The debate whimpers on. Knowledge and direct instruction against progress teaching ideas. This debate has been going on since the arguments over the birth of GCSE and before. Historical knowledge is crucially important – lets not forget it. But so is the ability to use this knowledge well. We have[…]
As stated in a previous blog, the teaching of historical interpretations is a crucial element of developing your student’s historical thinking. If you want to play the game where your teaching is solely about getting kids to ‘pass the test’, to do well in the 9-1 GCSEs then this is[…]
There has been some debate recently about whether or not we should use textbooks to teach history in secondary school. And, if we should use such books, which one should be the ‘core’ text, the one that might provide the backbone of a school’s KS3 history course. Let me start[…]
Are interventions worth it? How much time do you spend on ‘interventions’? How busy are you with year 11/12/13 weekly intervention, after school revision sessions, easter catch up, lunch time drop ins, emails home for those who haven’t and probably won’t ever attend, logging this attendance on SIMs… All of[…]
We are all told how important feedback is. Written feedback especially. The research. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) research states “feedback studies tend to show very high effects on learning”. We know feedback is important. SLTs love looking for this feedback as they can make it part of their accountability[…]
The progress of pupil premium students has been a hot topic over the last few years, even for the humble history teacher. Arms length control The government have spent millions on this vulnerable group of students and want to see bang for their buck. This pressure has been passed down[…]
Recently I arranged for Michael Riley to come and work with my initial teacher trainees and their mentors at Sussex University. What a privilege. After all, it was Michael alongside Jamie Byrom who inspired me to teach history the way that I have been for the last 18 years. A[…]
The debate roles on. How important is knowledge in history? What type of knowledge should we be teaching. Substantive? Disciplinary? And, which is more important? Well, we think that both are crucial. We not only want our students to love history and know lots, we also want them to really see how[…]
Why I had to move 1920s America to Year 9: So, we all had to adjust to the changes brought by the new GCSEs and in some ways this was a good thing. I for one, have found that my teaching has been reinvigorated by getting to teach new units.[…]
I’m sure many of you who’ve taught a module on female suffrage have had many a tittering class over Isabella Beeton’s advice from 1861, that a wife should rise before her husband, “and having given due attention to the bath, and made a careful toilet…” in order to be what Lord[…]
Yesterday I saw a tweet about marking which definitely made me happy. It cited Ofsted’s school Inspection Update Issue 8 and was written by National Director of Education, Sean Harford. He referred to the Teacher Workload Review Group on Marking (March 2016) and the Education Endowment Foundation (April 2016) which both[…]
With the 9-1 GCSE there is more content to remember than there was with the older GCSE. Fact! We all need to develop short sharp ideas, or ‘tricks’ to make learning stick.
A Traveller’s guide to planning for success in the 9-1 GCSE: I have recently become fascinated by the history of the American West. There are so many great personalities and stories when you start to look. Visiting a number of these sites in the summer really made this history resonate[…]
Struggling to answer Edexcel’s new narrative account analysing question? Here’s how one teacher tried to make the abstract concrete in her students’ brains.
I think I might be out of fashion. Come to think of it, on a sartorial level I have never been in fashion. But that is a digression. You see I have always been an advocate of enquiry based history. I gardened in Michael Riley’s enquiry garden way back in[…]
Advice on how to stimulate and cater for students’ curiosity about history outside the classroom – with reading list download.
The 2016 GCSE are content heavy. Fact. To ensure that teachers cover all of this content well, there will be less time at the end of the two years to be able to re-visit and revise. So what do we do? How should we go about planning and teaching 2016[…]
Over the last year I have been working hard creating resources for the new GCSEs. This has led me to look really carefully at many things: different topics, the details of the content, and the assessment approaches of the new GCSEs on offer. These exam questions can be predictable. Fact.[…]
I think I’ve been planning this set of lessons on the fight against domestic fascism since about 1988, when I first saw Celt-punk band, The Men they Couldn’t Hang perform their classic song, the Ghosts of Cable Street at the Lancaster Sugar House. Regular readers of our site will know that we have[…]
After marking our mock exams a few years ago something struck me. Our students were often failing to get high marks on questions about source evaluation (this was the source paper for OCR Modern World). After closer analysis of examiners reports, mark-schemes and student responses, I realised that we needed some[…]
Over the last term we have been working very hard to support you by improving the way our site works. Lots of people have contacted us to ask if we offer a subscription or membership approach. We have listened and the answer is now, ‘yes we do’.
Data, spreadsheets, tracking, CAT scores, Progress 8, levels of progress, intervention strategies, Pupil Premium….ever feel like your department time is eaten up with things a million miles away from the love of History and the love of teaching it to students that first brought you in to the job? We[…]
Twenty strategies for successful GCSE history teaching – this includes ideas on enquiry, revision and meta cognition. And our top 10 tips for great results.
What 2016 History GCSE offers the best approach to assessment? We offer you a simple comparison tool. You may well have already decided what you think the best course is for you and for your students. I have blogged about this before. But, just to remind you, I think you need[…]
Effective marking by Pam Canning Every half term I say I won’t do it, and every half term I do. And I can’t be the only one. I left all of my marking until the last minute, and spend the last 3 days trying to give meaningful feedback to 50[…]
Teaching historical Interpretations. If you want success at GCSE and beyond you need to think about how you teach what you teach and why you teach what you teach! Fact. This means developing a great Key Stage 3 curriculum and building on this into Key Stage 4. Recently Ofsted have[…]
The best professional development I have ever had is to work alongside a creative colleague. Just by sitting down for 20 minutes and discussing your lessons for the next day can inspire ideas, or it can reveal fab teaching strategies that you never thought of. In my career I have[…]
New Term here we come. Its been a great summer, much of which I have spent working on resources for 2016 GCSEs (more of which in another blog) I go back this week to a new role – Head of Humanities. Its been a long time since I have had[…]
Revolutionising the way your resource 2016 GCSEs.
You know one of the things that really annoys me? It is watching a lesson where so called less able students are given low level work to do (a gap fill maybe), while those the teacher perceives as bright are given more challenging and harder work. Often the so called[…]