10 top ways to improve learning in history and GCSE results

10 top ways of raising standards in GCSE history
1. Focus each lesson/series of lessons around an enquiry question(s) showing how this relates to GCSE style questions that have occurred or might appear on the paper
2. Motivate students of all abilities with varied and interesting activities, not too much textbook work.
3. Use proven fit for purpose activities e.g. living graphs to show change over time, spectrum to show diversity of viewpoint, not for novelty value but because they help develop understanding of the all-important.
4. Try to ensure that written work in files/books relates to a GCSE-style question not just ‘notes as information’
5. Spend more time on application of knowledge, less on acquisition.
6. Show pupils how YOU would write a GCSE answer if you were them by structuring your writing on the IWB as they watch.
7. Share success criteria with the pupils in a variety of ways and certainly NOT the unmoderated exam board markschemes which were designed for markers not students. You need to add contextual knowledge to this
8. Use Chief Examiners’ reports to pinpoint what students don’t do well in the exams….even if they do it for you in the lessons!
9. Give students confidence that you know the formula to GCSE success and make it simple
10. Last, but by no means least, have consistently high expectations of behaviour which hopefully should be easier if you do numbers 1-9!

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