History Resource Cupboard – lessons and resources for schools

History Resource Cupboard - lessons and resources for schools


Practical Histories magazine

I haven’t been blogging on HRC much recently. This is mainly because over the last 6 months I have been working with Aaron Wilkes to set up a new free online history magazine called www.practicalhistories.com. We have been overwhelmed by the positive response PracticalHistories has received. Its pleasing to be[…]

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Barriers to teaching Wider World Histories (2)

There is a strong case for English pupils studying more Wider world histories. I outlined in the previous blog post on this topic. The National Curriculum at Key Stage 3 gives schools ample scope for such a study. Nevertheless, diverse world history units, in general, are somewhat hard to find[…]

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15 Tips for Assessing at KS3

Assessment at Key Stage 3 has always been a challenge. And there always seems to have been a tension, a tug of war between doing what is right for the students, helping teachers assess the quality of their curriculum against doing what SLT require to please Ofsted and to report[…]

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Assessment at Key Stage 3: The problems

Ever since I started teaching, assessment at Key Stage 3 has proven to be a thorny issue. National Curriculum levels were introduced way back in 1995. And, they were contentious, to say the least. Their abolition in 2014 should have been celebrated. Yet, according to the brilliant annual HA survey,[…]

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Free online history tests and tasks during the Corona Crisis

Free use of HistoryHomework During the present crisis, we would like to offer you COMPLETELY FREE use of www.historyhomework.com for the next three months.YOU WILL NOT BE INVOICED OR TIED IN. We are a site created by teachers, for teachers and simply want to help. To sign up simply email[…]

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Five New Year’s resolutions for SLT

Fingers crossed!? This is what one successful head of history hopes SLT will do in the New Year: Cancel your PiXL subscription and stop spending money on exam board spec courses. Put the £s of savings into department budgets. Give time for teachers to digest the spec materials and other[…]

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The dangers of whole-school curriculum planning days

Yesterday we had an INSET day focusing on curriculum planning. We enjoyed the second collaborative day whereby the local primary schools attended the secondary school for joint CPD. The afternoons are fantastic! Fantastic CPD Secondary and primary classroom teachers attending sessions together, delivered by colleagues. My NQT and PGCE trainee[…]

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Are Curriculum ‘Statements of Intent’ worth it?

Good intentions

Ever since teachers got a whiff that Ofsted was no longer just interested in ‘outcomes’ but was now focusing on the ‘Quality of Education’ and the three ‘I’s, there seems to have been a debate about what curriculum intent actually is. In the summer, before the start of this new[…]

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A new history teachers conference for the South

I am really excited to announce the first Grassroots History Conference on Saturday 18/1/20 at the University of Sussex. Why the need for a conference? I have worked in the South of England with loads and loads of history teachers over the years. There is some brilliant practice here. However,[…]

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8 examples of big picture​ overviews

History teachers in England seem to agree that planning and teaching is best achieved through the Enquiry Question. And they are right to. A Rileyesque enquiry works (Riley 2000). Full stop! It is all very well to be looking for that killer enquiry question. But if you never show your[…]

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What is all the fuss about? Rosenshine’s principles for instruction

Clearly many schools across the country have been sharing Rosenshine’s principles with their teachers during CPD sessions recently. Twitter is full of education guru’s retweeting how Rosenshine is the next best thing in education since sliced bread (or feedback, or metacognition). So what are these revolutionary principles for teaching? Well[…]

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Don’t let the curriculum control your pedagogy


Some people say knowledge is power. Others say powerful knowledge is power. But that is another debate. But how is the history teacher being controlled? We know we are being controlled by Ofsted. SLTs react to what they think Ofsted are looking for.  This is then forced upon teachers through teaching[…]

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So what is ‘powerful knowledge’?

Recently, with the focus  centring on the curriculum again, the term ‘powerful knowledge’ seems to have entered educational parlance.  It appears in discussions on in the echo-chamber that is Edutwitter.  The  phrase ‘powerful knowledge’ seems to hold magical, untouchable qualities in general, and in particular when it comes to history teaching.  It seems[…]

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How to plan a broad and balanced curriculum 4: What about substantive knowledge?


Thanks to the changes proposed by Ofsted to their framework and handbook, the history teacher should be thinking hard about curriculum planning. To be honest, the history department should always be thinking about curriculum planning as curriculum intent, implementation and evaluation as this is their core business. One essential aspect[…]

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An overview of the changes to the Ofsted framework

Ofsted inspection framework

If you were to analyse the frequency of words used in the proposed Ofsted inspection handbook (first use for January 2020), what do you think the three most frequent words would be? ‘Teaching’? ‘Learning‘? Maybe ‘Pupils‘? You probably wouldn’t be surprised to find that ‘school’ is the most common which appears[…]

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What strategies work best to boost learning?

Practised testing

What strategies work best to boost learning? This is the million dollar question that teachers and students need to answer to so they can be successful at school/university/ in life. Here at HRC we believe that the knowledge required to do well in history – the substantive ‘stuff” and disciplinary[…]

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