September 2011
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What's wrong with KS3 history? Time-stupid!

Tristan Hunt is one of the few people to put his finger on the problem of Keystage 3 history. In a recent Observer article, he argued that ‘Key stage 3 of the national curriculum allows for a perfectly decent chronological history of Great Britain. The problem is that teachers aren’t allowed to teach it. In most schools, the average 13-year-old is lucky to get one hour a week of history, making it difficult for even the most gifted classroom performer to develop a strong narrative arc. And when it is taught, history is too often batched together with other subjects into a vapid and generalised “humanities” course which fails to do it justice. This state-sanctioned amnesia is becoming acute in some of our most deprived communities’. He then proceeds to look at the effects that it having on GCSE entry which has serious implications for the EBacc.

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