclusion and history

>>RESOURCE ADDED to Gifted and Talented section OCTOBER 2011: How well do you serve your G & T students in history?

The recent OFSTED report (March 2011) is titled ‘History for All’, probably more as a rallying call than a statement of current practice. In reality much of the content, and the commercial resources for history at KS3 and KS4 favour those in the upper ability range. Things are improving, but my own analysis of GCSE results shows that the lower-attaining students usually perform less well in history than their other subjects. This might be a problem with the examination but it is also symptomatic of wider issues. Why is there no examination pitched specifically at low-attaining students? Why are there so few commercial materials at KS2-4 that specifically address the learning needs of those with special needs. These and other concerns are addressed in this section of the site including, critically, OFSTED’s recent finding that in only one in three lessons at Key Stage 3 are gifted and talented students adequately challenged in history. Quite a chilling thought!

1. S.E.N. This section offers detailed advice on three principal areas: how to make the curriculum more relevant and accessible; how to adjust the learning activities to meet the learners’ needs and how to resource history effectively. There is only a very limited amount that has been written on this at KS 1 and 2 and even at KS3 the literature is fairly sparse. This site currently focuses on giving you handy hints rather than an in-depth exploration.

2. Helping pupils for whom English is an additional language. This short section takes you beyond generic advice to look at a handful of issues that have particular bearing on work in history. You might find the golden rules helpful.

3. Motivating pupils across the ability range. I place this area here because it is just as relevant for pupils who are gifted and talented in history as it is for those whose attainment is low.

4. Providing for the gifted and talented in history. This is a significant and well-developed area of the site. Not only is there much helpful advice on identification and provision, there is also what we all need so desperately now, and that is high quality examples of effective practice in specific key stages. You will find lots of brilliant examples of really challenging work, whether it is KS1 pupils applying their creative imagination to design London to prevent another Great Fire, or KS3 pupils reading extracts from the French Revolutionary cahiers de doleances to look for patterns and to test hypotheses. Regardless of the key stage you are working in, you will find the self-evaluation material really revealing.

5. Gender issues. Although more of an issue in terms of disparity of achievement at KS1-3 than at KS4 there are some key issues to bear in mind when planning, teaching and responding to work from boys and girls. Recent research is tightly summarised and key messages distilled.


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