Key stage 3 History teaching

keystage 3 teachingWelcome to the Key Stage 3 section of the site. This offers a full and comprehensive source of good advice that should be seen as a form of ‘virtual adviser’. The issues I focus on mainly are those that preoccupy history teachers in 2020. High on the agenda is the need to sort out a clear rationale for our post-2014 KS3 curriculum . Plenty of advice, and examples of what other schools are doing, are given to set you thinking.

If we look beyond the curriculum you will find expert advice on the tricky issue of progression and the problematic one of assessment.In both cases you are given access to a clear and coherent alternative to the current obsession with now defunct National Curriculum Level Descriptions and their dubious sub-level cousins.

For those seeking an alternative to long over-prepared assessments that take ages to do (and to mark!), there is a coherent package of diagnostic assessments for you to consider. For each task there is a very thoughtful markscheme, examples of pupils’ work and even a commentary which enables you to compare with your own pupils’ work.

Many of you reading this will be subject leaders. You are well-catered for especially in the area of monitoring. You are given shrewd advice on classroom observation, feeding back to colleagues, carrying out pupil interviews and how to conduct an effective work scrutiny. When there is just so much to do when leading a history team, you will be grateful for the excellent advice on prioritisation and forward planning – advice that really works.

For those of you simply seeking inspiration for your own teaching, you will be excited to find that the teaching approaches section contains 100 great teaching ideas, all of which have been developed, tried and tested in successful history departments. On the key issues of enquiry, chronology, and the retention of interpretations, you will find expert advice and inspiring examples.

You will all certainly want to use the outstanding lessons section. There are high-quality lessons on all major topics-usually 6 o7 per topic.  All these lessons have been validated by an experienced (65 OFSTED history inspections) and highly successful Local Authority history inspector/adviser who has seen history teaching at its best. The good ideas here become great ones when you use them and pass them on!!

Teaching the British Empire KS3

In a recent article for the Telegraph, journalist and writer Jeremy Paxman made the following case for teaching the history of the British Empire: [It] explains so much about who we are now… Imperial history explains...
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Indian Mutiny/rebellion of 1857

This lesson is aimed at Y9/GCSE students. It addresses three principal aspects of history teaching:
  1. How to be thoughtful and discriminating when selecting evidence that is relevant to answering two different questions on the same...
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Teaching KS3 History: Medieval Britain

A wide range of lessons are showcased here for teaching Medieval Britain at KS3 because the medieval period is highly popular. All lessons have full resources to download. As many of you will have been teaching...
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Curriculum models at key stage 3

By now, most of you will have taught your new KS3 curriculum for over four years.  It might seem a strange time to now think about tweaking it, but I am suggesting that you have...
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How ‘Bloody’ was Mary Tudor?

At the heart of the lesson is a courtroom trial. Pupils have to acquit Mary Tudor of the charge of being 'Bloody'.  They look together at the reasons why she was thought to be 'bloody'...
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Learning at Key Stage 3

This section of the site has been designed to bring greater variety to learning and to work towards making pupils more independent learners.  OFSTED's  recent surveys of secondary history teaching, History in the Balance (July...
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Independence History at KS3 and GCSE

Independent Enquirers

Learners can develop as independent enquirers when they are provided with opportunities in history to:
  • explore for themselves events, issues or problems from different perspectives and consider the influence of circumstances, beliefs and feelings...
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View of learners in history at Key Stage 3

With the increasing emphasis now being placed on the 'pupil voice', it is important that we make use of feedback from pupils to inform our teaching to improve their learning.  Whether this relates to curriculum...
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Roles for Learners: Key Stage 3

In addition to thinking of imaginative and motivating activities for our lessons,  it is often helpful to think about the roles give to pupils.  Dorothy Heathcotes' excellent work on the Mantle of the Expert...

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The learning process at Key Stage 3

Far from being 'just theory',  understanding how children learn in history underpins all the decisions we make in our classrooms.  It informs planning, differentiation, assessment, views on progression and, above all,  what makes pupils...

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The Empire strikes back! SMART TASK KS3

Having previously investigated the criticism of empire, students now set about defending it.  After studying a contemporary Indian view of Empire, which they critique in terms of usefulness, students explore a range of possible achievements...
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Castle design. Would I lie to you? Fun smart task

This enjoyable session has serious intent: to question some careless assumptions about castle building that often creep into Y7 teaching about castles. The idea is that pupils start to seriously question just how quickly and dramatically...
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