Keystage history - Imaginative History Teaching in Primary and Secondary Schools

  • Keystage 1 Keystage 1 Expert advice on all aspects of planning and teaching history at KS1 especially assessment , progression, links with literacy, and high quality enquiry-based learning. There are over 50 fully resourced lessons which were graded as outstanding by an OFSTED history inspector as well as numerous imaginative and creative activities to inspire your pupils.
  • Keystage 2 Keystage 2 Expert advice on all aspects of teaching history at KS2 especially assessment, progression, chronology and high quality enquiry-based learning. There are over 70 fully-resourced lessons which were graded as outstanding by an OFSTED history inspector as well as numerous imaginative and creative activities covering all the main topics which your pupils will love.
  • Keystage 3 Keystage 3 Expert advice on all aspects of planning and teaching history, especially the crucial areas of assessment and progression and enquiry-based learning. There are over 70 fully resourced lessons which were graded as outstanding by an OFSTED history inspector as numerous imaginative and creative activities covering all the main topics.
  • Keystage 4 Keystage 4 The jewel in the crown is the outstanding lessons section with over 60 fully-resourced lessons ( covering all MW and SHP topics) which were graded outstanding by an OFSTED history inspector. Better learning rather than simple exam practice lies at the heart of the site’s philosophy but there is also plenty of expert advice on how to improve GCSE grades for all students.
  • Keystage 5 Keystage 5 This is the only site offering cutting-edge teaching ideas for AS and A2 history. It shows in detail how to help students think more deeply in lessons and to work more independently between sessions. There are some a large number of really creative imaginative strategies on offer. Subscribers love the fully-resourced lessons judged outstanding by an OFSTED history inspector.


About Keystage History

Keystage history is the home of best practice in primary and secondary history teaching and learning You can totally trust the authoritative, cutting edge, expert advice and you will be inspired by all the creative planning and teaching ideas. Subscribers love the wide range of fully resourced history lessons, all judged outstanding by a vastly experienced LA history adviser who has observed over 2,000 primary and secondary lessons and has carried out 60 national inspection for OFSTED. Every aspect of leading history 5-19 is covered in detail, from assessment and progression through to curriculum planning, raising standards and inspiring colleagues. This site is a must for any forward-looking subject leader.

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    How have recent excavations changed our view of the Vikings? Key Question 4

    Using the Mantle of the Expert approach, pupils help a confused museum curator to write high quality captions for 11 images that MIGHT show the Vikings in a more positive light. It is crucial that they get it right. Important...
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    Teaching Ancient Greece to Key Stage 2

    Teaching Ancient Greece in the 2014 history curriculum.  To all intents and purposes, the ancient Greek planning and all the outstanding lessons fit just as perfectly with the new curriculum from 2014 as well as the existing one.  The only...
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    KQ1 Why do we study the Maya in history?

    Following a brief introduction to locate the Mayan civilization in time and place, stress that we knew very little about this society until recent excavations. Then give over most of the lesson to pupils finding out for themselves possible reasons...
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    Penicillin: From discovery to world-wide use? Who should take the credit?

    Students have to divide a $100 million bequest to those people who did most to develop penicillin. But in what ratio? Should Fleming get it all? What about the Oxford team, Florey and Chain, even Heatley? Students create a living...
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    Crimewatch AD 50. Who killed the 52 dead bodies at Maiden Castle?

    Pupils work as detective Time Teams to solve the murder mystery. They are given just the briefest of background information before being let loose on the evidence which is presented to them in a dossier to simulate a modern detective...
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  • Stone Age to Iron Age

    This new area of study has the potential to be one of the most exciting to teach. Probably taught in Year 3 to develop some chronological sequence to our British history studies, this topic offers lots of great opportunities to...
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    Long-term planning at Key Stage 2

    NEW FEBRUARY 2014 The advent of the new curriculum for history in September 2014 will mark the most significant change in your school’s history planning for over a dozen years. Not only are there more areas to study and new topics...
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About us

Neil set up Keystage history in 2008 as a one-stop website for teachers looking to improve the learning experience in history for all their pupils. Neil's extensive advisory work had shown him that there were two pressing, unfulfilled, needs for history teachers, at all levels.

The first was simply to have one place where you could immediately, and reliably, find high quality learning resources on all relevant history topics. There is no shortage of ‘stuff’ for history teachers to use, but finding the highest quality is far more difficult. Where can you go for a fully-resourced set of lessons judged as outstanding? Neil wanted not only to write up all the lessons he had judged outstanding over 18 years of work in schools but also to do it in such a way that all the necessary resources would be provided along with a step-by-step guide which teachers are encouraged to adapt.

The second need was for a source of advice on leading and teaching history that was at once both comprehensive and authoritative and also covered the whole 5-19 age group. Neil’s unrivalled experience gave him the breadth of perspective that he wanted to pass on to other teachers

Keystage History is about professional development, not quick fixes. You can see from the photographs of children at work, and from the outstanding lesson write-ups from a wide variety of teachers, that this site has been created by someone who spends much of his working life in history classrooms. Neil is simply passing to you the fruits of his professional experience and the very best History he has seen in over 2,300 'lessons'.

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About Me



Neil acts as an educational consultant for history for schools throughout the country. After teaching for 12 years, during which time he ran two departments and was a member of the Senior Leadership, Neil moved into advisory work,

For 18 years, he supported 70 secondary and 450 primary and special schools in Hampshire during which time he carried out over 60 national OFSTED inspections. More recently he has been heavily involved in running about 40 highly acclaimed national training courses a year for secondary history teachers, as well as bespoke whole staff INSET days in primary schools.

He also works intensively-up to ten days a year- with a number of primary schools and supports other LAs with their history training. Neil has been an author for the BBC primary history Zig-Zag TV programmes and is editor for a series of KS2 books on Local history. He recently wrote the Teachers’ Guides for Hodder Education for all GCSE specifications. Neil now divides his time between developing the website, training teachers, and working in schools.