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General Wisdom

Conference materials: Jamie Byrom’s plenary

At this summer’s conference, Jamie Byrom spoke on the topic, ‘Floating their boat – helping low-attainers in history’. He drew on his considerable experience in the classroom and as History adviser in Devon to share strategies grouped into three categories – using enquiry questions, long-term planning and day-to-day planning. We’re delighted to be able to share his pr...

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Conference materials: Historian in the classroom – Yasmin Khan: the Raj at War

This workshop was based on a collaboration with the historian Yasmin Khan. The substantive focus was a comparative study of the British and Indian Home fronts during the second world war. However, we were also keen to give access to the ways historians construct their historical claims. The 12-minute film was made to allow Yasmin Khan to talk directly to students about her methods, her issues with...

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Adventures in Sourcework: The Knowledge Connection

In this final post in our series on using sources in the classroom, Rich Kennett, Head of Humanities at Redland Green School, Bristol, writes on the topic of strong arming your students into using knowledge in their answers to source questions. At my current school the cohort is above national average attainment and many students are very able. Two years ago, however, we noticed that, by and large...

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Adventure in Sourcework: Contextual Knowledge

Sally Thorne, Head of History at Colston’s Girls’ School in Bristol, shares her simple idea for demonstrating the importance of contextual knowledge when assessing a source. My focus for the year was thinking about how to assist students to start recognising sources as evidence, rather than just pillaging them for their information. Struggling to explain the year 8 how important it was...

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Adventures in Sourcework: The Verbal Rehearsal

In this post, Phil Arkinstall, Head of History at Hardenhuish School, Chippenham, explains his use of verbal rehearsals and a spruced-up inference diagram to help students build stronger arguments.  The Verbal Rehearsal My aim was to improve the essay writing of Year 8. The issue was that in previous years students had struggled to write a decent ‘causes of the English Civil War’ essay; they were,...

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Adventures in Sourcework: Colin the Centipede

In this post, Kate Smee, Head of Humanities at Chipping Sodbury School, asks, can Colin the Centipede help students to understand what the point of using sources is? Rationale: As we come under ever greater pressure to achieve higher grades, the push has been to make source work simpler. We have used the familiar strategies such as writing frames, formulae, deconstructing techniques, mnemonics…etc...

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Adventures in Sourcework: Literacy and Sourcework

Matt Bryant, Head of Humanities at Abbeyfield School in Chippenham, shares his strategies for assisting students in accessing the sometimes tricky language presented in written sources.  Getting students to critically assess evidence can be a challenge at the best of times but all History teachers know how important this is. By understanding and questioning source material the student becomes the ...

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Adventures in Sourcework

In the first of a series of blog posts detailing approaches to sourcework, Kate Hawkey, PGCE tutor from the University of Bristol, introduces the group of teachers responsible and the rationale behind the project.  In September 2014 a group of history teachers in and around Bristol got together to talk about the challenges and successes of teaching history in their classrooms. They invited the PGC...

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What does SLT need to know?

At the SHP summer conference in July 2016, Christine Counsell shared her thoughts on what SLT need to know about history teaching. This powerpoint and associated resources are aimed at enabling heads of history to tackle those difficult conversations with their (probably) non-history-specialist line managers, particularly in the current climate off assessing progress at KS3 using GCSE criteria. Wh...

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