Medieval Britain

Medieval Britain KS3 outstanding lessons and Smart Tasks

The following Key Stage 3 history lessons for teaching Medieval Britain as part of the 2014 National Curriculum have all been judged to be outstanding according to OFSTED criteria. You will find a wide variety of teaching and learning activities and full lesson plans as well as a rich array of teaching resources including PowerPoint® presentations. These are not just ‘bright ideas’ : what they have in common is a clear emphasis on helping pupils to understand some of the key concepts historians use, the heartlands of school history.
When you look down the indicative content of the 7 units it looks pretty intimidating especially teaching to for just one hour a week in a 2-year KS3. So what you need to do is to go for the high ground- the idea of an Age of Faith for example covered by looking at Doom paintings in Medieval churches and reinforced through the causes and consequences of the Black Death. I try to get pupils to see the period, now extended to 1509, as a series of struggles: between king and church (Becket) King and barons (Magna Carta) and King and people (Peasants’ Revolt). .Read More…

Why did Peasant unrest boil over into revolt in 1381?

Reasons for the Peasants' Revolt

This lesson uses the analogy of raising the political temperature, and then boiling over, to explain the Peasants' Revolt. Pupils construct their own living graphs to build up their own temperature charts. Why, if life was so harsh for medieval peasants...
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Teaching KS3 History: Medieval Britain

A wide range of lessons are showcased here because the medieval period is highly popular and has retained its statutory position in the KS3 2008 revisions. At the time of writing 2013 we are all hoping that the plans to give the Medieval period to...
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How significant was Magna Carta? SMART TASK KS3

Pupils have been commissioned to produce two brief podcasts for the British Library website aimed at a teenage audience. The first podcast is to last 100 seconds and must explain why Magna Carta is significant.  (You might want to look at the section on the...
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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 things really did change. It works like this. 5 teams...
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Why did they build so many churches in medieval times?

This simple task starts with pupils exploring and then prioritising a range of accessible ideas in order to arrive at their own explanation. Having done that, they then critique a short six-minute film. How well does it answer our key question? How could it be...
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Was the Black Death a disaster for everyone?

This lesson is about the consequences of the Black Death.  After an initial stimulus image, pupils are presented with a series of 10 predictions they have to make about the effects of the Black Death (on prices, wages, religious beliefs, role of women, relationship of...
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