Revisiting Chartism: The importance of teaching about the ‘Black Man and his Party’

The Secondary Committee at the HA is keen to challenge and support all history teachers to teach about the rich and multi-faceted past. Gemma Hargraves (@History__Girls) has written this blogpost to help colleagues teaching Chartism. In it she provides some interpretations and ideas for resources. As she says: “this isn’t just about pupils seeing themselves in the narratives of the past; be they working class, black … Continue reading Revisiting Chartism: The importance of teaching about the ‘Black Man and his Party’

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

Making it stick is hard – try ‘Starter for ten’!

With the return to two year linear exams at GCSE and A Level, history teachers face even more of a challenge to help students to learn and retain knowledge and understanding so that they can perform well in the exam hall. This requires us to keep on finding engaging and memorable ways to teach content. Here is an idea developed for A Level, that could … Continue reading Making it stick is hard – try ‘Starter for ten’!

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

Substantive concepts: ‘Left-wing? Right-wing? Do you mean like in hockey, miss?’

This week a post to help teach tricky concepts at GCSE… Left-wing and right-wing are not easy concepts for GCSE students. Every year I make my students laugh by pacing from side-to-side of my classroom being the political positions on an imaginary political line from left to right. I am not good at impersonations, but I try to put politicians on the line in a … Continue reading Substantive concepts: ‘Left-wing? Right-wing? Do you mean like in hockey, miss?’

Misconception, misconception, misconception!

It was my TA that did it. Whilst working on a series of revision sessions for a small intervention group that I did not personally teach, and juggling a number of absences, I got into the habit of sending her what I had planned a day in advance. She would look things over and generally agree that what I had planned would be suitable, and … Continue reading Misconception, misconception, misconception!

Signposting change in Edward the Confessor’s Life

Here’s a good idea for helping your students by adapting a great idea for change and continuity to really engage with the course of a key character’s life. Teaching the Normans at GCSE has given me more time to spend on the rather interesting character of Edward the Confessor. I wanted students to know something of his life story but I didn’t want to get … Continue reading Signposting change in Edward the Confessor’s Life

Retaining knowledge: I don’t do dates!

‘I don’t do dates’ is a frequent excuse used by my GCSE students and it shows in their written answers, which often lack specific subject knowledge. For the last two years’ our department has experimented with frequent, low stakes, testing of chronological knowledge. As suggested by Michael Fordham in his blogs on: Assessment Beyond Levels A list of key dates and facts can be set as … Continue reading Retaining knowledge: I don’t do dates!