The answer to key Stage 3 assessment in history

This title is obviously tongue-in-cheek. Schools and departments must find their own preferred approach. So what I offer below is not a panacea, but rather an attempt to put something PRACTICAL out there. I cannot be alone in thinking why have 1500 secondary schools all got to work out their own salvation when national professional bodies like QCA failed to come up with an acceptable solution after 20 years of failing miserably. There isn’t a history department in the land that has built its assessment strategy around QCA’s advice.

I am well aware that assessment is an issue that generates more heat than light but what follows might just be a candle lit in the current darkness.

My policy

We should assess pupils’ work formatively in a variety of ways and on different scales, once a term.

In practice, over a term this would look like:

  1. One source-based task requiring a response to stimulus using contextual knowledge
  2. One diagnostic task: familiar type of question but unseen stimulus
  3. Two longer written answers focused on different skills/concepts
  4. Independent enquiry showing ability to ask as well as answer questions and drawing largely
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