A Medieval Holiday

We are delighted to feature a blogpost from an A Level student that offers an insight into history learning beyond the classroom and how it raises achievement… While 2021 saw other people spending their ‘staycation’ at campsites or British beaches, one pupil spent several weekends camping inside a castle and on a battlefield! Melissa started doing Living History events in 2019, as part of the … Continue reading A Medieval Holiday

New year narrative of ‘strengthening’ not ‘catching up’ and ‘building back better’ not ‘lockdown gaps’!

Thanks to Alex Fairlamb @lamb_heart_tea for this new academic year OBHD blogpost. Alex is an Assistant Headteacher (T&L), Historical Association Secondary Committee Member and National Coordinator of TMHistoryIcons. As schools start to go back this week and next, I think it’s perhaps useful to write again about reframing the narrative of ‘catch up’ and ‘lockdown gaps’.  Nationally, teachers have worked hard to ensure that students … Continue reading New year narrative of ‘strengthening’ not ‘catching up’ and ‘building back better’ not ‘lockdown gaps’!

What could Lemov’s ideas for Remote Learning look like in History?

Thanks to Alex Fairlamb (@lamb_heart_tea), member of HA Secondary Committee and  coordinator of TMHI, for sharing her work with Lemov’s ideas in the history classroom. You might have come to this post through hearing her on Teachers Talk Radio too! (Apologies – to load Alex’s lovely tables in time, they are screenshoted and the links given underneath – Ed!) Doug Lemov’s ‘Teaching in the Online Classroom’ … Continue reading What could Lemov’s ideas for Remote Learning look like in History?

Closing the gap for disadvantaged students – can history lead the way?

How can History departments lead the way in closing the progress gap for disadvantaged students? The progress and attainment gaps for disadvantaged students are a source of much soul searching in our profession, and almost the only sure answer we have is that there is no easy solution. However, despite the stubborn and depressing national picture, I can testify from my own experience that there … Continue reading Closing the gap for disadvantaged students – can history lead the way?

Memory palaces – the ancient idea that could be the future of history teaching?

Trying to help your students to learn all that ‘stuff’ for GCSE? Here’s a great idea from Ben Taylor (@BenTaylor_CSS) … The memory palace technique originated in Ancient Greece and has endured down the centuries. Yet recently it has been made to seem beyond ordinary folk due to its use by Sherlock in the BBC series. Nothing could be further from the truth; it is … Continue reading Memory palaces – the ancient idea that could be the future of history teaching?

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’!

Getting the kids to make their own revision guide!

My Problem: My A-Level class are about to begin revising for the brand new A-Level. They need a decent set of revision notes but I do not have time to make fancy pants knowledge organisers. My Solution: Get the students to make a fully stocked revision website. Here’s how I did it at no cost (well except a bit of my time). Step 1: Create … Continue reading Getting the kids to make their own revision guide!

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

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