History and literacy at Key Stage 2

Although OFSTED still points out that opportunities for exploiting the link between history and literacy are still being overlooked, the situation is improving. This is partly due to the fact that colleagues find that pupils often write better when they are working in a subject such as history, but it is also recognised that there are greater benefits to be derived from planning the two subjects together.

The central approach being advocated on this site is the six-step approach which is outlined in detail on the PowerPoint presentation, included as a downloadable resource. This shows very clearly how to develop pupils’ writing in history using a variety of motivating steps, each of which deals with a separate aspect, whether it be information collecting and processing, refining ideas or producing a polished product.

I am a firm believer that you ought to be thinking about your literacy links as soon as you start planning the topic. If you are exploring a key question to develop pupils’ understanding of why events happen then you will be automatically thinking of explanatory writing. If the focus is interpretations or characteristics of certain civilizations, then your genre will be discursive. Why not look at your

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