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SHP e-news Winter 2017

In a recent speech, HM Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, gave some welcome rays of hope for the future of school education. She argued that ‘a deep and genuine fascination with subjects’ is what motivates teachers and spoke of the need for school leaders to engage in ‘deep curriculum thinking’. The Chief Inspector also recognised the need for subject teachers to share their professional knowledge: ‘The value of being able to step outside your own experience, learn from what works in other contexts, and test theories and ideas, should not be underestimated’.

These are encouraging words from the Chief Inspector. Deepening history teachers’ fascination with their discipline and sharing outstanding practice are the driving forces of SHP. I hope that you find the items in our December e-news interesting and helpful.

Michael Riley
Director, Schools History Project

SHP Conferences

During the autumn term, we’ve been busy constructing the programmes for the SHP residential conference in July and for our two day conferences in April/May. Putting the programmes together for SHP conferences is always such a privilege. The strength of the history education community means that we can draw on a wealth of talent and a willingness to share. THANK YOU!

Schools History Project Conference
6-8 July 2018, Leeds Trinity University

2018 will be the 30th SHP Conference! This weekend of outstanding CPD for secondary history teachers should not be missed. The conference will include five inspiring plenary sessions from historians and history educators:

  • Helping your students to achieve at GCSE Neil Bates and Richard McFahn
  • Putting people back in the history of the industrial revolution Hannah Barker and Sarah Alderson
  • Beyond Auschwitz: exploring the meaning of local landscapes in the evolution of the Holocaust Tim Cole
  • ‘Our Migration Story’: migration histories and why they matter The Runnymede Trust
  • Subjectivity as a strength: using oral history in your Key Stage 3 curriculum Helen Snelson

A choice from over thirty workshops will allow you to focus on the specific needs of your department. This year there is a strong emphasis on teaching the new GCSEs to the full ability range, but there will also be workshops focusing on developing your Key Stage 3 curriculum and on teaching A level history. A Friday fringe will be devoted to sessions from the Awarding Bodies and a Saturday fringe will provide an eclectic mix of teaching ideas, resources and discussion. The extensive resources exhibition will provide a great opportunity to check out some great new resources and pick up some bargains.

Full details of the 2018 Conference will be available on the SHP website in January. Booking will open then.

SHP Day Conferences

Teaching about Nazi Germany in the new GCSE specifications

  • 28 April, University of Sheffield
  • 5 May, King’s College, London

Nazi Germany is one of the most popular options in the new GCSE history specifications. These day courses, organised jointly by SHP and the history departments at the University of Sheffield and King’s College London, will enhance your teaching of Nazi Germany, whichever specification you teach. The conferences will share recent research from leading historians as well as successful teaching approaches from outstanding educators.

Full programmes for the day conferences will be available on the SHP website in January. Booking will open then.

New Resources on the SHP website

There are several resources to support your planning for the OCR B (SHP) in the GCSE section of the website. In addition, we’ve added two resources to help you prepare you students for the first examinations in summer 2018:

·         OCR B (SHP) Assessment Guide

·         OCR B (SHP) A Case Study of Summative Assessment

This academic year, our priority is to share approaches and materials that support weaker students at GCSE. You can see our recently-added resource: Extra support for the thematic studyIn addition, see my recent blog: Beyond the textbook: effective teaching for the new OCR B (SHP).

News from SHP/Hodder Education

SHP’s GCSE series is now complete!

The publication of The Mughal Empire in October marked the completion of SHP’s series for the OCR B (SHP) GCSE. As series editors, Jamie Byrom and I have been privileged to work with a with such a talented team of authors, publishers and editors. SHP and Hodder Education are proud to have published a textbook for each of the twelve studies in the new SHP GCSE. For some thoughts on ways in which the textbooks can support your planning, and ideas on how to to go beyond the textbooks to ensure access for all, see my recent Hodder History blog.

My Revision Notes for OCR B (SHP)

This resource to help your students prepare for the summer 2018 exams will be published in January. You can find further details about all SHP Hodder Education Resources at:

New Key Stage 3 resource

Very exiting news! A team of SHP authors (Kath Goudie, Alex Ford, Richard Kennett, Michael Riley and Helen Snelson) is now writing a new Key Stage 3 resource for publication in spring 2019. This will provide a fascinating and worthwhile course that prepares students for the challenges of GCSE and gives them a lifelong interest in history. The resource will include twenty enquiries, four thematic studies and twenty-four ‘Closer Looks’ (including eight site studies). We’re looking forward to sharing specific details of the contents with you in the next SHP e-news.

News from OCR…

Practice Papers for OCR B (SHP)

OCR is in the process of uploading the second set of practice papers for OCR B (SHP).  They are on the secure part of the OCR website so that you can confidently use them as mocks if you wish to do so. You can find full details, and sign up of for notifications at:


Mike Goddard, Lead Subject Adviser History at OCR, writes…

It was great to see so many of you at our Autumn INSETs for History B. These were lively, useful and very well-received days, but we understand that it is not always possible to get the budget or time to attend. So we wanted to make sure that you’re aware of other opportunities for advice and guidance. The INSET materials pack is available now for free download from our CPD hub  and there are free twilight drop-in webinars in the spring term where you can put any questions you may have about History B to OCR Subject Advisors. You can register for those here. Additionally, our free spring face-to face regional networks will have a GCSE focus, often with an SHP regional advisor in attendance.  The full list of these, with booking instructions, will be circulated in our Talking History e-newsletter after Christmas (make sure you’re signed up for that here).

Funding available from the Chalke Valley History Trust

Chris Culpin, former Director of SHP and a trustee of the Chalk Valley History Trust, writes…
In a beautiful valley in south Wiltshire, the Chalke Valley History Festival – by far the biggest History Festival in the UK – will take place again in 2018, from June 25th to July 1st. The big name speakers, the re-enactors, the displays, including the fly-pasts, have been lined up. But did you know about the Chalke Valley Schools History Festival?
It’s a great day out for your students. There are talks on key topics from your curriculum by expert speakers. There is a huge range of ‘Living History’ re-enactors, from the Romans, Saxons and Vikings to the English Civil War and the Victorians. They will meet beguiling history story-tellers. They can get up close to historic vehicles. They will experience exciting displays, including a fully manned 1917 Trench. They will be immersed in History they never knew about.
June 26th and 28th are Year 7 and 8 days, (28th Year 9 as well) to get them enthused for History ready for GCSE Options. June 27th is a day for Years 10 and 12, with a different level of speakers on a wide range of topics from GCSE and A level specifications, to get them geared up for looming A Level and university choices. All the details are on the website:
There’s something else you ought to know about the Festival: each year a good slice of the money generated by the Festival is handed out by the Chalke Valley History Trust in the form of grants to benefit History in schools.  This could be, for example, by supporting your visits to historic sites, setting up a History Club or doing some research.  Simply apply and tell us about your story through

Rethinking the Bloody Code

Ian Dawson kindly alerted me to an article on the Bloody Code that will be of interest to teachers of Crime and Punishment at GCSE: Peter King and Richard Ward, ‘Rethinking the Bloody Code in Eighteenth-Century Britain: Capital Punishment at the Centre and on the Periphery’, Past and Present, Volume 228. Issue 1, August 2015

The article provides a detailed analysis of regional variations in hanging. You could adapt to some of the material for GCSE students. For example, they might be interested to discover how far the Bloody Code was implemented in their own region. The article is freely available online at:


SHP works with our partner, OCR, to provide the only SHP GCSE specification. For the accredited OCR B (SHP) specification, SAMs and information on support for the specification, please click here


SHP works with our partner, Hodder Education, to provide you with resources that represent the very best of current history teaching.

Click here for details.


New online resource for ‘History Around Us’
English Heritage has worked with Google to create walk-around online images of 29 sites across England. They include Tintagel Castle, Kenilworth Castle, and a Cold War bunker in York. The partnership uses digital technology including Google Street View and high-definition cameras.

Black History Month magazine
Celebrating 30 years of Black History Month in the UK, the magazine contains a range of interesting articles, comment pieces and features. It can be read freely online here.

Advocating Classics Education
The ‘Advocating Classics Education’ project is a new initiative which seeks to extend the availability of Classical Civilisation and Ancient History qualifications to learners in non-fee-paying schools across the UK. For more information go to

Our Migration Story
A reminder about this great on-line resource from the Runnymede Trust to support the teaching of migration to Britain at GCSE and Key Stage 3. It proves some wonderful resources to support the thematic study of Migrants to Britain at GCSE or Key Stage 3.

Cambridge Archaeology Learning Foundation (CALF)
CALF enables children in primary schools to discover how we learn about the past through archaeology. It provides interactive classroom-based sessions based on the history national curriculum. Activities include handling real artefacts and skeletons, experiencing archaeological ‘dig’ and interpreting evidence.

First World War Centenary Education Programme
A reminder about this unique programme, available until spring 2019. It funds two students and one teacher to go visit the Western Front as part of the Centenary Commemorations, with the hope that those students returning will embark on a legacy project into their
community to ensure we “Never Forget”.