Key stage 4 history

keystage 4 history

With the advent of the new GCSE syllabi a few years ago, the number of options suddenly mushroomed, making it very difficult to provide lessons on every topic.

As we pride ourselves on producing high quality lessons based on outstanding practice seen in classrooms, rather than just producing resources, we have been faced with the dilemma as to what to focus on. In the short term, we have decided to prioritise the following

1. Migration  2. Elizabethan England 3.  The First Crusade  4. Viking expansion 5. Spanish conquest of Americas

You might like to start with the Blog which deals with choice of specification.You will find that there is a wealth of advice on all aspects of leading history. Because I have spent so much of my professional life improving schools’ GCSE history results I have accumulated considerable knowledge of what works, which I want to pass on. The 25 history departments I worked with recently showed an average improvement of half a GCSE grade for every student compared to the results two years previously. As you might expect, therefore, the sections on raising attainment and using data have had a massive influence on those departments that have already acted on the advice. Colleagues I have worked with have kindly contributed short case studies describing how they managed to bring about rapid and substantial improvement. You can’t find this sort of material elsewhere.

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.Likewise with monitoring. The incredibly useful advice on conducting student, interviews and work scrutiny will prove every bit as helpful as the very practical advice on classroom observation and feeding back to colleagues. If you are looking for guidance on prioritising and forward planning you will find not only advice but an element of interactivity.For many of you, the site will simply prove to be a source of inspiration. You may choose to visit the very popular 100 great teaching ideas, or the equally influential imaginative learning activities, all of which have been tried and tested by many teachers.

Teaching Germany 1919-45

Hodder produce some of the best GCSE books on Germany whether for the Modern World and for the SHP Depth Module. They have now added an innovative digital dimension with great web links and activities. Resource...
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Medieval Britain: The Crusades

Great lesson on the reasons for the First Crusade which uses a Zone of Relevance activity to show students how to answer the question set, not the one they want to answer.  This is followed...
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Was the life of a cowboy really so adventurous?

This lesson draws heavily on the ideas of Sarah Herrity, Advanced Skills Teacher, Wyvern Technology College, near Winchester. It moves students from their own initial perceptions of cowboys, through to the harsh realities of life....
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Who went west and why?

This lesson worked really well with lower attaining Y10 students who had already studied the Plains Indians and the contact between the early mountain men at the trading posts. This was their first lesson on movement...
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SMART TASK Revision: name your best squad

To help students remember who the key individuals were in the history of medicine, you might like to present them as members of two opposing football teams.... [private] Team A is clearly the best squad of 11, perhaps with...
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Hoover’s rubbish: Roosevelt moves in

This lesson on a fairly familiar theme approaches GCSE cartoon analysis in a different way.  Instead of showing the students the cartoon they are to interpret, they are simply given an outline, without the detail...
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Developing your staff at key stage 4

Teaching GCSE presents its own set of challenges, not least learning the code that you will need to crack to bring your students GCSE success.  Because the GCSE  history exam has become so formulaic, it...
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Monitoring performance in history at KS4

The best way of monitoring students' performance is to set frequent exam based activities, broadly under test conditions and then to mark them WITH the students using GCSE criteria. Students should be asked to IMPROVE...
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Using data in history at Key Stage 4

Twelve years or so ago the only meaningful data we had for GCSE was the percentage of students achieving each grade. The headline everyone was interested in was of course the A*-Cs. Then NFER started...
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Teaching USA 1900-1990 to Key Stage 4

The first batch of lessons focuses on four examination favourites but each adds a different subtle twist that lifts the lesson and makes students much more active and involved in their learning. The lesson on the...
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Teaching international relations 1945-1990

This section, dominated by the Cold War focuses mainly on teaching its origins, its main crises and the reason why it came to an end.  With the recent 'strengthening' of GCSE specifications many schools who...
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Curriculum rationale for history at KS4

Choice of specification and order of teaching

You will all been settled into your new GCSE course.If you're thinking of changing it might be worth asking these questions.

Questions for you to answer

1. How do you know...
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