NEW resources are being published for history teachers in both primary and secondary schools. These scheme of work materials are designed to provided help for schools in reviewing and planning their history curriculum in the light of the revised programmes of study.
The History Scheme of Work for key stage 3 includes a Teacher's Guide and 22 units. All the units are based on an overarching enquiry question and are designed to enable pupils to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of history as they work through "mini enquiries" to answer the main question.
While most units focus on aspects of a particular study, such as "The Civil Wars", some have a different purpose. The introductory unit, for example, provides an opportunity to acknowledge and build on pupils' knowledge and understanding of history from KS2. One unit provides a "template" for a study of an individual, which teachers might want to use within a wider study at any point in the key stage. Another unit will enable teachers to draw together pupils' knowledge from across the key stage through exploring how key developments in science have affected people's lives. The units show how both overview and studies in depth can be developed.
The Teacher's Guide shows how the scheme of work can be sed to review current planning, as well as modelling alternative ways in which units can be combined to provide an overall plan for the key stage. Guidance is also provided on ways in which history supports, for example, pupils' literacy or understanding of citizenship.
Primary schools have already received an update to the History Scheme of Work for KS1 and 2. This includes four new units and an update to the Teacher's Guide. The Teacher's Guide shows how both the original and new units help to meet the revised programme of study. The new units are designed to enhance the range of the current units, for example, "Remembrance Day" in KS1, and "Local history" at KS2, as well as illustrating an aspect of the revised Order where a focus has been highlighted, such as "Tudor exploration".
Teachers are free to use as much or as little of the schemes as they wish, to adapt ideas to meet the needs of the pupils and the priorities of their department or school. In this way the schemes of work support the increased flexibility and reduced prescription which the revised national curriculum offers to schools.
Heather Richardson and Jerome Freeman are principal subject officers for history for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, London. Tel: 020 7509 5555