January 2022
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Stop using 'can-do' statements to assess KS3 history

It has always concerned me that context-free can-do statements have NO PLACE in HISTORY TEACHING.

How can we possibly consider explanations for why the Great Fire started as being on a par with explaining the fall of communism in Eastern Europe 25 years ago? Context is all. But perhaps we are guilty of special pleading for [...]

Short KS3 history diagnostic assessments

I will be shortly publishing a detailed paper on high-quality KS  assessment in history drawing on recent publications and some trialling I am currently doing. You won’t be surprised to learn that I am advocating a mixed economy of short reasoned answers in respoinse to historical stimulus at the one end through to extended pupil [...]

The draft Framework of the new National Curriculum . What it means for history, in a nutshell.

The Framework for the National Curriculum
As you may already have read, the report from the Expert Panel was published a week before Christmas. About as indigestible as the worst Christmas pudding, the report deals only with broad issues of structure. As always the devil is in the detail, but there are some interesting points raised. [...]

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 [...]

Assessment for Learning: has the Black Box been lost in translation?

In an interesting article in the Education Guardian yesterday, Phil Beadle raised concerns about the centrality of assessment for Learning in school life. Did it lead to souped up teaching or was it in danger of becoming some sort of opaque gruel? His fear is that Inside the Black Box has now reached its tenth [...]