‘I need to know…’: creating the conditions that make students want knowledge

Teaching History journal article

By Chloe Bateman, published 20th December 2018

Chloe Bateman recognised the value to her Key Stage 3 pupils of developing rich subject knowledge, but wanted to find a way of encouraging them to value that knowledge for themselves. In this article she explains how she provided that inspiration by setting her Year 7 class the challenge of writing convincing and engaging historical fiction set in a very particular medieval context: the large village of Walsham-le-Willows in the autumn of 1340. The article sets out the processes she used to establish clear success criteria for the task and to support pupils effectively in both the research and writing processes. It demonstrates the value of the task in alerting students to the power of accurate knowledge and in prompting them to keep seeking for more.

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