Progression & Assessment

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, many teachers have also looked to the work of historians for models of more powerful historical knowledge and argument. Since responsibility for mapping out progression at Key Stage 3 and developing systems to assess and report it effectively now rests with teachers and schools, this section includes a range of resources illustrating how teachers have developed and implemented such systems. It also includes a number of research articles (on which many of those teachers have also drawn) about common patterns of development in students’ historical thinking. Read more

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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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  • Securing contextual knowledge in year 10

    Article

    Using regular, low-stakes 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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  • Teaching History Curriculum Supplement 2014

    Article

    Although modifications to the content of the National Curriculum for history have not been as dramatic as once feared, the effective revocation of the previous attainment target is radical indeed. When these changes are considered alongside the fact that more than half of maintained secondary schools (all academies and free...

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  • Using timelines 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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  • What is APP?

    Article

    Assessing Pupils' Progress in History APP is a tool to view pupil progress periodically by making use of collections of day to day learning in order to ‘make periodic judgements on pupils' progress using a wide range of evidence taken from a variety of classroom contexts.'[i]  QCDA is currently working...

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  • What is bias?

    Article

    There is a nice story about how Calvin Coolidge went to hear a clergyman preach on sin. 'What did he say?' he was asked. 'He said he was against it', Coolidge replied. The history teacher or student, well used by know to the normal form of questions at GCSE, might...

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