Tag Archives: Curriculum

32. Vocabulary and oracy strategies for the KS3 classroom

Helen PrinceGuarav Dubay

Helen Prince and Gaurav Dubay discuss the crucial role vocabulary and oracy strategies play in the Key Stage 3 classroom. They highlight the importance of focusing on talk and vocabulary to help students rehearse written outcomes before taking the next step and moving onto writing. They discuss drama, fluency, modelling and reducing cognitive load with oral rehearsal.

Helen Prince is an English Advisor, author of Oxford University Press’s Get It Right: Boost Your Vocabulary workbooks, and CEO of ChatterStars. Helen tweets at @prince_helen

Gaurav Dubay is Head of English at an inner-city grammar school in Birmingham, one of our Pioneer Schools for Oxford Smart Quest. Gaurav tweets at @GauravDubay3

Further reading and support:

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31. African Kingdoms: Enrich your KS3 History curriculum

Aaron WilkesKatie Amery

Aaron Wilkes, Katie Amery and Teni Gogo discuss how effective teaching of African Kingdoms can enrich your Key Stage 3 curriculum.  

What do students gain from studying African Kingdoms at KS3? How has historical scholarship on African Kingdoms changed in recent years? What is the impact of new research on how we should teach the topic?  


Aaron, Katie and Teni answer these questions and offer advice to teachers thinking of introducing West African Kingdoms into their curriculum.  


Aaron Wilkes has over 20 years’ experience working in schools as a teacher, department, and faculty leader. He also works with the PGCE History trainees at the University of Warwick. In addition to the classroom, Aaron is also one of the leading history authors in school publishing and his KS3 History series, now in fourth edition and published by Oxford University Press, is currently the best-selling KS3 History textbook series/online package in the UK. Aaron is also Series Editor/co-author of OUP’s NEW KS3 Depth Studies: The British Empire, African Kingdoms, Fight for Rights, and Migration Nation. He is the Series Editor/co-author of OUP’s KS4 History textbooks which match the AQA and Edexcel GCSE History specification and is involved with the BBC as an Educational Consultant for their Bitesize and Teach series.   

Aaron tweets at @WilkesHistory   


Katie Amery has more than 15 years’ experience working in schools as a History and Politics teacher and department leader. She is also currently the subject lead for History Initial Teacher Training at Liverpool Hope University. Katie is passionate about curriculum diversity and working with fellow historians to promote cutting-edge thinking including with Toby Green. She is a keen blogger @educationalimposters

Katie tweets at @KatieAmery


Teni Gogo is a History Teacher who has spent much of her career exploring medieval African Kingdoms and Black British History. She is currently a Postgraduate student at the University of Oxford as an Action Research Fellow for the Empire, Migration and Belonging Project.  

Teni tweets at @tenigogo_


The publisher would also like to thank Professor Anne Haour and Toby Green for their valuable input into this project. 


Further reading and support:  

·         83% of schools surveyed report having made substantial changes to their Key Stage 3 curriculum in recent years to address issues of inclusivity and diversity. Read the Historical Association Secondary Survey   

·         Sign up for free samples and updates on OUP’s new KS3 History Depth Study series

Special offer:  

We’re offering UK schools 10% discount on all four of the KS3 Depth Study student books – British Empire, African Kingdoms, Fight for Rights in Modern Britain, and Migration Nation. Terms & conditions:  

·         Offer valid for UK customers only  

·         Offer valid from 31st January to 30th April 2023  

·         Offer only applies to orders placed using promotional code “KS3HISTORY”  

·         Offer is only available on print KS3 History Depth Studies and excludes KS3 History Depth Study Kerboodle Books.  

·         Pre-order here

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22. Incorporating Social Justice into the Curriculum with Penny Rabiger

Penny Rabiger

In this episode of Word Up, Helen Prince chats to Penny Rabiger about the importance of listening to young people and what we can learn from them about race, identity and social justice. 

Penny Rabiger was a teacher for 10 years and has been working with social enterprises, charities and start-ups in the education sector since 2007. She was one of the founding directors of The Key for School Leaders, Head of Membership at Challenge Partners, and Director of Engagement with the Finnish edtech organisation Lyfta. Penny is a school governor at a north London primary school, Trustee on a south London multi-academy trust board, a member of the Haringey BAME achievement group and a Co-founder and Trustee of the BAMEed Network. Penny is a coach on the Leeds Beckett University Centre for Race, Education and Decoloniality’s Anti-Racist Schools Award. 

Further reading and support:

21. Metacognition: strategies inside and outside of the classroom with Nathan Burns

Nathan Burns

In this episode of Word Up, Helen Prince chats to Nathan Burns about his specialist subject, metacognition. Nathan explains the importance of embedding metacognition into day-to-day teaching, why modelling and monitoring are key approaches in the classroom, and the value metacognition plays in all areas of life, from poaching an egg to putting up a tent.

Nathan Burns is a teacher of Mathematics, Assistant KS3 Progress and Achievement Leader and More Able and Talented Co-Coordinator at David Nieper Academy in Alfreton. He is a former Metacognitive Implementation Lead, as well as the founder of metacognition.org.uk, which offers metacognitive resources and CPD. Nathan is passionate about teaching and learning, and has researched, written about and delivered CPD on metacognition for several years. He tweets at @MrMetacognition

Further reading and support:

  • Where does metacognitive modelling fit in the classroom? Read more from Nathan on the Oxford Education Blog.
  • Metacognition is one of the pillars of the Oxford Smart Curriculum. Find out more and read the curriculum direction paper.

19. Curriculum review and implementation with Kat Howard

Kat Howard
In this episode of Word Up, Helen Prince chats to Kat Howard about curriculum implementation and how an exciting curriculum fires up and motivates learners. She also discusses fidelity to the subject, how to capitalise on colleagues’ interests and passions to enrich knowledge and extend the curriculum, and the importance of awe and wonder in the classroom.

Kat Howard is Head of Professional Learning for a large Multi-Academy Trust Teaching School Hub and is also the founder of national charity, Litdrive UK. In addition to her in-school role, Kat is an in-house Expert Adviser for the Teacher Development Trust, writing curriculum content for the Reformed NPQ Leadership Suite. In previous roles, she was a Senior Leader taking oversight of staff professional development, performance management and curriculum, with strategic leadership for English, and prior to her career in education, Kat gained extensive experience in the financial sector, overseeing recruitment, training and operations for a leading high street bank.

Further reading and support: