Why this? Why now? Reviewing your history curriculum

North West History Forum keynote

By Richard Kennett, published 13th February 2020

Why are you teaching this? Why now?

Richard Kennett gave the keynote at the first HA North West History Forum at the end of January. He has turned his talk into this article so more of us can benefit from his thinking about curriculum.

This piece is unashamedly about curriculum. Put simply, curriculum is what stuff we choose to teach. It is not the HOW we teach it. That’s pedagogy. It is not the thorny issue of how we know if kids got it – that’s assessment. This article is going to pretty much focus exclusively on the WHAT with some brief side ventures into the how, but mostly the what of what we teach.

And it is curriculum that Ofsted are obsessed with. And I for one am really glad they are. For the first time in my teaching career I feel Ofsted are focusing on the right things. Thanks to the new framework, when an inspector comes to see you, either as a teacher or a subject leader it is curriculum that they are focused on. And they are going to ask you two questions: Why are you teaching this? Why are you teaching this now?

Now these are deceptively both complex and simple...

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