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National Curriculum reform: History

  • A very British-focused curriculum. The main purpose of study is centred on pupils knowing how British history has developed since the first settlers. It is supposed by doing this it will help pupils with the challenges of today.
  • Understanding the chronology and story of Britain is a key part of the curriculum.
  • A broad understanding and outline of World and European History is to be taught alongside British history, including the relationship between the two. Topics include the French and Russian Revolutions.
  • Some key historical words that pupils should learn and explore in Key Stage 3 include: Empire, Civilisation, Parliament and Peasantry.
  • Pupils will consolidate their knowledge by creating their own narratives and accounts of the main events. This is definitely Simon Schama territory!
  • The use of historical sources including their strengths and weaknesses need to be taught and analysis of how historians use them is to be explored.
  • Each Key Stage, especially 2-3, follows on from each other like a jigsaw. KS2 now covers the early Stone Age settlers right up to and including the Glorious Revolution. The KS3 course begins with Wolfe and the conquest of Canada up until the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • Secondary school teachers will find the large parts of their resources of no use as their period begins with the British Empire. Many KS3 topics are now to be taught by primary school teachers instead, eg, Medieval, Tudors and Stuarts, etc.
  • Questions need to be raised about how primary school teachers will cover all of the topics proposed in KS2. Will more time be allocated to history at this level?

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