A Rationale Behind a History Scheme of Work

In: Historical Events

Submitted By jcurtis17
Words 9792
Pages 40

Creating an effective scheme of work, less than a term into a teaching career, was certainly daunting. Given the complexities of planning for a single lesson – taking into account a long and growing list of factors ‘from provision to pupils with SEN’ to the ‘literacy objective’ that considerably lengthen every written plan – the hurdles to overcome when planning for an 8-week scheme would surely but multiply. While the freedom at my fingertips was invigorating, there was the gnawing sense that failure to grasp the key issues involved would lead to the teacher’s greatest fear – wasted lessons; wasted lessons after which the class would struggle to maintain a respect for the teacher.

Furthermore, it would be the waste of an outstanding opportunity. As commentators to the publication Teaching History have repeatedly stressed, the new History National Curriculum for Key Stage 3 offers teachers a ‘glorious flexibility’ to throw out the straight-jacket of centralised requirements beholden to political overlords (Dawson 2008, 18). Instead, led by a relit passion for their discipline, teachers are able to respond to the very specific needs of their school and construct personalised routes towards a variety of objectives.

For some commentators, the National Curriculum Key Concepts and their accompanying levels represent the vestiges of an ancien regime of central control that prevent true pupil ownership developing (see Knight 2008). However, a determination to facilitate pupil progression in six concepts at the heart of our subject should be valued as a way to structure our planning, teaching and assessment. What is more, aspiring to teach such crucial concepts – in addition to the corresponding Key Processes – should complement rather than devalue what is, in my opinion, the history teacher’s unique advantage; insodoing, it would release our subject…...

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