How to Teach KS2 History

Written by kaye jones
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How to Teach KS2 History
KS2 pupils often study the six wives of King Henry VIII. ( Images)

Key Stage 2, or KS2, history is studied by pupils between the ages of six and 11 in primary schools in the U.K. The aim of history at KS2 is to develop pupils' awareness of selected periods in the history of Britain, Ireland and the wider world. It is also designed to help pupils understand and appreciate their own way of life, environment and culture and to foster an appreciation and tolerance of others.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Download the program of study for KS2 from the UK National Curriculum website at This gives an overview of general teaching requirements, attainment of targets and key skills.

  2. 2

    Locate resources. During KS2, students will learn about the Roman, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and the Tudors in Britain, as well as your choice of one ancient civilisation, from the Aztecs and Maya to Egypt and the Assyrian Empire. Use the textbooks provided in your school, or search online for teaching ideas and resources.

  3. 3

    Develop chronological understanding. In line with KS2 history standards, pupils must learn how to place events in chronological order plus historical dates and vocabulary, such as century and decade. Use timelines to help teach chronology, and create a word wall or student glossary for historical vocabulary.

  4. 4

    Teach historical representation. This key skill allows pupils to recognise that the past is represented and interpreted in different ways by different people. In your lessons, you can demonstrate this by using a range of primary sources, like manuscripts and artefacts, and secondary sources, such as film, museum displays and fictional accounts.

  5. 5

    Vary teaching methods. To develop vital inquiry skills, use historical objects, photographs and other artefacts to generate discussion sessions with pupils. Alternate between individual research projects using books and the Internet, group activities and teacher-led lessons. This will keep students motivated and engaged.

  6. 6

    Complete local history study. This study investigates how an aspect in the local area has changed over a period of time, such as a park or building, or the effect of a national event or development, such as prehistoric settlers or an outbreak of cholera. This must be related to a period in time of British history, and can use any resources or research methods to provide students with a general overview of continuity and change.

Tips and warnings

  • Encourage students to communicate historical knowledge in a variety of ways, from drawing and writing to drama.

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