Raising attainment in history at Key Stage 1

Experience of working with highly effective subject leaders over eighteen years has enabled me to distil SEVEN key factors that collectively contribute most to raising attainment.

Factor 1: The school focuses its attention on the central concerns of each history-led topic in terms of skills and concepts, not simply content.

Instead of getting bogged down in trying to cover too much content, the subject leader has restricted coverage to a maximum of 6 well-chosen and carefully phrased key questions. These address not only the most important and significant areas of content, they also provide a context for developing a particular historical skill or concept. These are kept in balance so that children develop a good historical understanding in all aspect. In effective schools it is rare to find teachers putting the coverage of content as the main priority.

Factor 2: Tight medium-term planning

The key questions are followed by well-pitched and precise learning objectives and recommended and resourced activities. The subject leader champions particular approaches e.g. to thinking skills, enquiry, detective work, but also leaves enough flexibility within the planning of activities to encourage colleagues to take risks and to experiment.  So strong is the medium term planning that detailed

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