Progression & Assessment

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  • Progression & Assessment: Section Guide

    Information

    Effective planning depends on a strong vision of what it is teachers want their students to know, understand and be able to do at the end of the lesson (term/year/key stage/exam course) that they didn’t know or understand or couldn’t do before. While exam specifications provide some of this vision,...

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  • Move Me On 168: exam classes

    Article

    Move Me On is designed to build critical, informed debate about the character of teacher training, teacher education and professional development. It is also designed to offer practical help to all involved in training new history teachers.  This issue’s problem: Robert Nivelle is nearing the end of his first (relatively long)...

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  • Cunning Plan... for teaching the industrial revolution

    Article

    ‘Disastrous and terrible.’ For Arnold Toynbee, the historian who gave us the phrase ‘industrial revolution’, these three words sum up the period of dramatic technological change that took place in Britain across the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We may not habitually use Toynbee’s description in the classroom, but it is...

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  • Responsive teaching: best practice formative assessment in history

    Article

    This workshop took place at the HA Annual Conference May 2017 in Manchester. Harry Fletcher-Wood, Institute for Teaching Formative assessment allows us to respond to students’ needs rapidly and appropriately.  This presentation looks beyond gimmicky approaches to Assessment for Learning and agonising demands for ‘tripleimpact marking’, outlining what research in...

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  • Low-stakes testing

    Article

    The emphasis on the power of secure substantive knowledge reflected in recent curriculum reforms has prompted considerable interest in strategies to help students retain and deploy such knowledge effectively. One strategy that has been strongly endorsed by some cognitive psychologists is regular testing; an idea that Nick Dennis set out...

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  • New, Novice & Nervous: Constructing narrative

    Article

    Narrative is shedding its status as the ‘underrated skill’, re-emerging as a requirement of the new GCSE in England. As Counsell has argued, constructing a narrative is ‘no easy option’, however, and asking students to ‘Write an account…’ lacks the comfortable familiarity of ‘Explain why…’ or ‘How far…’. Fortunately, many...

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  • Adventures in assessment

    Article

    In Teaching History 157, Assessment Edition, a number of different teachers shared the ways in which their departments were approaching the assessment and reporting of students’ progress in a ‘post-levels’ world. This article adds to those examples, first by illustrating how teachers from different schools in the Bristol area are...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? Progression

    Article

    Progression in evidential understanding You have a wealth of fascinating sources you would love to explore with students but despair at their seeming inability to connect ‘source work' with the construction of historical claims. Year 7 get stuck in the ‘it's biased so we can never know' trap again and...

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  • Building and assessing historical knowledge on three scales

    Article

    The knowledge that ‘flavours' a claim: towards building and assessing historical knowledge on three scales While marking some Year 11 essays, Kate Hammond found her interest caught by significant differences between one kind of strong analysis and another. Some scored high marks but were less convincing. The achievement in these...

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  • Building meaningful models of progression

    Article

    Setting us free? Building meaningful models of progression for a ‘post-levels' world Alex Ford was thrilled by the prospect of freedom offered to history departments in England by the abolition of level descriptions within the National Curriculum. After analysing the range of competing purposes that the level  descriptions were previously...

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  • Securing contextual knowledge in year 10

    Article

    Using regular, lowstakes tests to secure pupils' contextual knowledge in Year 10 Lee Donaghy was concerned that his GCSE students' weak contextual knowledge was letting them down. Inspired by a mixture of cognitive science and the arguments of other teachers expressed in various blogs, he decided to tackle the problem...

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  • Using time-lines in assessment

    Article

    Bridging a twenty-year gap in their practice, Elizabeth Carr and Christine Counsell bring out the similarities in their use of timelines in their planning, teaching and assessment. What they also have in common is the fact that their experimentation with timelines as a way of strengthening cumulative knowledge emerged in...

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  • Assessment after levels

    Article

    Ten years ago, two heads of department in contrasting schools presented a powerfully-argued case for resisting the use of level descriptions within their assessment regimes. Influenced both by research into the nature of children's historical thinking and by principles of assessment for learning, Sally Burnham and Geraint Brown argued that...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? Describing Progression

    Article

    New, Novice or Nervous? 152 This page is for those new to the published writings of history teachers. Every problem you wrestle with, other teachers have wrestled with too. Quick fixes don't exist. But if you discover others' writing, you'll soon find - and want to join - something better:...

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  • Knowledge and the Draft NC

    Article

    Silk purse from a sow's ear? Why knowledge matters and why the draft History NC will not improve it Katie Hall and Christine Counsell attempt to construct a Key Stage 3 scheme of work out of the draft National Curriculum for history that was released for consultation in England in...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? Source Work

    Article

    This page is for those new to the published writings of history teachers. Every problem you wrestle with, other teachers have wrestled with too. Quick fixes don't exist. But if you discover others' writing, you'll soon find - and want to join - something better: an international conversation in which...

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  • Pupil-led historical enquiry: what might this actually be?

    Article

    The current National Curriculum for history requires pupils to ‘identify and investigate specific historical questions, making and testing hypotheses for themselves'. While Kate Hammond relished the encouragement that this gave to her pupils to engage in the process of historical enquiry, she was keen to develop a much clearer sense...

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  • Assessment for Learning

    Article

    Owning their learning: using ‘Assessment for Learning' to help students assume responsibility for planning, (some) teaching and evaluationRobin Conway's interest in student led enquiry derived from a concern to encourage his students to take much more responsibility for their own learning. Here he explains how his department gradually learned to entrust...

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  • Defines GCSE teaching in terms of a diet of practice exam questions

    Article

    Move Me On 144 This issue's problem: Roger Wendover has come to define GCSE teaching in terms of a diet of practice exam questions Roger is a few weeks into his second placement and his mentor, John, has been taken aback by the rigid approach that he has adopted in...

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  • Are we creating a generation of 'historical tourists'?

    Article

    Visual assessment as a means of measuring pupils' progress in historical interpretation  A trip to the battlefields of the First World War throws into stark relief the challenges presented by work on interpretations related to historical sites. Andrew Wrenn first drew attention to the difficulties of promoting ‘objective enquiry' alongside...

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