Planning & Teaching new KS3 on

Planning and Teaching KS3 History

Focussing on KS3 during Stockton’s CPD dayThese notes, ideas and teaching suggestions have developed from CPD courses run over the last few years and from planning and developing SHP resources.

Inevitably, it’s a statement of provisional thinking with ideas constantly developing but I hope it proves useful and practical in helping to think about some of your planning and teaching problems. I hope to add further discussions to this section, particularly in relation to aspects of the 2014NC such as the pre-1066 unit.

I’m well aware that there’s a lot of material here, probably far more than many people want. However I’d rather be accused of idealism and perfectionism than of under-estimating the creativity of History teachers! It’s up to you to decide which ideas may be immediately useful, which can be put on the back-burner – and which you disagree with completely!

Much of this was written when the 2008NC was introduced but it remains just as relevant for 2014NC. I have taken out any material that is at odds with the updated NC.

For additional discussions on key features of the NC use the navigation tabs at the top of each page to take you to discussions on Enquiry and on Chronological Understanding.


What is History?

A discussion addressing the question ‘What should students take away from KS3 about the process of doing history?’ The emphasis is very much on keeping that ‘take-away’ in sight rather than getting lost in the detail, however enjoyable that may be.

Frameworks, Themes and Chronology

Organising content into thematic stories across time can make a major difference for pupils – this section explains why.

Planning Issues

A mix of short-term goals and long-term aims to help the evolution of Schemes of Work.

Integrating depth studies and outlines

Analysis of one of the critical planning issues at KS3, vital for creating coherence and saving time.

Everyday Life

Ideas for planning and teaching the story of how lives have changed – and why they have changed across time.


Why do more than one empire? Plus ideas for planning and teaching the story of empires.

Movement and Settlement

Planning the stories of migration and ideas for integrating family histories.

Conflict and Co–operation

How can you link all those wars and still find room for some co–operation?

England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales

An initial discussion outlining possible objectives and activities – even more a ‘work in progress’ than the rest!

Power and Democracy

Separating monarchy from the vote but linking Britain to the world - ideas for planning and for teaching overviews.


Download the articles from Teaching History

Want to save the articles from Teaching History for future reference?

Download a pdf copy of Time for Chronology, 2004 [ click here ].

Download a pdf copy of Thinking Across Time, 2008 [ click here ].

Download a pdf copy of What Time Does the Tune Start?
– Sense of Period and Enquiry at KS3
, 2009 [ click here ]

Planning & Teaching KS3 History


What is history?

Frameworks, Themes & What's in it for Students?

Planning Issues

Integrating depth studies and outlines

Everyday Life




England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Power and Democracy