Leading History

Leading history at Key Stage 3

Getting ready for a history subject review: knowing what OFSTED inspectors are looking for and the criteria they are using.  It is essential that you keep up-to-date with current OFSTED thinking against which your department will be judged. There are 3 ways of doing this.

Make sure you have read and assimilated all the detail within the most recent report in this case History For All published in March 2011. You will find a copy of the report here.
You must know the current Framework for Inspection and the History subject-specific guidance available on the OFSTED website.  Look at the examples of best practice that feature of the OFSTED website. It is never easy for busy subject leaders to know when these appear and to find time to digest them. To make life easier I have summarized the top 10 messages from the last case study of Best practice in secondary history written in May 2012.

Also very popular is the advice on Monitoring, Forward Planning, Raising attainment and Using Data.

One recent upload was written by a Head of History who was deciding what his priorities ought to be in the year. It would be really interesting to compare his priorities with yours.

For new heads of history this site is a must. Those areas with which you might be less familiar, such as data analysis are all explained in accessible detail with telling examples.

Forward planning in history at Key Stage 3

There are probably four separate strands that you need to weave into your forward planning.  To start with there will be the need to plan for any externally imposed curriculum change. The introduction of the current National Curriculum for history and GCSE are good examples....
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Using data in history at Key Stage 3

NB This section of the site is under development as we wait for best practice post-levels assessment to emerge. There are a number of encouraging systems but most are home-grown and don't necessarily travel well to other schools where the culture might be very different....
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Self evaluation in history at Key Stage 3

In 2018, Ofsted does not require self-evaluation to be graded or provided in a specific format. Any assessment that is provided should be part of the school’s business processes and not generated solely for inspection purposes. Demands made of history departments in terms of self-evaluation has...
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Prioritising at Key Stage 3

Most of you will have already carried out some form of self-evaluation and will have a shrewd idea as to what you need to do. Getting the priorities right, however, is often more complex.  If your GCSE results were much lower than expected or there...
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Developing your staff at keystage 3

The philosophy this site holds regarding teachers' continuing professional development is summed up very neatly by the Assessment for Learning group, led by professors Black and Wiliam. Teachers will not take up attractive sounding ideas, albeit based on extensive research, if these are presented as general...
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Monitoring in history at Key Stage 3

This is a very significant section of the site as it embraces so much of a subject leader's role. As you'd expect the areas covered are:
  • Purposes of monitoring
  • Tracking progress against targets
  • Checking progress with curriculum coverage, adherence to schemes of work etc.
  • Work...
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Raising attainment in history at Key Stage 3

In many ways it is harder to raise attainment at KS3 than at KS4 and not just because of non-specialist teaching or lack of curriculum time. Often it is difficult to know exactly how well we are doing and if we are doing as well as...
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Policy and vision in history at Key Stage 3

Everything you do as subject leader sends off messages about your passion for the subject and desire to ensure that all pupils get the best education possible in history. This may be the quality of the curriculum on the one hand, and something as simple...
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