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Buyers Guide: How to Choose a History Scheme of Work

A new subject lead with a budget? Or have you been tasked with turning around history progress in your school? This buyer's guide will introduce you to the many different schemes of work available for teaching primary history, and offer some guidance as to how to select the best one for your school.

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Like the rest of our guides to choosing schemes for primary subjects, let's first talk about budget. Are you buying the scheme as an individual teacher from your own pocket, or are you buying on behalf of the school from a central budget? This is probably the first determiner on what suits your needs.

If the former, consider a monthly subscription-based scheme. Some of them may lack the CPD and subject expertise of the larger schemes, but they offer fantastic value for money as the subscription generally means you have access to other subjects too (depending on the tier you subscribe at). On our History Page, you can see that CGP, Hamilton Trust and Twinkl all offer subscription based memberships that also include access to other core and foundation subjects. If you have a subscription to one of these services already give their history resources a browse to see if they meet your needs first.

If you’re an individual teacher - or a school looking to add to a CPD library - it’s also worth looking into buying individual books that have history planning. These can work out as quite cost effective, as well as not having to have a password to remember as for the subscription sites! Although be mindful that as they’re books they won’t be updated as much like the resources from subscription services mentioned above. Bloomsbury’s Teaching Primary History from their popular Curriculum Basics series is a great fit here, as are Badger Learning’s KS2 History books (more about KS2 specific schemes later).

Now we move onto schemes which are dedicated to history, and often more in-line with the central school budgets rather than an individual teacher’s. For such examples, check out Primary History from Pearson, Rising Stars History from Hodder, Primary Connected History from Collins or KeyStage History from KeyStage History Online.

Many of these might be towards the higher end of the budget scale, but generally are more comprehensive and cost effective if you’re purchasing for a whole school. They’ll also often come with history specific CPD opportunities (sometimes included in the price, sometimes for an additional cost) as well as onboarding support and initial staff training.

With the above considerations, it’s also worth thinking about the level of history expertise in your school already. Some schools use a scheme more than others because that subject has no staff champions or specialists in their school. Other schools may have a particularly passionate history lead who’s tasked with planning for the whole school. In this instance, supplementary resources - like those included with resource subscription sites - may suffice as opposed to a dedicated history scheme.

Something else to consider is that some schemes are for KS2 only. So if you’re a junior school, take a look at History Keys by B&C Educational or KS2 History. Conversely, The Children’s Champion units from Dimensions is written just for years 1 and 2: perfect if you’re an infant school.

Whatever your requirements, make sure you browse the many different options available on our History Planning Page, and please get in touch if you’d like some further guidance on choosing the right scheme for your school.


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