With schools shut for non-key worker children between March and September 2020, teachers have been setting home or blended learning tasks now for over three months. This has been a mammoth undertaking. It can be difficult to set work that your students can really get their teeth stuck into. It can[…]
I am really excited to announce the first Grassroots History Conference on Saturday 18/1/20 at the University of Sussex. Why the need for a conference? I have worked in the South of England with loads and loads of history teachers over the years. There is some brilliant practice here. However,[…]
I have always been a big fan of collaborative planning. The best lessons or enquiries I have ever taught have been collaboratively planned. Many of them appear on this site. The best schemes of work and curriculum models I have been involved in creating have been the product of two[…]
So, how do you go about planning a broad and balanced history curriculum? Or to put it another way, how do you create a coherent curriculum plan? Well this has been on our agenda for years now. We have blogged about it before. Curriculum planning is going to be of[…]
With exams looming, these activities and techniques can help history teachers ensure their students are geared up and ready to perform under pressure.
I am often late to the party. Fact. Sometimes I don’t even turn up. The curse of the socially awkward and the residue of an inferiority complex perhaps? I know I am very late to one particularly party but why change the habits of a life time? The party I[…]
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[…]
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[…]
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[…]
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[…]
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[…]
The 9-1 GCSE are content heavy. Fact. To ensure that teachers cover all of this content well, there is 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 GCSE[…]
Six steps for teachers to plan, organise and make the most of history field trips and visits to historic sites.
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.[…]
Running a successful revision information evening. When we get to the weeks leading up to Easter revision season is upon us. In schools all over the land colleagues find themselves somewhere on the spectrum between being inundated with eager students to dragging them kicking and screaming to revision classes. There[…]
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[…]
I must admit that it is only this year, after 20 years of teaching that I have felt comfortable being a’teacher in role’. I don’t know why, but before I started working with Neil Bates this was something that I shied away from. But on my first day working at[…]
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[…]
If we are to create outstanding learning and learners, we need to engage our pupils to become curious in the classroom. One way to help engage learners and create curiosity is ensure that all enquiries that start in an intriguing and stimulating way. This isn’t a new and revelationary idea. Good teachers[…]
Twenty strategies for successful GCSE history teaching – this includes ideas on enquiry, revision and meta cognition. And our top 10 tips for great results.
We love to use images in our lessons – always have done. Ever since we could photocopy them from books, print them onto sheets of paper and put them in front of kids we have used them. There are hundreds of possibilities for using pictures. Here are our five top picture activities[…]
Are you bored of setting work that ends up in an extended piece of writing? An essay? An ‘important assessment’? An exam answer? When you tell your class this do they groan and look deflated? Those kids who can’t be bothered don’t bother. You’re marking load increases as your motivation to[…]
Creating the Big Picture of the Past. I sometimes dream that in 30 years time, some adults surveyed in tabloid newspapers will know that the Battle of Hastings took place in 1066. They will know that the Romans invaded England before the Vikings and they will flippin’ well know where[…]
Teaching Historical Interpretations at GCSE. I am really, really pleased that Historical Interpretations has been placed at the heart of the 2016 GCSEs. After all, as Neil Thompson and Christine Counsell have stated, interpretations has always been the jewel in the crown of the Key Stage 3 concepts. Previously we[…]
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[…]
Neil Bates and I have been working together from afar for many years. We have taught in different schools but have always met up to swap resources. However, we were lucky enough to have been working together in the same school. Poor Neil had me as his Head of Hums! We have[…]
What makes a great (history) teacher? I have been pondering this question lately. By lately I mean for the last 19 years or so… and probably will continue to ponder for the next 20 to 30 years, God willing! Lots of people seem to be experts on this subject, clever[…]
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[…]