Active Learning on

Key Stage 3

Remember …

… books do go out of print – so always check the availability of books on the Hodder website or on Amazon before you plan your SoW.

Making Sense of History

Author Team: John D Clare, Alec Fisher, Richard Kennett, Neil Bates, Richard McFahn (with contributions on Book 1 by Ian Dawson).

All of the core writing team have been graded as outstanding history teachers who strive for excellence in their classrooms. All have extensive experience of teaching Key Stage Three and have designed the book to reflect principles they passionately believe that:

  • history should be enquiry-led
  • history should be accessible to all students, but that at the same time we must be prepared to address difficult concepts or knowledge
  • historical skills should be embedded with knowledge

National Curriculum coverage

This 4 book series has been written to support the 2014 National Curriculum guidelines.

Each section of the book is therefore delivered as an enquiry, to get your students to think about and ultimately make sense of History.  The activities have been chosen, both to engage but also to challenge your students and will enable them to progress in history.

The books in the seriesfollow the same series of themes:

  • The lives of ordinary people
  • Religion
  • Power
  • War and Empire

In addition each book covers a different world history topic and explores the ‘big events’ of history from the perspectives of individual people.

Detailed information

For full details of titles, enquiry questions, Dynamic Learning teaching and learning support materials and Whiteboard e-textbooks see:

SHP History for KS3

Core Author Team: Dale Banham, Chris Culpin, Ian Dawson and Ian Luff

This series was published in 2008-2009 and has been widely and successfully used and that continues despite the amendments to the KS3 National Curriculum in 2014. One of the reasons for this success is that the series had been in development for some time before the 2008 NC was introduced so it was not rushed together to meet NC deadlines. Instead it had been through several stages of redrafting and refinement based on classroom and CPD experience and the result is a true course - coherent and cohesive across KS3 - rather than a set of individual books linked only by a set of design principles.

Our aim in creating the series is that, by the end of KS3, pupils will gain a real sense of achievement from being able to tell a number of ‘Big Stories’ across time [e.g. Monarchy and the Vote, Everyday Life, Empires] at a level appropriate to their abilities and that they will also be able to use the full range of processes and concepts as a springboard for GCSE success. Instead of ending their compulsory history armed with a range of interesting but often isolated details and stories they will have a coherent sense of the past and may even have created their own histories using Moviemaker and other elements of our IT package. Many activities in the books are supported with material and activities this website.

In addition the books :

  • mixes enjoyable, active, effective overviews with enthusing depth studies to reduce the pressure on curriculum time
  • provides a series of memorable and engaging activities because, if pupils are to re-use their learning, it first has to be made memorable for them
  • explicitly develops and consolidates pupils' understanding of chronological frameworks
  • demonstrates how to integrate content coverage with developing understanding of processes and concepts
  • shows how to split aspects of topics among the class to save much-needed time but still produce worthwhile learning and end-products
  • develops literacy, oracy and communications skills and links fully to citizenship targets

Detailed information

For full details of titles and learning support materials etc. see

This Is History!

This series contains many of the most innovative and effective ideas developed in history teaching in recent years. These books are not just another worthy trot through history with every topic receiving the same limited coverage. Instead they provide both studies in depth and outline histories, each of which is a genuine historical investigation. What's more, they're fun - being written for 11-13 year olds not for watered-down historians!

Books still in print include King John, The Holocaust, What is History and the Impact of Empire. But please always check their availability before you plan your SoW.

For full details of titles still in print see

This Page

Making Sense of History

SHP History for KS3

This Is History!