There is now a considerable amount of advice available to schools on how to link history with literacy, but OFSTED still finds that the opportunities are not being sufficiently exploited. There is a danger that history will just become a practice ground for literacy, so it is essential to clarify how the objectives for both are better served because they are coming together.
The key, to my mind, is making sure that the history and literacy work mutually complement, rather than repeat. When teaching the Great Fire there will inevitably be much explanatory writing which needs to be examined within the context of literacy and history. There will be preparatory speaking and listening tasks, vocabulary extension, work on connectives and words to do with the passing of time.
Many schools are now planning work which shows the interrelationship of the subject on a weekly planner, examples of which will be on the site soon.
My central messages are to:
1. Plan for a restricted number of high-quality, and varied writing tasks in each topic. This could be labelling, captioning, or speech bubbles, as well as explanations and descriptions.
2.Try to make the tasks as motivating as possible, by adding a