Common assessment tasks in history at KS1

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. We have developed a number of short diagnostic assessments which are differentiated for a range of abilities.

The list includes:

  • Toys Old and New (drawing and labelling YR/1)
  • Different versions of Grace Darling’s rescue (Y1).
  • The causes of the Great Fire ( Y2) With mark scheme.
  • Seaside holidays in the past (Y1/2).With markscheme
  • Florence Nightingale (Y2) Focusing on consequences and significance.(With mark scheme)
  • Mary Seacole (Y2 Gifted and Talented) with markscheme
  • Motivation of Guy Fawkes (Y2).

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

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