It is often difficult knowing how to assess pupils’ historical thinking at KS1. Are we simply testing literacy and /or recall? But what about historical understanding? Faced with this problem, I have been working with two large London primary schools to develop a number of short diagnostic assessments which are differentiated for a range of abilities (see below)

What are unseen tasks and why would I use them?

From time to time, you will want to set an unseen task which looks at how well children have learned a particular skill in context. These tasks are fundamentally diagnostic rather than summative. They are to be attempted when the children are ready. They are not meant to be threatening to the children or arduous for the teacher. In fact, experience of using these for over eight years now in hundreds of primary schools shows that children actually like doing them and teachers find the time spent in marking them really worthwhile, especially when it comes to writing reports!! In addition to the tasks themselves there is also a file outlining the different types of tasks you might want to set which offer valid ways of assessing children’s understanding less formally.


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