Presentation on theme: "History in schools: best practice"— Presentation transcript:
1 History in schools: best practice SSAT History and Geography Conference 2013Michael Maddison HMINational Lead for History, EnglandLondon; 17 May 2013
2 The state of history in schools … … press headlines since 7 Feb 2013 1066 and all that – it is a good thing to teach the narrative of British history in schoolsHistorians attack Michael Gove over ‘narrow’ curriculumThis is a ladybird curriculum. Is anyone ready to teach it?The curriculum we are introducing captures British history in all its multi-layered, omni-racial gloryGove is facing his WaterlooMichael Gove’s history curriculum is a pub quiz not an education. The rote sets in.History curriculum: Gove’s next u-turn in the making?Imagine Hitler as one of the Mr MenGove’s claims of teenagers’ ignorance harpooned by retired teacher
3 The state of history in schools … … press headlines since 7 Feb 2013 1066 and all that – it is a good thing to teach the narrative of British history in schools (Times, 02/13)Historians attack Michael Gove over ‘narrow’ curriculum (Obs, 02/13)This is a ladybird curriculum. Is anyone ready to teach it? (Obs, 02/13)The curriculum we are introducing captures British history in all its multi-layered, omni-racial glory (Ind, 02/13)Gove is facing his Waterloo (Sunday Times, 03/13) Michael Gove’s history curriculum is a pub quiz not an education. The rote sets in. (New Statesman, 03/13) History curriculum: Gove’s next u-turn in the making? (Online blog)Imagine Hitler as one of the Mr Men (Daily Mail, 05/13)Gove’s claims of teenagers’ ignorance harpooned by retired teacher (Guard 05/13)
4 Outline Best Practice in Teaching and Learning in History summarise the strengths and weaknesses of teaching and learning in history in secondary schoolsanalyse the characteristics of highly effective teaching and learningillustrate best practice with examples from some of the good practice case studies in history and other subject inspection workprovide guidance on how to bring about highly effective teaching irrespective of the content.
5 Ofsted’s evidence: ‘History for all’ and progress since 2007 Overview: a mixed picture – a successful subject in school but under pressure and some significant aspects in need of improvement
6 Primary headlines Primary strengths: pupils have good knowledge teaching is generally good or betterPrimary weaknesses:pupils’ knowledge is episodicpupils’ chronological understanding is variable and their ability to make links across the knowledge they have gained is weak
7 Primary headlinesTeachers find it difficult to establish a clear mental map of the past becausethe National Curriculum specifications treat topics in a disconnected waythey lack expertise in the subject becauseITE preparation is limitedthere is insufficient subject-specific expertise or professional developmentResult: primary school teachers are hazy about standards, assessment and progression in developing pupils’ historical knowledge, thinking and understanding
8 Secondary headlines – successes History is successful in most of the secondary schools visited because it is well taught by very well-qualified and highly competent teachers and well led.The National Curriculum at Key Stage 3 (11-14) has led to much high-quality teaching and learning in history.Attainment in the secondary schools visited is high and has continued to rise, particularly at GCSE and A levelMyth: too little British history is taught in secondary schools but too much of the British history is English historyMyth: that students only study Hitler at AS and A level but most students who take history beyond KS3 study modern world topics at GCSE and A level
9 GCSE EntriesFigures from 2005 onwards are for end of KS4. Figures prior to this are for pupils aged 15
10 GCSE History EntriesFigures from 2005 onwards are for end of KS4. Figures prior to this are for pupils aged 15*2011 rev includes accredited iGCSE history courses
11 Secondary concerns – Key Stage 3 increasing non-specialist teaching – 28% no relevant degreereductions in teaching time for history – average: 60-90mins a weekwhole-school curriculum changes in KS3 – e.g. two year KS3; cross curricular teaching; competencies rather than subjectsinsufficient emphasis upon developing students’ analytical and discursive writingpoor planning for progression in the developments of students’ knowledge, understanding and subject-specific thinkingthe failure of some subject leaders to provide a rationale for the curriculum they had put in placeResulthistory has become marginalised with some students giving up history before the age of 14standards are too variable and progress is not fast enough
12 What are the characteristics of highly effective teaching and learning in history?
13 The constituents of highly effective teaching and learning Ofsted, 2010, revised October 2012
14 Summary: the constituents of highly effective teaching Subject expertiseLearningHistorical thinking and understandingAssessment
15 Highly effective subject expertise Teachers’ practice is informed by excellent knowledge and application of continuing developments in teaching and learning in history.History is very skilfully presented as a dynamic subject to be explored and investigated rather than as a subject to be received; as a result, pupils approach historical enquiries as keen and skilled investigators.
16 Highly effective learning Learning is rooted in enquiry and teachers routinely promote rigorous historical thinking.Teachers communicate their passion for history and consistently challenge and inspire pupils to produce the best work they can.Lessons are exciting and often innovative with historical rigour at their core.
17 Highly effective historical thinking and understanding The best learning in history took place when teaching developed pupils’ historical knowledge and historical thinking through well-focused enquiriesHistorical thinking = ability to investigate, consider, reflect and review the events of the past.Teaching makes pupils alive to changing views of the past and helps them to understandhow and why interpretations and representations change over timewhy history matters andwhy the particular topics they are taught are worth knowing about.
18 Highly effective assessment Teachers continuously refine their practice to ensure that teaching promotes excellent progress in history for all groups of pupils.Teaching ensures that pupils are able to make use of their prior learning in moving their historical understanding forward.
20 Case Studies: historyMeaningful history for all – inclusion central to teaching and learning (Lampton School Academy, London)Putting the local community at the heart of the KS3 history curriculum (Copleston High School, Suffolk)Ensuring rigorous historical thinking (Cottenham Village College, Cambridgeshire)Making the most of local history (Cape Cornwall School, Cornwall)Outstanding teaching and learning in history in 100 minutes (Farlingaye High School, Suffolk)Outstanding history in a two year KS3 (Harris Academy Crystal Palace, London)Making history motivating, memorable and meaningful by inspiring teachers through an effective area partnership (Hampshire Secondary History Network)Developing outstanding historical thinking in primary schools (Fox Primary School, London)
25 What makes a highly effective history curriculum in a school?
26 The constituents of a highly effective curriculum Ofsted, 2010, revised October 2012
27 Summary: The constituents of a highly effective curriculum Acquisition of knowledge and development of chronological understandingUnderstanding of key historical conceptsDevelopment of historical thinking through enquiriesClarity of rationale and thinkingAssessment which reveals whether aims are being achievedAn increasing level of expectation and challenge to ensure progression in historical knowledge, thinking and understandingDistinctive and reflects pupils’ needs, interests and aspirationsWide range of enrichment activities
28 The constituents of a highly effective curriculum Acquisition of knowledgePupils have excellent opportunities to develop their historical knowledge through learning about, and understanding, important aspects of local, national and world events and the histories of cultures other than their own.Opportunities to study different themes and issues across time are combined with well-planned in-depth studies to ensure that pupils develop a sophisticated and wide-ranging understanding of history and why studying it matters.
29 The constituents of a highly effective curriculum Understanding of historical conceptsThe curriculum ensures that pupilsunderstand key historical concepts andcan confidently articulate the place history has in their own lives, in society and in the modern world.
30 The constituents of a highly effective curriculum Development of historical thinking through enquiriesBest learning in history takes place when teaching develops pupils’ historical knowledge and historical thinkingHistorical thinking = ability to investigate, consider, reflect and review the events of the past.Most effective schools use a well-focused enquiry based approach to develop pupils’ historical knowledge and thinking
31 How do we know it is highly effective? Clarity of rationale and thinkingWhy are we teaching, what we are teaching, how we are teaching, when we are teaching it?What do we want pupils to know, do and understand at the end that they didn’t know, couldn’t do and didn't understand at the beginning?
32 How do we know it is highly effective? Assessment reveals aims being achieved and an increasing level of expectation and challengeAre the aims being achieved? How do you know?What assessment strategies are used?Does the learning become more complex as the pupils get older?Does the scheme in the school develop progression in pupils’ learning?
33 Ofsted’s National Adviser web pages Keep up-to-date with Ofsted's work in history by visiting the dedicated history web pages on the Ofsted website at
34 History for all … accessible meaningful achievable