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Assessment without levels – a few thoughts

Before I discuss assessment without  levels and give you a few  thoughts, let me let you into a little secret. One that I have kept close for long time. I haven’t given an individual piece of work a national curriculum level for about 15 years! In that time I have[…]

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Interactive wall displays

I was hugely impressed to read Esther Arnott’s SHP blog where she and Rich Kennett discussed the value of wall displays. I have always been really bad at turning the walls of my classroom into something useful for my students to interact with. But on my visits to other schools[…]

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Teaching Nazi Germany at KS4 and saving you time

I don’t know if it is just me, but I seem to have less and less time during the waking hours, to really think through and plan lessons. This week I went to a meeting about data Monday evening after school, spent Tuesday after school chasing kids and phoning parents and[…]

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New enquiries for teaching The Great War through personal stories

Neil Bates and myself were lucky enough to work with Worthing library developing four case studies of soldiers who fought and died in the First World War.  This was part of an amazing project about The Great War in West Sussex. The website has only recently gone live. We are very[…]

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Music in the History Classroom

According to the Marxist scholar A. L. Lloyd, rebels in the 1381 peasants’ revolt sang the song, The Cutty Wren, in protest at feudal oppression – sadly he offered no proof to back up his claim. Nonetheless, folk music and protest songs provide a rich vein of source material which[…]

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Making history meaningful by exploiting the topical

One of the big challenges for all teachers how to best engage our students and make them want to learn. There are many ways that we can do this. One technique that is worthy of our attention is exploiting the topical. This is easy for our colouring in colleagues (geographers)[…]

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New National Curriculum, new series of books

Happy New Year to you all! Things have been quieter on the historyresourcecupboard in the Autumn term. This is because we have been working hard on a new series of books for the 2014 National Curriculum. The we being, me – Richard McFahn, Neil Bates and Alec Fisher. We have[…]

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The Proposed History National Curriculum – where are we now?

You have got to love Simon Schama.  Not only does he spin a great historical yarn, he is also clearly on the side of history teachers. “Insulting and offensive”, “pedantic and utopian” and a “ridiculous shopping list” of topics, are just a few of the terms he used at the Hay[…]

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The irony of it

About a week ago I was lucky enough to spend four days in Tbilisi Georgia, as a part of an amazing Euroclio project: Innovating History Teaching in the Black Sea region. It was an incredible experience and a brilliant project, aimed at getting history educators from across the region to[…]

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Distorted coverage of the debate over the proposed history curriculum on ‘The Moral Maze’

Last night, radio 4’s The Moral Maze discussed the proposals for the new national curriculum.  Katherine Edwards, a history teacher campaigning against the awful proposals wrote the following response – see below. Katherine is behind the website historynotpropaganda and instigated the e-petition Keep the History Curriculum Politically Neutral. Please sign this petition[…]

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What kind of history do you want?

I have just been lucky enough to have a look at a copy of Diana Laffin’s latest A level History book British Society 1945.  Its part of the Enquiring History series for A level.Quickly thumbing through it I am struck by the clever teaching techniques and the interesting content. It[…]

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Oh dear oh dear oh dear! It really did end in lists!?

Oh dear oh dear oh dear!! The drafts of the new National Curriculum for history were published on Thursday…what can I say that hasn’t already been said? I have been speechless since reading them. If you haven’t had a chance to look, you can the proposals here. Read it and weep![…]

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The view of the Secret History Teacher: Red, amber and grrrrrrrrrr.

Here is our new blog feature. Rather than have me or Neil post our thoughts, we have asked a secret history teacher to tell us how it is for them at the chalk-face in 2013. Here is the first post. Enjoy. Red, amber and grrrrrrrrrr. You know the feeling, staring at the[…]

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Developing a love of art through history

For many people working in schools these are dark days. Everything is being changed. Many of the changes seem to be made on purely ideological grounds. But spare a thought for our colleagues who teach the artistic areas of the curriculum. Less and less children will have access to these[…]

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Want to improve your practice and grades at GCSE history? Course you do

Ever wondered what is going on in the best practitioners classrooms at GCSE? How on earth do they ensure that kids make that beloved progress everyone is obsessed with without compromising on certain principles? What do people who set the exam papers think makes good history teaching? Are you concerned[…]

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Old fashioned thinking about assessment

It is official: schools are assessment crazy! I recently spoke two teachers who told me that where they teach they have to get their students to produce a levelled piece of work every two weeks!! How mad / crazy / ill informed / laughable / depressing * is that!  Where[…]

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How James Bond can help your history teaching

I went to see the latest James Bond film last night…cracking. What great entertainment. I love a good Bond.  And, to put my neck on the line, I think that Daniel Craig is the best Bond ever.  Why? Well for loads of normal reasons. He is hard, tough, well dressed,[…]

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A matter of principle

All is quiet. It’s been nearly a month and the government haven’t announced any drastic changes to the school structure, teaching conditions, curriculum or examination system? However, with the half term then Christmas holidays soon to be upon us, there is still plenty of  time for new announcements . To[…]

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At last…decent enquiry based A Level books

If there is one thing that we stand for here at historyresourcecupboard, it is teaching history through enquiry. After all, the word enquiry itself actually means history. It comes from those clever Greek chaps back in the day. The problem with most textbooks, particularly at A Level, is that they[…]

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#SHP12: Proud to be a history teacher

Have just got back from the brilliant Schools History Project Conference #SHP12. What a way to restore one’s faith in education. I don’t mind admitting that before this weekend I was beginning to get depressed with the endless bad stories in the press about schools and teachers letting kids down. […]

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O Levels: ‘Just a distratction from the omnishambles’?

I nearly crashed the car this morning when I heard the news that Mr Gove has plans to re-introduce o level style exams.  After I had re gained control of the wheel I checked the date. To my surprise it wasn’t April 1st. Let’s be clear. GCSE history  is not[…]

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Better the devil you don’t know?

When it comes to levels and history I have always had, what some might describe as a clear point of view. Put simply, the levels for history are an absolute nonesense and are not worth the paper they are written on. Marking one piece of work against a level is an[…]

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Cracking free History Teachers INSET in July

Why not come along to a free history CPD day on 11th July?Bring your whole department. Free CPD for History Teachers and History Leaders led by Richard McFahn at Worthing library 9.30 – 3.30, 11th July 2012 RAISING ATTAINMENT AT GCSE TEACHING FOCUS ‘I am bored of teaching the same[…]

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Am I out of fashion?

Maybe I am out of fashion? There has been a trend in schools over the last few years to provide most CPD for teachers ‘in house’ – in school.  Most schools have a ‘Teaching and Learning Group’, or are organised into ‘Learning Communities’, where teachers across the subject range share lesson[…]

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Bloody Marvellous: Brilliant new World War Two Website

Wow! I have just returned from the launch of a fantastic website which will help you update and enliven your lessons on World War Two. Funded by the National Lottery, the brilliant local studies team at Worthing Library led by the visionary Martin Hayes have got together the impossible. A[…]

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Why waste your time with lolly sticks?

Over the last few years Assessment for Learning seems to have been Top of the Pops. Most school Development Plans include three magic letters: AfL. These three letters, this magic bullet is going to improve all of our classroom practice and drive up attainment…isn’t it? Well if you are as boring[…]

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A mad mad world

I know its the holidays but I’m depressed. Over the last few weeks I have worked with a whole host of history teachers in many settings. Unfortunately the same depressing message seems to be coming through – we are all spending so much time tracking and analysing data, that we[…]

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