September 2021
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New KS2 history diagnostic assessment task on Mayan society

Those of you who have been using the highly popular KS2 history assessment diagnostic tasks will be pleased to hear that a new addition to the collection is just being released in drfat form and is being trialled in schools.Pupils are given a coloured A4 sheet with three carefully chosen images showing features of Mayan [...]

GCSE history warfare - handguns at battle of Barnet

On that famous foggy day in April 1471 Edward IV routed a thousand Lancastrians including the Earl of Warwick ‘the Kingmaker’. As with many Wars of the Roses sites, the precise place where the battle took place is hotly disputed. The answer may lie in the debris.According to archaeologist Bruce Watson ” This is the [...]

New GCSE history study of the historic environment component from 2016

New GCSE history study of the historic environment component
Assessing students’ understanding of the historic environment in the new GCSE history courses from 2016

As we await the verdict of OFQUAL on the draft submissions for the new 2016 GCSE history courses, one of the more interesting outcomes will be those relating to the different ways the [...]

New GCSE history sample assessment material

As we await OFQUAL’s validation of the draft specifications, I thought I’d drill into the sample assessment materials to see whether a new style of exam questions was emerging. My first sample took me to SHP OCR B and the topic called Norman conequest 1065-1087. To my horror I found one of the two questions [...]

Thoughts on the new draft OCR GCSE history specifications

Thoughts on the new GCSE history proposals from OCR for teaching from 2016
As you probably already know, there are two distinct offerings from OCR. It would be too crude a division to suggest that one caters for the SHP devotees whilst the other offers continuity for ‘Modern World’ schools. Indeed OFQUAL’s criteria would [...]

New GCSE history assessment weightings from 2016

So, we have 4 assessment objectives from 2016. What do colleagues feel about the balance? AO1 ‘ demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the key features and characteristics of the periods studied’ is weighted at 35% . so is ‘ explaining and analysing historical events and periods studied using second-order historical concepts. That;s 70 % [...]

Advice on assessment in KS3 history

Interesting edition of Teaching History focussing on assessment. Brown and Burnham return to a seminal article they wrote 10 years ago entitled Assessment Without Levels. Now called Assessment after levels these two practising teachers have not changed their minds. Their advice holds good a decade later. Interestingly they are putting more emphasis on knowledge tests, [...]

OFQUAL on A level history reforms

OFQUAL today referred to the new changes to A level. Glynis Stacy stressed the fact that As and A2 had been designed for co-teachability. So there! Go forth and co-teach. It also got a separate reference
The biggest subject content changes are in history, where we move from the study of one century to the study [...]

Philistine Morgan steers A level students way from history

Nicky Morgan’s first foray into curriculum issues that affect history is not a promising one. Urging A level students to study STEM subjects, instead of the Humanities, is just so short-sighted. If she looks around the Commons’ benches she will see that of the 600-odd MPs present ( though they never are) only 15 [...]

HA's survey findings for 2014

This is the HA’s summary of its own survey findings. I’ll make a few comments when I’ve read the entire report.
The Historical Association’s annual survey of history in schools for 2014 has found that:

There has been a 5% increase in the number of respondents reporting that Key Stage 3 history is crammed into only two [...]