Progression & Assessment

What does it mean to get better at history, and how should we explain this to parents? How do we use assessment to help our children get better at history? This section offers advice on progression in history. History education is not necessarily a linear process. Perhaps developing a greater independence in studying, in asking perspective questions, in reading their own conclusions based on the evidence are a sign of getting better. We have the freedom to develop our own assessment regime, and this section offers some ideas to help do this.

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  • It worked for me: investing in dialogue as a tool for assessment

    Article

    The school in which I work serves a community of locals and expats and follows the English National Curriculum. Situated in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, we are one of a growing number of international schools in the area. It is five form entry and only opened in 2009....

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  • Assessment and feedback in history

    Article

    Every year schools need to produce a statutory annual report for parents and carers, setting out ‘brief particulars of achievements in all subjects and activities forming part of the school curriculum’. This should include the strengths and developmental needs of each child. In a subject such as history, how do...

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  • Tracking pupil progress

    Article

    Assessment issues crop up with regularity in the pages of this journal. They have also been mentioned frequently in inspections and in the schools assessed for the Quality Mark. The problem with some of the recommendations is that they anticipate massive amounts of time and energy being devoted to it...

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  • Transition Key Stage 2 and 3

    Article

    It can sometimes seem that the primary and secondary phases of education live in isolation from each other. After all, most primary teachers are generalists (despite sometimes having specialist experience of a particular curriculum area), having to turn their hands to all subjects on the curriculum whatever they feel about...

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  • Whole-school planning for progression

    Article

    The challenge for subject leaders and school leadership teams continues to be managing the tension between what history has to offer your vision for learning and your children's entitlement to a high-quality history education. The new national curriculum has ensured that this year you have had a close look at...

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  • The importance of history vocabulary

    Article

    Teachers and schools should surely be forgiven for quickly turning to the pages containing the ‘subject content' - within the new history curriculum - and finding out ‘what' they should be teaching. This is especially true for Key Stage 2 where children must now learn British history from the Stone...

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  • From Home to the Front: World War I

    Article

    Events which encapsulate family, community, national and global history provide rich opportunities for engaging children. Some of these draw on positive memories associated with past events: the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, how people responded to the first flight to the moon, the Millennium celebrations. Yet it is perhaps gruelling...

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  • Assessment and Progression without levels

    Article

    The new Primary History National Curriculum is finally upon us. The first thing you might notice is that the level descriptions have gone. These were first introduced in 1995 and became the mainstay for assessing pupil progression and attainment in Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 across schools in England....

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  • Progression from EYFS to Key Stage 3

    Article

    The removal of National Curriculum levels has left many schools and teachers scratching their heads and wondering how to proceed. National Curriculum levels have been used and misused in the past to both define progress in the subject and as a basis for assessment. In this pamphlet, Jamie Byrom takes us...

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  • Britain from the Iron Age to Robin Hood

    Article

    ‘...if children are to ever fully appreciate history the development of historical time has to be central to our teaching methodologies' This lesson aims to provide an overview of this period, developing pupils' sense of chronology and their understanding of cause and consequence. The context for these ideas comes from...

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  • Victorians

    Article

    The Victorians is a much-loved unit of work in many schools and some teachers were disappointed to see it had been removed but there are still ways to continue to teach it under the new National Curriculum. In many localities there will be a huge variety of Victorian buildings -...

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  • Eweka's story: Benin and Big Picture History

    Article

    The prospect of teaching Benin as a non-European Study within the time frame 900-1300 AD is challenging! Traditional oral evidence  suggests that the critical event during this period in Benin's past was a transition from the Ogiso to the Eweka Dynasty, named after its first Oba, which resulted in it...

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  • Progression and coherence in history

    Article

    "The focus for much of the planning and the teaching is on pockets of knowledge at basic levels. Thus, the notion that pupils can progress and do better over time in history is not well established in all schools." (Ofsted, 2007) Successive Ofsted reports have noted that, in many primary...

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  • Monitoring, assessment, recording and reporting

    Article

    Introduction Much of the recent guidance related to assessment, monitoring and recording in primary history has focused more on what does NOT have to be done rather than on practical advice on what might be done. Given the general sentiment of the current coalition government it is unlikely that there...

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  • Learning to engage with documents through role play

    Article

    IntroductionFirst let me say that I did not research the materials used or plan this lesson. For this I must acknowledge, with thanks, that this is the work of my colleague, Mike Huggins, and the senior assistant archivist in the Cumbrian Record office, Margaret Owen. However, I subsequently taught this...

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  • Using classic fiction to support the study of childhood in Victorian times

    Article

    Please note: This article pre-dates the current National Curriculum and some content and references may be outdated. Classic fiction provides useful sources of information for investigating the lives, beliefs and values of people in the past. In this article Ann Cowling describes activities undertaken with student teachers which may also serve as models...

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  • Helping students make sense of historical time

    Article

    Once upon a time, educators believed that there was a property of children’s minds known as ‘understanding of time’. According to this belief, young children had little ability to understand when things happened, even within their own immediate experiences, much less in the distant past. As they got older, their...

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  • Progression in history and adapting work to the needs of different children

    Article

    This section deals with some of the general issues of progression and differentiation in the subject. The level descriptions provide the characteristics of progression in history and teachers should consider progress against these. However, progression is no simple issue and it can be looked at in different ways.

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