History teaching fails to give pupils proper view of the past, says watchdog

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Schoolchildren fail to grasp how events in history are linked because the subject is taught in “episodes”, an official report has warned.

The Ofsted report said many primary and secondary pupils are being let down by a curriculum which does not give them a “chronological understanding” of the subject - instead concentrating on individual topics from ancient Egypt to post-war Britain.

The education watchdog also said that history teaching is being marginalised in state schools, while A-levels are not adequately preparing sixth-formers for more rigorous university courses.

The verdict will be seen as further damaging Labour’s legacy on education and add weight to calls for reform of the national curriculum, which is currently being reviewed by Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, with the help of Simon Schama, the historian and television presenter.

Pupils in a typical primary school will study the Romans and Celts, Ancient Egypt, Henry VIII and the Tudors, Victorian life, World War II, the Ancient Greeks, and Britain since 1948 between years three and six - but not what order they are in....

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