Planning and reviewing primary history

HA Primary Subject Leader Area

By Tim Lomas FHA, published 21st February 2020

While many aspects of the teaching of history will be covered in general school policies, e.g. assessment, much will also depend on the subject leader helping colleagues to teach history in a coherent and efficient way. The content of history is infinite and some guidance will be needed on how to make this manageable, accessible and interesting. Additionally, understanding history requires conceptual ability in the key concepts such as causation, change, interpretations and significance. Planning needs to take account of these and how these integrate with the content. There is also the importance of planning what varied resources can be used to help facilitate this process.

In this guide, Tim Lomas outlines the key questions you will need to consider when getting started with planning, including how you can plan to ensure a coherent and balanced structure, how to make planning work in practice, and potential pitfalls to be aware of. He also provides an exemplar subject leaders’ checklist for planning, and another school’s guidance on ensuring that pupils see history as a coherent experience. 

Please note that this guidance relates only to the first stages of planning – i.e. the starting points, rather than later planning requirements such as weekly or individual lesson plans.

Tim Lomas has spent most of his career in history education as a teacher, senior manager, inspector, author, trainer, curriculum developer and principal examiner. He has served on national committees including advising governments and other organisations. His last full-time post was as a principal education inspector. Dr Lomas is currently the Honorary Secretary of the HA as well as a member of its Executive, Primary, Secondary and Branches Committees. He has extensive experience of training and producing resources for primary and secondary schools. His historical interests range widely but include assessment, curriculum management and local history.

This resource is part of the HA primary subject leaders’ area, available exclusively to Corporate primary members.

This resource is FREE for Primary Corporate HA Members.

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