Assessment tasks in Key Stage 4 history

Now that all the exam boards make past papers available on-line, and that textbooks written by Chief Examiners all now feature typical questions and answers, we are not short of past questions to use throughout the GCSE course. The skill lies in planning their inclusion across the 2 year course, including revision. Particular attention needs to be paid to when source-based questions will be introduced. It will be important that students are fully prepared for any type of question they will be faced with. This section is kept deliberately brief , because most departments do this planning very well. All that I offer are a few pointers, based on experience of inspecting 60 schools.

Some Key Pointers

Try to make sure that every key question from the specification is answered four times across the course – what I call the 4 strikes (see long term planning and downloadable). Each time a question is set on a topic it should be worded slightly differently. By making these adjustments, you help students to practise using their knowledge and understanding more flexibly. When it comes to the final examination they stand a greater chance of answering an unfamiliar question rather than the one

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