9.2.23 Amy Fuller, Associate Governor

It was a pleasure to meet with Jo Lowy subject leader for history. From the outset her passion for history was clear as a history graduate.

First, we discussed what the current focus was in history. It was really interesting to hear that after half term the team was going to be looking at diversity within the history curriculum. Jo is planning to drill down into the resources used in lessons to ensure that diversity is celebrated through sources used (images and text). Where necessary, stand-alone lessons will be created. The Titanic lessons can be amended in particular. There are also plans to change an Elizabeth Fry scheme of learning in Year Two to make it more engaging. It is clear that ongoing reviews of schemes of learning are in place.

In terms of monitoring, Jo is happy to challenge colleagues but also support by finding and improving resources together. It is clear that the culture in the school is to talk to each other and the team can have honest conversations.

We next discussed continuity and progression. Timelines are used with the students as history is taught out of chronological order. The team is considering how students can be further supported with chronological order and whether the schemes of work link well together – is there a clear theme/link that is understood? Jo is starting to consider whether the order needs to change as students need to grasp the timeline. I suggested that students could have a blank timeline that is populated as they cover certain key events. There is a timeline in the hall that this could be linked to. Jo mentioned that In Year 1 the students have a Victorian day. This can be used to compare and contrast that time in history to present day.

Jo has not completed any monitoring yet, but is confident that lessons are well delivered and the team enjoys teaching history. Jo is planning to complete monitoring next half term. She has already completed joint monitoring including feedback, so she understands the process and feels confident to complete this. I suggested that the first one could be a joint process again. Jo will arrange with the teacher when she is coming in with a format of questions to follow. This will involve positives (WWW) then points to improve upon on (EBI).

The focus of monitoring is to be:

  • Learning intention
  • What the teacher is doing
  • What the students are doing
  • Positives (WWW)
  • Next steps (EBI)

Feedback is to be given at a later date via a conversation in person so questions can be asked such as – why did you deliver it that way?

The use of key vocabulary is to become a focus moving forward. Ideas include ‘how to speak like an historian’ including words such as infer, evidence, source, sequence. Slides could be produced to add to lessons.

Finally, we discussed how Jo knows that students are working at greater depth. It is clear that in History those working at greater depth are able to articulate verbally links between the key events studied and how they relate to each other (further developing their answers). These students are also able to recall specific knowledge from certain periods of time. This is not always recorded in the floor books so Jo is considering how this can be evidenced. Longer written tasks currently depend on the topic being studied, these include comparisons, a crime and punishment newspaper report etc. There are no written assessments at present but students do complete starter recaps of what has been already taught to support knowledge retrieval. Jo is working on next steps to ensure that there is evidence of greater depth.

When we next meet, I am looking forward to hearing about the outcomes of the planned monitoring process.

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