Looking forward to spring and the 2021 HA Conference!

As everyone prepares for the holidays after the strangest spring term in living memory, we have news of something to look forward to! HA Conference 2021 will be online again and will build on the great success of the 2020 conference. The programme is ready, bookings will open soon and we wanted to share news of this to give everyone something to look forward to next term. 

There will once again be a mixture of recorded and live sessions and the conference will be spread over a week during the evenings and a weekend at the end of May. The recorded sessions will be available in advance of conference week and for a limited amount of time after it. This will enable conference delegates as much time as possible to take advantage of what is on offer. The live keynotes will be followed by a live Q&A session. There will be live interactive workshops over the conference week. There are strands of conference focused on history, history teaching and history teacher training.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Michael Wood will be returning to talk about his new book on the history of China and Professor Peter Mandler will giev his first lecture as HA President. 
  • There will be lectures and workshops from Dr Kennetta Hammond Perry, Director, Stephen Lawrence Research Centre; Tim Jenner, HMI Subject Lead History at Ofsted; leading history educationalist Christine Counsell; and Dr James Ross of the University of Winchester.
  • Workshops for teachers will cross all the key stages and a wide range of time periods. There will be workshops to help you make the history you teach more diverse and inclusive, and to help you build a coherent curriculum that effectively weaves substantive and disciplinary knowledge.

While this year might not, once again, have the social side many are currently craving, it will provide top class speakers and workshops in a way that means more people access more of the lectures and the workshops than is possible with a physical conference.

And here are a few HA members thoughts about why they always add HA Conference into their CPD year:

“The HA conference is such a great weekend (whether that is face to face or virtual) as it brilliantly blends two things I love – history knowledge from top notch academics and history teaching advice from cracking experts. There are few conferences where you can go to an ace lecture on something super nerdy and then follow that up with a workshop on how to improve your teaching. This unique blend is its selling point and why I am proud to be part of the HA.” Richard Kennett, Assisstant Headteacher, Gatehouse Green Academy Trust, Bristol

“I love the HA conference in May because it’s perfect timing to open up my summer term planning. It’s always a refreshing look at the curriculum issues I am trying to work on, and always wonderful to hear from expert historians as well as history teaching colleagues from across the country. It really does set me up and energise me to improve our curriculum before September.” Hugh Richards, Subject Leader for History, Huntington School, York. 

The HA Conference has to be one of the highlights of the year in terms of History specific CPD. The opportunity to listen to so many excellent speakers about issues I am wrestling with in my teaching provides me with new insights and also helps reassure me that what I am doing is on the right lines! In the new ‘virtual’ conference there is the added benefit of not having to short list workshops I want to attend as I can listen to all of them. After the HA Conference I always have renewed excitement about how I can improve my teaching and help my department improve and move forwards. I enjoy the mix of workshops that really challenge my thinking and inspire me – I am still drawing upon the ideas from November and I am really looking forward to the new conference in May. As a history teacher, I wouldn’t want to miss this excellent opportunity to listen to the teachers from around the country showcasing their thinking and engaging in discussion around these ideas.” Sally Burnham, history teacher at Carres Grammar School, Sleaford and PGCE history tutor, University of Nottingham. 

“The HA Conference gives me the subject specific training I need to go into the planning phase of the summer term. It picks me up when I am feeling a bit flat and renews me with a love of my subject. I come away with better knowledge, better resources and even entire enquiry sequences to roll out! It is fantastic value for money…” Ruth Lingard, Head of History, Millthorpe School, York and PGCE history tutor, University of York. 

“The HA conference for me is like going to a really really good music festival (like Green Man – highly recommended). There are the headline acts, always worth a listen, whether playing old favourites or singing new tunes. There are new and upcoming groups, doing something different and innovative to open up new possibilities. And there are your favourite bands, joyous and uplifting, reminding you why you are here in the first place. All of this is centred around history in all its shapes and forms. What more could you ask for? Sadly online there’s less of the sideshows, revelry and time to relax – and no free pens. But, why not use it as an excuse to catch up with history friends via your own online fringe?” David Ingledew, Principal Lecturer in Education/Secondary ITE Lead

So, look out for conference booking soon and, as we move towards the end of term, every best wish for a good and restful break. Let us hope that next term continues to see progress out of the grip of the pandemic. But, whatever it brings, the HA will be busy supporting history teachers and the continued development of great history teaching. Stay safe and well!  

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