8 ways to strengthen your medium term planning in history


Plan backwards. What does success look like and how can you prepare pupils to make sure it happens?


Work out which concepts pupils need to understand in order to think like historians and design activities which place this at the heart of the learning


Teach for understanding not for recitation. Using more open enquiry questions helps to focus the learning on actively transforming the knowledge (given or discovered) rather than simply passively receiving it.


Try to make your enquiry questions genuinely perplexing and puzzling so that deeper learning is needed to go beyond the obvious recitation of familiar ideas.


What are the habits of thought pupils need to develop to think historically. For example, how do you encourage tentative provisional thinking and respect for evidence?


Build on pupils’ prior historical understanding by relating it to past work and reinforce ways of thinking.


Plan your outcomes carefully so that there is a rich variety of products including what might be called academic writing.


Cut down on extensive written plans. Use short-hand and don’t transfer from one format to another e.g. copy detailed medium-term plans into only slightly more detailed short-term plans.

Stimulated by reading Creating Outstanding Classrooms by Oliver Knight and David Benson (David Fulton, 2014) drawing particularly heavily on pp. 122-3.

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