Polish students, Polish connections, Polish history, strong communities…

Perhaps you have Polish students in your history classroom and are worried their homeland only appears in history lessons when invaded by the Nazis and the USSR? Perhaps you want your students to realise that links with other countries go back a lot further than some current political voices might suggest? Probably you are very pushed for time! Have you seen? projectpolish.com This Schools Project … Continue reading Polish students, Polish connections, Polish history, strong communities…

Acting out the BIG PICTURE: using geeky scripted role plays at GCSE and A Level

Jen Thornton, Head of History at Loreto Grammar School, shares her solution to teaching ‘the big picture’. She describes her approach and then shares her scripts with us so everyone can use them. Onebighistorydepartment! As an NQT back in 2006, I was blessed to work with a brilliant History department, and there is one thing I took away from that year which is still a … Continue reading Acting out the BIG PICTURE: using geeky scripted role plays at GCSE and A Level

‘Imagine it as a pizza…’ and other dodgy analogies!

I was talking to a scientist this week who told me a great story about Isidor Rabi who is a Nobel Prize winner for his work on nuclear magnetic resonance.  Apparently, when Rabi was working on a device that created microwaves specifically for use with radar, someone in the group asked the pertinent question: How does it work? After much scratching of heads one member … Continue reading ‘Imagine it as a pizza…’ and other dodgy analogies!

The Old Lady in the Post Office – how to teach writing a strong line of argument to any key stage

If you’re finding it difficult to teach students in any Key Stage what an argued piece of writing that offers a substantiated judgement looks like, you need to meet someone. She’s called the Old Lady in the Post Office and nothing I’ve tried has been more effective in helping students understand what a line of argument looks like when it runs throughout an essay. Here … Continue reading The Old Lady in the Post Office – how to teach writing a strong line of argument to any key stage

Roleplay and recreation: sharing great Normans resources

Happy New Year to all of you! History teachers are a wonderful tribe and OneBigHistoryDepartment exists to connect history teachers not only to each other, but to the many years of great history teaching that have gone before. We are all too busy to reinvent wheels. We are all too clever to be gulled into thinking that the issues we face in the classroom are … Continue reading Roleplay and recreation: sharing great Normans resources

Building schema: Maps and Mnemonics

Practical advice from a colleague wrestling with how to ensure students learn and retain sense of place… I’ve been working hard with my Year 11s to make their knowledge secure. This is so that they can feel confident forming their arguments, both in discussion in class and ultimately for their written answers in the exam. The new Making of America unit on the OCR SHP … Continue reading Building schema: Maps and Mnemonics