Little has been written about progression in history at Key Stage 4, almost as if following the GCSE specification would take care of it. As many of you will know, whilst examination groups set out the content in helpful key questions and bullet points, they offer little advice regarding progression. You might argue that it is less necessary as Key Stage 4 is effectively only five terms long. And yet we all know that some students find it difficult making the adjustment to GCSE, especially as so many are now starting the course in Year 9. Much of this will be due to the amount of unfamiliar content to be covered in a short time, and to the fact that the examination and its predictable questions tend to drive most teachers’ preparation.
So, what am I advocating?
All you can helpfully do is to make sure that students genuinely do progress in their understanding of key historical concepts by pitching the learning objectives sufficiently high. You should be able to see the extra challenge being built into GCSE work, by comparing the objectives with those from Key Stage 3. You should see in their folders and exercise books the