June 2013
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New GCSE history should not be harder than other subjects

At last the government is going to do something to address the issue tha some GCSE subjects ( i.e. those such as history with a negative residual) are more difficult than others. In the consultation for the new GCSEs which are to be taught from September 2015 Gove has asked for this issue to be [...]

Ten key curriculum milestones history teachers need to know 2013-2107

With the welter of reforms happening to the history curriculum almost on a weekly basis it is all becoming very confusing, not to say tiresome. So I thought I’d offer you a few tapes across the exam minefield in the hope that this timeline reassures you that you actually do know whats going on simultaneously [...]

Gove forced to re-draft NC history

As predicted, Gove has had to cave in under the weight of criticism from numerous quarters and has re-drafted the monster.

What has changed?
Gone are the patent absurdities that infants should understand concepts such as ‘nation’,’parliament’ and ‘democracy’. Gone too is the need to teach named people such as Christina Rosetti. Instead there are suggestions [...]

End of awful NC levels for KS3 history is official

Isn’t it lovely to hear those words;” no more KS3 levels in history!” Whatever we replace it with , and he DFE said yesterday “Schools will be able to introduce their own approaches to formative assessment, to support pupil attainment and progression” it has got to be better than what has been on offer for [...]

Further caricature of current KS3 school history teaching

Today’s independent carries yet another caricature of KS3 history in state schools, this time from Matthew Hunter. It’s a step up from Mr Men but you can see what’s happening here. As soon as Gove and others have their ideas criticised they resort to distorting and lampooning current practice-playing for laughs to hide their fear [...]

Few will mourn the passing of CA in GCSE history

So the final nail is hammered into the coffin of Controlled Assessment. That will free up much more time for valuable teaching and learning and perhaps some genuine student investigations. It was interesting to see the DFE’s proposals for the 2015 GCSE containing reference to a more open-ended student enquiry but they fall short of [...]

New content for History GCSE from 2015

We now have some more definitive detail of the content of the new history GCSEs. It will take a while to work out the full implications but here is the DFE’s summary, in their words for you to deliberate on.

GCSE specifications in history should require students to study:
 a substantial and coherent element of British [...]

Auto Draft

You can now read Gove’s ideas on the new GCSE on the DfE website. The critical passage is this one:

The content of the History GCSE is intended to support students in learning more about the history of Britain and the wider world. It should inspire students to deepen their historical understanding, think critically, weigh evidence, [...]

Coursework in history to go in new GCSE from 2015

So the GCSE changes Gove’s foisted on us for September are merely a rehearsal for the bigger changes he has in mind. As if the recent changes aren’t irritating enough, we now learn that coursework will no longer feature in GCSE history from 2015. So,enjoy it while it lasts. If I got moist-eyed about the [...]