Raising attainment in history at Key Stage 2

The prospect of raising attainment across the whole key stage is quite daunting, especially when you consider how little non-contact time you have to devote to history.  You can waste the little precious time you have doing ‘busy’ work which actually makes little impact on standards.   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 study unit.

Instead of getting bogged down in trying to cover too much content, the subject leader has restricted coverage to just 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 develop a particular historical skill or concept.  These are kept in balance so that children develop a good historical understanding in all aspects.  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 objectivesand the recommended and resourced activities.  The subject leader champions particular

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