Key stage 2 history

keystage 2 students in a lesson

Welcome 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.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 100 lessons which have been judged as outstanding by OFSTED. Additionally there are a number of smart tasks, all linked to an outstanding medium-term planner.

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.

Planning for teaching Ancient Greece KS2

Outstanding new medium term planning for Ancient Greece, matched to 2016 history national curriculum 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 a society where there...
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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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Final activities for KQ2 on Tudors now ready

The final element for the Tudor medium-planning is now ready for subscribers to request, prior to uploading. It deals with the real  reasons for Henry VIII 's divorce and the Break with Rome. It comprises 5...
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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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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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What did the Greeks do for us? Evaluating the video. KQ6d

This task puts pupils in the position as evaluators of a BBC film: Instead of taking everything the video says as gospel, pupils have to predict which aspects of Greek legacy they think the film should cover and then the depth to which they should...
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Long-term planning at Key Stage 2

The advent of the new curriculum for history in September 2014  marked the most significant change in your school’s history planning for over a dozen years. Not only are there now more areas to study and new topics to master but there is also the...
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Climbing boys enquiry SMART TASK

This enquiry falls into five parts:

A selection of four related enquiry tasks which encourage pupils to explore and then evaluate evidence about the life of a climbing boy. The evaluative task is particularly suitable for the gifted and talented working at level 5...

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Views of learners in history at Key Stage 2

There has been very little published research on the views of KS2 pupils on their history work, other than lots of ranking activities which place history at, or near, the top of the list of  most popular subjects.  That is both a blessing and...

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The learning process in history at KS2

Given that this site specialises in giving practical support to busy teachers and subject leaders, you may be surprised to find a section on the theory of learning.  Well, don't worry it is very short! With so much theory and so many research findings...

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Elizabeth I portraits – things aren’t what they seem

This powerful lesson on Tudor portraits as propaganda gives pupils the chance to appreciate that things aren’t always what they seem. Elizabeth wanted to be shown in a particular light as she grew older. Can the children explain why? There’s more to it than vanity...
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Get ready – the queen is coming!

This enquiry focuses on helping children to learn about the power and authority of Queen Elizabeth and to appreciate the contrasting lifestyles of rich and poor in late Tudor England. The vehicle for doing this is to cast pupils in role as the household...

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Through the Keyhole

This lesson features the lives of 4 different Tudor people as evidenced from a key document that they each have in common, namely an inventory.  By studying the nature, value and amount of possessions each person had, pupils can start to draw conclusions about...

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