The Tudor Monarchy in crisis: using a historian's account to stretch the most able students in Year 8

Teaching History article

By Marcus Croft, published 31st May 2005

Please note: this article pre-dates the 2014 National Curriculum and some content may be outdated.

Contributors to this journal have long recognised that success in public examinations is at least partly achieved by carefully teaching in Key Stage 3. A critical component of A-Level is that students who wish to access the highest grades need to be able to handle the work of ‘real’ historians – analysing it, and using it to modify their own arguments about the past. Marcus Croft suggests that this skill should be built up in Key Stage 3 too. He presents an enquiry which encourages students to use the work of Jennifer Loach on the succession crisis of 1553 to help to form their own opinions. This enquiry is appropriate to the most able, and gets right to the heart of effective teaching of gifted historians by encouraging them to practise history in a realistic way. He develops this even further by using Loach, who writes extremely well, as a model for the students’ own historical writing. His students are challenged and stretched, and make genuine progress; they are also enabled to become real historians rather than just students in a history classroom.

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