Pre-delivery checklist for Heads of History

The idea behind this checklist is to allow heads of history to prepare their departments as best as possible for delivery of content on a module-by-module basis. It contains the key reflections and thought processes that I believe are important to ensuring a curriculum is well-planned before it reaches the classroom.

The basics

Every single one of these should be available to staff BEFORE the teaching of a unit and it is the responsibility of the head of department to ensure that this is the case regardless of who is planning the module.

Is there:

  • A medium term plan in place that details the enquiry question for the unit, each lesson topic and the knowledge to be focused upon this half term?
  • An enquiry question that will be revisited throughout every lesson of the unit?
  • An enquiry question that is explicitly based on a key concept, piece of historiography or, preferably, both?
  • Access to an updated selection of resources, including retrieval practice, in the short term planning?
  • An understanding amongst staff, exactly where are the appropriate points for assessment, formative and summative? (this should be explicitly discussed with staff AND should be obvious in both medium term and short term planning)
  • Is this planning based on questions historians ask and NOT on GCSE style questions unless at KS4?
  • Has the end of unit assessment already been created and shared?
  • Has the mark scheme for the end of unit assessment, as well as any other assessments, been shared?
  • Crib sheet/marking proformas available for the relevant questions that will be assessed?
  • Opportunities for knowledge checks regularly?
  • Clearly mapped out home learning? (Could be as simple as guidance on what Seneca to set)
  • School specific requirements on slides/planning (what and why slides, checkpoints, etc)

Next level

Additional things that can be used to help upgrade delivery of teaching

Is there:

  • Suitable spacing between opportunities for marking and feedback so that the pieces of work assessed are the product of multiple lessons and not just one off delivery?
  • Training/discussion between members of the department prior to delivery of content on how this will be done?
  • Training/discussion between members of the department BEFORE and AFTER the main assessment to ensure as much uniformity in feedback, marking and grading?
  • A focus on the content of work when it comes to feedback rather than basic structural feedback?
  • An opportunity to regularly engage with historiography within the unit?
  • A clear focus on ONE key concept within the unit (sources and interpretations can also be used throughout)? Note – this doesn’t mean others won’t appear, it simply means one has been designated for particular focus.
  • Regular opportunities to review delivery of content so that delivery of new modules can be improved in the future?

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