Key stage 2 history

keystage 2 students in a lessonWelcome to the Key Stage 2 section of Keystage history where you will find masses of advice on how to make history both fun and satisfyingly challenging. You will be helped to design and plan an exciting primary history curriculum linked to the NC 2014 Orders and taking into account the difficult areas of assessment and progression and mindful of the new focus on curriculum within OFSTED’s 2019 Framework. This is a tricky process at Key Stage 2. It is easy to lose continuity if you are not careful. You will be shown which skills and concepts are best developed in which contexts along with examples of key questions that have proved most effective in deepening learning. You also will be helped to make the most of history’s contribution to the whole curriculum by being shown cutting edge practice in the areas of cross-curricular history planning, literacy, thinking skills and creativity.

The site also offers a unique set of detailed lesson plans and resources for about 150 lessons which have been judged as outstanding by OFSTED.  These cover all the major topics linked to an outstanding medium-term planner which expertly hows how to combine the most significant content  with the development of conceptual understanding.

You will see below that these resources are constantly being added to , thereby ensuring that you have not only the latest and best advise but also the highest quality learning materials for your pupils.

From Caesar’s invasions to Claudius’ conquest. KQ1 part 1

This first part of the first enquiry links to earlier work on the Iron Age and takes pupils from Julius Caesar’s two short-lived invasions through to anticipating Claudius’ invasion and conquest just under 100 years later.

Step 1

It is important that you don’t tell pupils directly...
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Planner for teaching early Islamic civilization at KS2

For many schools this is new topic and one to be taught with particular sensitivity in the 21st century. Try wherever possible to think of the reasons it is on the curriculum i.e. for about half of what is deemed the Christian era, Muslims marched...
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How did people enjoy themselves in Elizabethan England? KS2 Enquiry KQ6

This KS2 enquiry comprises three outstanding activities: 6a. Advising the film director to imaginatively reconstruct the scene using a variety of evidence 6b. Prove it!  Using a gallery of images to test the evidence 6c. Marketplace - an imaginative journey to the theatre showing different experience depending on...
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Planning for teaching Life in Tudor times at KS2

As you know, the requirement to study Life in Tudor Britain was mysteriously and inexplicably removed from the Key Stage 2 curriculum in 2014. As one of the best-taught and popular of all the history topics that pupils study at junior school, the Tudors should...

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Planning for teaching Ancient Greece KS2

OFSTED-approved Outstanding new medium term planning for Ancient Greece, matched to 2019 history national curriculum and OFSTED requirements The main foci throughout this planner are: Ideas, Beliefs, Attitudes (especially the role of women); Way of life (contrasting Athens with Sparta and grasping that ideas flourished in...
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Starting the enquiry into Ancient Greece KQ1 part 1

How can we possibly know so much about the Ancient Greeks who lived over 2,500 years ago? Any study of ancient Greek society must begin with an appreciation of the physical features of Greece. Landform and climate do not explain the vast and varied achievements of...
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Ancient Greek vases: the answer lies on the pot: KQ2 Part 2

This KS2 history lesson, in which the decoration of a Greek pot is slowly revealed, features two cracking activities designed to set pupils thinking deeply, laterally and creatively.  It is based on the principle that pupils need to work out the meaning of an image...
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What was life like for women in Ancient Greece? KQ2 part 3

This simple lesson on life for women in Ancient Greece, based around a PowerPoint presentation, makes an excellent contribution to literacy and also makes pupils aware of the nature of evidence and the need to be careful when making generalisations.  The children draw conclusions from...
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The Battle of Marathon. A history mystery KQ3 part 2

This lesson on the Battle of Marathon makes a major contribution to pupils' thinking skills. They are presented with a paradox.  How could the David of Athens beat the Goliath of Persia?

Instead of being given a  textbook account or a video explanation, pupils...

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New KS2 assessment task: Stone Age to Iron Age

As you know we have been working hard to create a complete set of simple, easy-to-run and easy-to-mark assessment tasks that can be used formatively as well as summatively. Our aim is to ensure that each topic has at least 2 of these tasks, covering...
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Outstanding Scheme of Work for Stone Age to Iron Age

This scheme of work, judged outstanding by an OFSTED history inspector now links to all the fully-resourced outstanding lessons and activities making the teaching of this topic completely self-contained. Not only does it ensure that you cover all the significant content, and develop key historical...
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KS2 Outstanding Lesson on the Old Stone Age

Is it true to say that Stone Age man was just a simple hunter gatherer only interested in food and shelter?  Key Question 1

This KS2 outstanding history lesson on the Stone Age revolves around the reveal of an object found at Star Carr in Yorkshire...
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New written source for KQ3 on Baghdad

Our planning and lessons on Islam have gone down a storm. We are constantly trying to improve all our lessons as new resources and ideas are tried by our subscribers. A great new written source describing Baghdad in detail is a great help to pupils...
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Guidance Non Western Civilisations: Teaching Islam/Maya/Benin

This new topic is perhaps one of the most demanding in the Key Stage 2 curriculum. Admittedly Benin and Maya civilizations have appeared before in earlier manifestations of the history national curriculum, but they never found favour with the publishers and resources were always hard...
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Short KS2 task on the Ancient Greek legacy: language. KQ6b

This is a fun activity looking at the contribution the Ancient Greeks have made to our language. Great for literacy.  Pupils are given two different stories of 10 year-old children today, buried in which are 20-odd words that derive from Ancient Greece.  Working in pairs,...
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How Great is your Greek? KQ6c

Pupils have to select a team of 11 Great Greeks. They do this by preparing and then evaluating 14 different presentations about 14 Ancient Greeks  as explained on slide 2 of the PowerPoint presentation. As they prepare focus their thinking on what makes someone ‘great’. ...
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What the Dickens was life like in the Victorian cities?

This lesson makes extremely good use of a technique called creative tension. Pupils listen, with their eyes closed, to a spoken description which they then have to visualise in their heads. When they open their eyes they discuss what they saw in their mind's...

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