Keeping children motivated in primary history while ensuring they can recall what they have been taught

Primary History article

By Rachelle Blagdon, published 14th June 2023

The importance of reinforcement

Rachelle Blagdon leads history at Thomas Walling School – one that has already earned a gold Quality Mark. Impressing the assessor particularly was the way the school paid dual attention both to the motivation aspect of the subject and to effective curriculum planning. Four particular approaches were used to enhance the profile and enjoyment of history. On the curricular front, the example provided here focuses on the linking of ancient civilisations.

While subject leaders of history recognise the importance of developing children’s love of history and understand the importance of raising the profile of the subject in their schools, it can be a challenge to develop a curriculum that is both progressive and inspiring. Substantive and disciplinary knowledge can seem infinite, and there is minimal guidance from the DfE on which pieces of powerful knowledge to include; never mind ensuring exactly how it should progress and how to make it accessible and engaging. This article describes some of the practical approaches used at Thomas Walling School to help raise the profile of history in our school, and how units were planned that challenged the pupils...

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