keystage 1

Prioritising your work is one of the most important aspects of being a history subject leader in primary schools. In my extensive experience of working with over 500 primary schools, spanning 18 years, I am only too aware that many of you will not only be new to the past but will also often not spend much time in this role before moving on in your career. So, you might not have much time to make an impact. The solution therefore is to focus on what matters most. You need to distinguish between ‘busy’ work which has little long-term impact and laying really strong and secure foundations , even though the work is not finished. So, it’s more about doing the right things than doing things right.

Start with what influences the quality of pupils learning most. The planning may well be very detailed but does it raise standards? There may be a lot of resources, but are the used effectively? There may be a lot of work in the topic books, but is it really good history and is it pitched at the right level for the year group? The challenges of answering these questions lies ahead. It may make your brain ache just thinking about it. That’s what I call promising pain. It means you’re thinking about the right things-the things that really matter. Good luck!

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