WOW! History is a brand new CPD course that follows the popular format used in our sell-out course for Economics & Business Studies.
WOW! History 2014 will provide teaching colleagues with a fantastic collection of resources that can be used immediately in the GCSE and A Level History classroom.
We've asked a superb team of experienced and passionate History teachers to develop their best-ever lesson resources for GCSE & A Level History.
The result is a superb collection of teaching resources that students will find engaging, challenging and enjoyable.
Further information about the contributors and resources provided on the course will be added to this blog entry in the near future.
Further information about the contributors and resources provided on the course will be added to this blog entry in the near future.
I have summarised some of the main features of the new curriculum announced last week alongside a couple of questions and queries.
Looking for ways to get your pupils really enthused about the Battle of Hastings? Want your pupils to show off their creativity? Need your pupils to enhance their communication skills and their ability to work with others? Then please read on..
Ian Mortimer is a godsend for history teachers trying to encourage reluctant students to do a bit of reading. He has an engaging, vivid style, enjoys the story and also seeks out the sort of historical nuggets that still elude textbooks. And unlike the stroppy Terry Deary he probably doesn’t mind his books being used in classes, or recommended by teachers.
Much of the study of the Cuban Missile Crisis focuses on the Soviet–US confrontation. However, it is important to remember that the UK was the third nuclear party involved in the crisis. This excellent article from Total Politics examines the role played by the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan during the Cuban Missile Crisis - it seems he was more closely involved than is typically thought.
Our GCSE & A Level History Teacher Newsletter provides email updates on tutor2u and other teaching resources of interest to colleagues teaching History at KS4 and KS5. To add yourself as a recipient, please complete the form below and then respond to the confirmation email we send you.read more...»
A fascinating story this one - twenty-one German soldiers entombed in a perfectly preserved World War One shelter have been discovered 94 years after they were killed. You can read about it here in The Telegraph.
It was Henry Tudor’s Birthday on Saturday!! Or would have been, if he had possessed a sort of rarefied human longevity that matched his legendary wealth. The man who founded England’s most famous and popular dynasty, the all-conquering Tudors, was born on January 28th in 1457. His mysterious, secretive personality, grasping acquisitiveness, extraordinarily canny political nouse and ceaseless intelligence gathering secured the throne for him in the most febrile of circumstances throughout 24 years of sinister rule. He bequeathed England his son, Bluff King Hal, and grand-daughter, Gloriana the Virgin Queen. He remains relatively unknown, but the brilliant book by Thomas Penn, “The Winter King”, has come as close as anything to unravelling the secrets of the first Tudor’s rule. A sort of Nixonian king who isn’t particularly likeable but is endlessly fascinating.
The Sun has got into History, with a sequence of mocked up front pages on its special website, “Hold Ye Front Page” about various significant historical events. These include:
Laurence Rees’ World War Two blog is a hugely useful resource. Regularly updated it provides indepth analysis and comparisons - all drawing on Rees’ expert knowledge. I’d recommend it as an excellent extension resource for A Level students.
This site is particularly helpful for those starting A2 courses in Tudor History. It allows you to keep track of the main figures of the period, showing in particular how their titles and job descriptions changed over time. It comes from tudorhistory.org which has a wealth of other useful information, including a blog
I attended a talk by Niall Ferguson at the RSA last Thursday - a launch event for the new Channel 4 Series which kicks off on Sunday 6th March. The audio of his talk can be found here. In the series Niall Ferguson explores how Western civilization - a clear minority of mankind - secured a lion’s share of the world’s resources, and examines whether the West is about to be overtaken by the rest. More details here - the series will be available through Channel 4 on Demand (4OD)
Most teachers are aware of the history film dilemma. There are an increasing number of really good ‘history’ films out there, both the reasonably accurate and the laughably inaccurate, and all types offer a chance to invigorate a bit of classroom work on the relevant topic. But with increasing pressure on classroom time - much of it seeping away due to January modules, university open days, the odd snow day, field trips by other departments – it really is difficult to justify devoting whole lessons to the showing of a film (if it ever really was, but who hasn’t occasionally taken refuge in one!). One solution, of course, is the glorious ‘watch this film’ homework, worth setting for the looks of bemusement followed by delight on student faces. That’s one homework that gets done! But solution number 2, and a more collective one, is the History Film Club. Some of my sixth form historians have set one up after school on a Monday evening, using the interactive whiteboards as a decent substitute cinema screen, and it is not only proving quite popular but is provoking interesting discussions afterwards. First off was “Valkyrie”, the controversial Tom Cruise vehicle.read more...»
To mark Holocaust Memorial Day, Survivors Fund (SURF) has launched a new education microsite which conveys the untold stories of an array of UK-based survivors of the Rwandan genocide through film.
The microsite features excerpts of interviews with an array of UK-based survivors, all of whom are playing an active role in raising awareness of the genocide and the situation of survivors today as part of SURF’s Speaking2Survivors project. Supplementing the interviews are a series of specially designed lesson activities.
The London History Network made its debut on Friday night at the Department of Education. Organised by Esther Arnott from Lampton School, the meeting saw around forty History teachers from around the capital hear excellent talks detailing example of brilliant resources and active and engaging enquiries from Richard McFahn and Neil Bates.
The next meeting will be held sometime in March. The Network’s website has more details for anyone interested in attending.
Hollywood is in love with the British monarchy again. The King’s Speech is the surprise Oscar nominee that seems to be sweeping all before it with a heart-warming tale of a reluctant king over-coming his stammer to lead his country in defiance against one of the twentieth century’s worst monsters. There’s even a cameo for Britain’s Greatest Ever Prime Minister, as he offers sage advice to the introverted future monarch. Well, quite. Just as the film is beautifully made, wonderfully directed and sublimely acted, and rightly on course for its Oscars, it also manages to show just how much history is surrendered to art in the making of historical dramas. A backlash is already beginning against its re-writing of history, and few are more trenchant than British ex-pat and enfant terrible, Christopher Hitchens, in this article for online magazine Slate.read more...»
I feel that Historical Re-enactors do not get the recognition they deserve for developing Historical ideas, this is due, I think, to the majority being interested in Military History. This BBC Two Programme Victorian Pharmacy is from the people who made Victorian Farm, and thus comes with many of the weaknesses of that programme. This has, I feel far more educational potential, the practices and remedies of the Victorian era are explained simply, this is the benefit of BBC programmes produced with half a mind to the Foreign, and especially American re-sales; the commentary in simplified, allowing us to use it in the classroom. The Programme can currently be viewed on the BBCi Player, which is available in the more enlightened schools and colleges, but I personally feel that it needs editing for use in the classroom, where it can be used for the KS4 Medicine Through Time, or more generally when looking at the Victorian Era.
There is, obviously, a ‘Book to accompany the series’, [Link to Amazon Books] at £10, this is reasonable for a reference book. The book would probably be of even more use than the TV series, especially in providing good information on Jesse Boots and detailed recipes of lotions and potions, but I do not feel safe in recommending a book I have not seen yet.
This has been decribed by the BBC as ‘An Historical Documentary’, to be fair, it is of a type of Programme, not really designed as a Documentary in the usual sense, but of this type of programme, despite the drawbacks, such a having to address current Health & Safety concerns, it can be used in a useful way to demonstrate some parts of medical understanding in the Victorian era, it can also be used to demonstrate Historical re-enactment, and our attitudes towards representations of the past.
The Institute of Historical Research have produced a new website called Making History which should come in very handy, especially for UCAS personal statement writers and A-Level students looking for historical interpretations. It has a database of significant historians, and examines the significant themes that have affected history over the last hundred years, such as Cultural History, Marxist History, Social History, etc and the leading historians associated with them. There are also plenty of articles on all kinds of subjects such as Family History, Film History, History and Computing, and so on. It should make an excellent starting point for those considering historiography or preparing for university interviews and tests.
Maps ETC is a part of the Educational Technology Clearinghouse, produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology, College of Education, University of South Florida.
A friendly license allows teachers and students to use up to 25 maps in non-commercial school projects without further permission. All maps are available as GIF or JPEG files for screen display as well as in PDF for printing. Use the GIF or JPEG maps for classroom presentations and student websites. Use the PDF maps for displays, bulletin boards, and printed school reports.
Put simply these maps are available for educational use. The maps are grouped, and then presented in a chronological order, although there are some anomalies, it is rather time consuming to search through the maps, but the thumbnails help. This is certainly a service that can be made use of. I especially like the Google Earth Help page, which help one use these maps in Google Earth.
The Speaking2Survivors event - when students from two schools put questions submitted from schools from around the country to a survivor of the Rwandan genocide took place on Monday. Clips from the interview, arranged by question can be seen here.
Ok I know Facebook is blocked by most institutions, but only someone living in a cave for the past 10 years would be unaware of Facebook. Frontierville, is an app, continuing on the Zynga games label, games such as Cafe World and Farmville had me wasting time. I saw the educational benefits of Farmville for KS2, although had difficulty taking it further due to the 13 year limit for Facebook. With Frontierville, these problems have been overcome, as KS4 has an SHP depth study, the American West. I can see how Frontierville would be a a wonderful incentive, becoming a talking point for students studying the American West. I admit it is only a bit of fun, but have found that a bit of fun goes a long way in persuading people to put in a little extra effort. Thus this is not really a site which can be used for strictly pure educational purposes, but, rather highlights a way to communicate with students and inspire them to think differently.
July 5th 2010 sees the opportunity for young people from schools around the UK to speak to survivors of the Rwandan genocide in a web chat hosted by Survivors Fund (SURF).
Questions submitted by students will be answered by survivors now living in the UK. The responses that the survivors give will be filmed and posted on the SURF website for schools to view and learn from.
As well as young people from schools, a number of dignitaries, will be asking the survivors questions and talking about the importance of remembering the terrible events of 1994. These will include Jon Snow, Emma Thompson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Michael Mansfield QC, Lord Carey, Dan Snow and Tony Blair.
For more information on how to access the event please see the Survivors Fund website
Laurence Rees, the man behind TV series such as The Nazis: A Warning From History that I use in the classroom a lot, has recently launched a new multimedia website on World War Two. Rees uses an interactive timeline, bite-sized films and interviews with eye-witnesses and leading historians to cover the entire conflict. The site is based on a subscription model but the rate that we pay as a school is very reasonable and a big discount to that quoted.
As you may have guessed I have a soft spot for Google Streetview, well now they have stolen my idea and posted it as an application, seriously though, I like this adaptation of streetview, it is something I was looking to do as soon as Streetview became available. Basically one posts old photographs, and places them on the current streets, doing the then and Now I tried a few years back, see http://thenandnow.edublogs.org/about/additional-resources/history-pin/ for how it links to this work. I am certainly going to be using it when looking at local History, the only drawback I can see is the copyright issue of using old photographs that belong to someone else, and the ‘story’ that goes with it does not explain where the photo comes from, there are some good examples (Newcastle Theatre) is a good one.
It is certainly worth a look although it would be useful to be able to embed the link into a website.
The History & Policy website aims to connect historians, policymakers and the media, it claims it has been providing policy-relevant history since 2002.
The site was set up by Cambridge historians Alastair Reid and Simon Szreter as a forum for historians to discuss the policy implications of their research and make it accessible to non-academic audiences. It certainly has some very interesting articles from well respected and renowned Historians. This site is certainly of interest for those of us looking for the relevance of current events to Historical events, it appears that this site is not aimed at educators, but despite this I still feel it is useful.
The major strength of the site is the H&P papers section, as these are not especially long, they are almost summaries of latest thinking, something useful for those of use pressed for time, for example the Genocide: twentieth-century warnings for the twenty-first century paper did not provide me with anything new, but it neatly summarised the arguments and ideas we have been discussing regarding linking the Holocaust to other genocides, at first I though the accompanying reading list was rather limited but then quickly realised (when I looked at the publication dates) that the reading list is of the current thinking, a bonus for those of us outside Academia who are looking to keep abreast of the latest research. A further gem on the site is the News section which links the papers very strongly to news items. The events section is also of some interest. personally I would have liked to have seen an RSS feed of the News section, alas I will have to settle for Twitter updates.
This website A Vision of Britain through time provides maps, statistics and historical descriptions of almost every settlement in Britain, it is a treasure trove of statistical information which can be used for Local History study. The Historical maps section provides maps from the 19th and 20th Centuries, allowing change and continuity activities. The election results are particularly useful, providing a one stop site for comparison over time or place. The links to census reports can also be used in conjunction with the other two sections. I found the Travel writing most interesting, it is certainly a section of the site which can be used for classroom resources. The Learning resources on the site are very limited, despite this I think this site has huge potential for those of us willing to use the information provided to produce good quality classroom resources.
A neat interactive timeline here charts the development of the arms race and subsquent negotiations and treaties on disarmament.
What a wonderful opportunity to explore the BBC archives, through these themed collections of radio and TV programmes, documents and photographs. One advantage of this site is that there can be no reason for SLTs in schools to block this site, making some interesting and sometimes unique broadcasts available. For example the ‘Chamberlain returns from Munich’ clip gives us a full six minutes of Dimbleby observation and explanation, before Prime Minister Chamberlain makes his now infamous statement and waves the piece of paper. Certainly this broadcast is an invaluable resource, I feel that the BBC has provided us with some special resources here.
The Synopsis for each clip provide valuable provenance, making the whole package useful. The only drawback with the site, I would foresee, is that, I for one, will be exploring in detail the interesting material, and would probable quickly fall off-task.
I think that this site can be used by teachers to provide interesting and unusual classroom resources, and can also be given to students for independent research. I would love to be able to download or embed the video and audio clips, but understand why this is blocked. The ‘Meet the Experts’ section can also be used for examining the increasingly popular aspect of assessing audio and video sources of information, an Historical skill.
Magna Carta is one of the most celebrated documents in history. Examine the British Library’s copy close-up, translate it into English, hear what our curator says about it, and explore a timeline.
The British Library, like The National Archives have gone a long way to publish their treasures electronically. These series of pages devoted to Magna Carta are wonderfully thought out, providing educators with a series of resources. The Virtual Curator provides answers to most questions one will need asking about this special document, with Claire Breay presenting a nice and friendly face, although I don’t think they have chosen the best photograph. The translation is very useful, enabling copy & paste.I especially like the Themes and People sections as these can be used for depth studies, as well as setting the document in it’s historical context. I do feel that the Magna Carta is so significant that it deserves special treatment, and the British Library has done so here.