Approach to teaching Significant Societies at Key Stage 3

As part of the 2014 history National Curriculum schools are required to teach at least one significant issue or society. Several options are offered by the DfE but you are not bound by these of course. Indeed, I would argue that this is a real opportunity to go for something you really feel passionate about teaching.

I recently worked with a number of teachers in a southern Local Authority and was surprised how conservative their choices were. Many plumped for the USA in the 20th century either because :
a. it was on the DfE’s list
b. they had taught it before at GCSE so subject knowledge was not an issue, nor were resources
c. it would help students get better results at GCSE as they were planning to teach the same topics in more depth at KS4.

What the DFE says:

At least one study of a significant society or issue in world history and its interconnections with other world developments for example, Mughal India 1526-1857; China’s Qing dynasty 1644-1911; Changing Russian empires c.1800-1989; USA in the 20th Century.
Whatever we choose it should echo the DFE’s emphases as shown above. They are:

  • That the topic should cover at
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