Back to basics: How might we organise historical knowledge?

Primary History article

By Tim Lomas, published 14th June 2021

Are knowledge organisers the way forward in primary history?

There has been much emphasis on pupils having a rich knowledge and this has led to many schools devising knowledge lists and knowledge organisers. This article argues that is a valuable element in a good history curriculum in primary schools but that it is important that this is properly thought through and poses questions that schools may want to consider.

Nobody can seriously doubt that in history teaching, ensuring that pupils have a good database of relevant information is of central importance. Moreover, the content has to be provided in some logical order so that the information is digested and assimilated. Whether through Ofsted or the work of researchers, there does seem an attempt to encourage schools to think more carefully about the knowledge dimension and how it is taught. That can only be a good thing if it avoids bad history teaching such as source work divorced of context or anachronistic re-enactments...

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