In many schools primary history curriculum found wanting by OFSTED

Seven of the 33 primaries schools visited by the inspectorate under phase 3 of its curriculum study, published today, had a “complete absence” of curriculum design in humanities. History came in for considerable criticism:

“History was also less well organised and implemented in a number of schools, often to the detriment of a clear progression model through the curriculum. A lack of subject expertise, especially in leadership roles, contributed to these weaknesses.”

Interestingly , on this site we place particular importance on getting the curriculum right. On every scheme of work we start with a clear rational explaining how it fits in with the wider history curriculum. In terms of subject knowledge, the eay we have created six probing key questions for each topic shows how specialost subject knowledge can be used to create the right contexts for the development of pupils conceptual understanding in history.


So you can carry out your own audit for history , here are OFSTED’s curriculum indicators:

1a There is a clear and coherent rationale for the curriculum design
1b Rationale and aims of the curriculum design are shared across the school and fully understood by all
1c Curriculum leaders show understanding of important concepts related to curriculum design, such as knowledge progression and sequencing of concepts
1d Curriculum coverage allows all pupils to access the content and make progress through the curriculum
2a The curriculum is at least as ambitious as the standards set by the National Curriculum / external qualifications
2b Curriculum principles include the requirements of centrally prescribed aims
2c Reading is prioritised to allow pupils to access the full curriculum offer
2d Mathematical fluency and confidence in numeracy are regarded as preconditions of success across the national curriculum
3a Subject leaders at all levels have clear roles and responsibilities to carry out their role in curriculum design and delivery
3b Subject leaders have the knowledge, expertise and practical skill to design and implement a curriculum
3c Leaders at all levels, including governors, regularly review and quality assure the subject to ensure it is implemented sufficiently well
4a Leaders ensure ongoing professional development/training is available for staff to ensure curriculum requirements can be met
4b Leaders enable curriculum expertise to develop across the school
5a Curriculum resources selected, including textbooks, serve the school’s curricular intentions and the course of study and enable effective curriculum implementation
5b The way the curriculum is planned meets pupils’ learning needs
5c Curriculum delivery is equitable for all groups and appropriate
5d Leaders ensure interventions are appropriately delivered to enhance pupils’ capacity to access the full curriculum
6a The curriculum has sufficient depth and coverage of knowledge in the subjects
6b There is a model of curriculum progression for every subject
6c Curriculum mapping ensures sufficient coverage across the subject over time
7a Assessment is designed thoughtfully to shape future learning. Assessment is not excessive or onerous
7b Assessments are reliable. Teachers’ ensure systems to check reliability of assessments in subjects are fully understood by staff
7c There is no mismatch between the planned and the delivered curriculum
8 The curriculum is successfully implemented to ensure pupils’ progression in knowledge – pupils successfully ‘learn the curriculum’
9 The curriculum provides parity for all groups of pupils