KS3 History Q&A with Teacher Richard Sage

What’s your favourite topic to teach at KS3?

My favourite topic to teach in KS3 at present is the First World War depth study. The Kerboodle book Technology, War and Independence has a very good chapter that begins with the reasons for the outbreak of the War and includes; why young men joined up, propaganda and Pals Battalions, before looking in-depth at the fighting and life in the trenches.

What issues are you facing in your classroom at the moment when teaching KS3 history?

The main issue with teaching KS3 History is the fact that our feed college teaches a three-year GCSE. This has meant that we have two years to deliver the whole KS3 programme which used to be spread over the three years.

What made you adopt KS3 History 4th Edition?

I have been using Kerboodle since the first edition of Invasion, Plague and Murder; I liked the style and the presentation of the books and have had every edition since. It was a natural progression to take the Fourth edition.

How have you found the new resources have impacted positively on students’ learning and enjoyment of history?

The Fourth edition has had a very positive impact both on the teaching of the topics and on the students’ enjoyment. Kerboodle has become an integral part of our History curriculum; it makes up the core resource base for teaching and learning.

Objectives from each chapter are used to ensure that students understand what it is they are trying to achieve each lesson. This week, for example, we are studying why men volunteered in the First World War– the objectives from the Kerboodle chapter are:1.  to outline the reasons why men chose to fight, 2. to define the term propaganda and 3. to explain how the Government used propaganda to attract volunteers. Once students have studied the core texts then lessons are supplemented with resources from the centenary battlefields programme (from UCL). This allows us to look in detail at various Pals Battalions.

How do you integrate Kerboodle into your teaching?

As a faculty we have been studying pedagogy on metacognition, how students learn and how is knowledge retained and applied. The Kerboodle 4th Edition material links perfectly with our way of teaching, for example, it has new knowledge Organisers which give students subject specific vocabulary and acquaints them with objectives and terminology before the topics are taught. The use of low stakes quizzes to help knowledge retention is a very helpful addition to the new books.

What are the features that particularly work well in your classroom? 

The new assessments are excellent and support students’ progress from topic to topic and year on year. They are designed carefully by experts and therefore test the students on key areas of History and develop key history skills necessary for progression.

My reason for teaching History for the last 21 years has always been to inspire students to a lifelong love of the subject, not simply to pass exams. Kerboodle is a great tool for inspiring students in this way; the books are beautifully illustrated and set out in such a way that all students can find something that they are interested in. During lessons, I will often find students looking ahead at chapters. If they have iPads or laptops at home I will set them enquiry homework from the Kerboodle, which allows them to work independently and complete the History skills activities.

What would you say to someone who was considering using the series? What would you recommend to others looking at the course?

I would highly recommend the Kerboodle KS3 4th edition to any history department; for me, it is an indispensable resource which builds progressively and gives students the tools to achieve at GCSE. It is highly engaging and has everything needed to run a successful History curriculum.

Richard Sage is a secondary History specialist and has been teaching for 20 years. He has recently completed the First Year of an MA in Holocaust Studies with University College London. He also organises Battlefields trips to Ypres and the Somme in conjunction with the Centenary Battlefields tours programme.