What can the Ancient Greeks tell us about leading history at KS2?

In these days of  accountability and showing that we are doing what is required, there is a temptation for subject leaders to overplan. In a well-meaning attempt to make life easier for colleagues there is the lurking danger that good planning may be the enemy of outstanding teaching. All subject leaders need to provide a framework for year groups to plan. This should include which key questions to tackle and even which learning objectives need to be focused on. But when it comes to specifying exact teaching and learning strategies, I would err on the side of not being to comprehensive. Far better to offer a few really good and fully resourced activities than trying to cover every base. Staff need space in which to grow their own ideas. This is where the Ancient Greeks had some wise things to say. Take old Diogenes for example. Despite being the greatest thinker in the Ancient Greee, he actually  lived his live in a barrel. When the king addressed him asked what he, the king could do for him, Diogenes merely replied ‘Get out of my light’ . The King trying to helpful had got in the way of the sun stifling the light he needed to grow his ideas.  So support colleagues, by all means with detailed planning, and they’ll love you for it, but please leave space for their light to shine through too. Next year’s planning will be all the better for this year’s ideas you encouraged to flourish.




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