Active Learning on www.thinkinghistory.co.uk

An introduction to ‘Takeaways’
and their central role in planning KS3 courses

I have no desire to note down all those things which are memorable
but only those things which ought to be remembered
that is, those things which are clearly worthy of remembrance.

Gervase of Canterbury, whose writings date from c.1180 to c.1210

A search of my laptop reveals that my earliest surviving document containing the word ‘takeaways’ dates from 2007, when I was thinking ahead to a new version of the National Curriculum. A multitude of other documents and PowerPoints then show that discussion of takeaways was a central feature of the many KS3 CPD courses I ran at that time and of planning for a series of SHP KS3 books. I’ve kept using the term too, notably in the HA publication Exploring and Teaching Medieval History (2018), and yet I’ve only just realised in 2021 that I’ve never written an article for ThinkingHistory to explain in any detail what I mean by the term ‘takeaways’ and how they can help planning. So here goes …

The complete article can be found in the PDF (downloaded below) but here are two key ideas as introduction:

1. Takeaways are the understandings we want students to remember – to take away from their study of a topic, an enquiry, a period or from KS3 as a whole so they can be used again in later lessons during KS3 or at GCSE or on other occasions.

2. Takeaways are the bedrock of planning a successful, coherent course at KS3 and should, after identifying your aims for your course, be the starting points in planning. They are far more effective in creating a coherent course than beginning with a chronological list of topics because it means you are planning backwards from what you want students to take away from a series of lessons, a year of study, the whole of Key Stage 3.

In full, the article discusses:

1. The basic ideas about takeaways:
What are they and how do you use them?

2. Categories of takeaways: An introductory list

3. Categories of takeaways: Definitions and examples

4. Planning backwards: How to use takeaways in planning a KS3 SoW

5. Concluding thoughts

Further Reading

Appendix 1: Activities for students on which takeaways they think are most important

Appendix 2: Some possible takeaways from studying the Middle Ages at KS3

Support

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Introduction

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