Nuffield Primary History

John Fines, Jon Nichol, Ray Verrier, and Jacqui Dean

Why history?
The Nuffield Foundation has always been receptive to ideas from creative and effective people even when their proposal lies outside the main areas of interest declared by Trustees. In this spirit they backed the duo of the charismatic and scholarly John Fines of Bishop Otter College and the highly effective teacher trainer and writer, Jon Nichol of Exeter University.

The first grant was for a post-16 History course, ETHOS, and the second for Primary History.

A distinctive approach to curriculum development
The Nuffield Primary History method of curriculum development is itself distinctive with the principle that nothing is published that has not been taught by the team. So the guidance for teachers takes the form of a narrative based on work with children in primary schools. Many of the resources have been produced by teachers on professional development courses.

There is a profound commitment to History in depth, with young people creating their own histories while working with authentic sources.

The resources
The project generated a vast amount of material some of which was shaped into a set of publications from Heinemann in the early years of the Nuffield Curriculum Centre. The main guide Teaching Primary History has been very influential, especially in initial teacher training.

The project has, however, been much better served by non-commercial publishing through the Nuffield Primary History website, with over 150,000 unique visitors a year most of them from Britain. All the resources continue to be available to all via the Historical Association website.