With exams looming, these activities and techniques can help history teachers ensure their students are geared up and ready to perform under pressure.
www.historyhomework.com is live and ready for you to access. You can use it to help your students revise all of the content and many of the skills required for the most popular Edexcel 9-1 GCSE courses. AQA will be launching in September. To find out which topics are covered[…]
Bookmarks. By the end of your GCSE course it is helpful that your students know exactly what is required of them when it comes to answering different question types. As you may know, teaching students just to pass the test is not why we entered the teaching profession. We want[…]
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[…]
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[…]
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[…]
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[…]
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[…]
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[…]
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[…]
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’.
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[…]
Make Knowledge Stick: Odd One Out Recently I have been working really hard to ensure that my GCSE students can recall information over longer periods of time. This is something that I admit, I never really used to think about. I would just teach in an enquiry based way and[…]
How will interpretations be assessed at GCSE in 2018? Teaching historical interpretations at GCSE in 2016 will be more important than before. There is no getting away from this. As we stated in our last post, this has got be a good thing. After we really should be teaching students[…]
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[…]
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[…]
We use this simple technique to check and cement learning and to deepen thinking. Playing games in the history classroom can be fun. We love ‘Prove it’ and ‘Challenge it’. As you probably know we are unashamed users of cards in lessons. Why? Well, this is because, if the cards[…]
As you know, we love to use games for the history classroom. Not only are games engaging and fun, they also help cement learning and make knowledge stick. This idea is simple yet highly effective. The unstoppable Neil Bates uses it when doing class revision for GCSE history. It is called[…]
We would recommend that you sometimes use double continuums to sharpen your student’s historical thinking. This neat idea is really simple. We all want to make our students think more. And I have found over the years that many don’t actually like to think. So this neat idea has helped[…]
Do you teach a thematic study at GCSE? Of course you do. I would recommend that you start off with a tried and tested overview. Something that Alec Fisher and I perfected when we worked together for 10 years. We believed and still do, that if you start a course or[…]
One thing we know works in teaching students to do well in GCSE history exams, is preparing them to write well. Sounds so simple yet we often automatically think our students have this skill because they have arrived in year 10. Unfortunately, this assumption is often wrong!! So how do[…]
Future 2016 GCSE History exam specifications : what is on offer? For more information about the proposed changes to the 2016 history GCSE examination specifications read our blog pages on AQA and OCR/ A, or Edexcel and OCR/B. If you want to know how the content proposed in the exam specifications varies from board to[…]
Having spent time last week looking at the proposed GCSE specifications and assessment materials for OCR/SHP and Edexcel, here I repeat the exercise for the AQA and OCR /A courses. Whilst reading the materials and quaffing tea, I was attempting to look at the proposals through a number of lenses: how[…]
Like the geek that I am, this week I sat down and looked at the draft specifications from the main exam boards for their new GCSE history courses. After many cups of tea, lots of head scratching and 2 empty printing cartridges I decided that there were pros and cons[…]