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GCSE Revision Quiz - Transformation of Surgery 1845-1918

Sunday, January 26, 2014

This GCSE History revision quiz covers the topic of the Transformation of Surgery 1845-1918. Each time you launch the quiz you'll get 10 questions on this topic selected at random - so you use this quiz lots of times to check that you have really understood the topic well! At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. All the best!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Transformation of Surgery 1845-1918

GCSE Revision Quiz - Crime and Punishment

This GCSE History revision quiz covers the topic of Crime and Punishment. Each time you launch the quiz you'll get 10 questions on this topic selected at random - so you use this quiz lots of times to check that you have really understood the topic well! At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. All the best!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Crime and Punishment

GCSE Revision Quiz - Medicine Through Time

This GCSE History revision quiz covers the topic of Medicine Through Time. Each time you launch the quiz you'll get 10 questions on this topic selected at random - so you use this quiz lots of times to check that you have really understood the topic well! At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Medicine Through Time

GCSE History Revision Quizzes

Try these GCSE History revision quizzes to test your knowledge of core GCSE History topics:

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GCSE History Revision Quiz - The UK and Ireland

This GCSE History revision quiz covers the topic of the UK and Ireland. Each time you launch the quiz you'll get 10 questions on this topic selected at random - so you use this quiz lots of times to check that you have really understood the topic well! At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. All the best!

Launch GCSE History Revision Quiz - The UK and Ireland

GCSE Revision Quiz - Miners Strikes

Friday, January 17, 2014

This GCSE History revision quiz helps you test knowledge and understanding of the topic of the Miners' Strikes. Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our GCSE History topic database. At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Miners Strikes

GCSE Revision Quiz - Current World Issues

Current World Issues covered by this GCSE History revision quiz. Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our GCSE History topic database - so you get a different test each time!. At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Current World Issues

GCSE Revision Quiz - Witchcraft

This GCSE History revision quiz covers the topic of Witchcraft. Each time you launch the quiz you'll get 10 questions on this topic selected at random - so you use this quiz lots of times to check that you have really understood the topic well! At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Witchcraft

GCSE Revision Quiz - Causes of World War Two

In this GCSE History revision quiz we look at the Causes of the Second World War.  Each time you launch the quiz you'll get 10 questions on this topic selected at random - so you use this quiz lots of times to check that you have really understood the topic well! At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Causes of World War Two

GCSE Revision Quiz - First World War

Test your knowledge and understanding of the First World War with this GCSE History revision quiz. Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our topic - so you get a different test each time!. At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. All the best!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - First World War

GCSE Revision Quiz - End of the Cold War

Test your knowledge and understanding of The End of the Cold War with this GCSE History revision quiz. Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our topic - so you get a different test each time!. At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. All the best!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - End of the Cold War

GCSE Revision Quiz - Russia 1905-1941

Russia 1905-1941 is the topic addressed by this GCSE revision quiz which features 10 different questions each time you launch the quiz! At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. 

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Russia 1905-1941

GCSE Revision Quiz - Poll Tax Protests

This GCSE History revision quiz helps you test knowledge and understanding of the topic of Poll Tax Protests. Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our GCSE History topic database on Poll Tax Protests. At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Poll Tax Protests

GCSE Revision Quiz - Changes in British Society 1890-1928

Changes in British Society 1890-1928 is the topic covered by this GCSE History revision quiz. Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our GCSE History topic database on Changes in British Society 1890-1928 - so you get a different test each time!. At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Changes in British Society 1890-1928

GCSE Revision Quiz - America 1945 - 1975

This GCSE History revision quiz helps you test knowledge and understanding of the topic of America (1945 - 1975). Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our GCSE History topic database on America 1945 - 1975. At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - America 1945 - 1975

GCSE Revision Quiz - American West

The American West is the topic covered by this GCSE History revision quiz. Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our GCSE History topic database on the American West - so you get a different test each time!. At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - American West

GCSE Revision Quiz - USA 1919-1941

This GCSE History revision quiz helps you test knowledge and understanding of the topic of the USA between 1919-1941. Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our GCSE History topic database on USA 1919-1941. At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - USA 1919-1941

GCSE Revision Quiz - Weimar Germany

Weimar Germany is the topic covered by this GCSE History revision quiz. Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our GCSE History topic database on Weimar Germany - so you get a different test each time!. At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Weimar Germany

GCSE Revision Quiz - League of Nations

The League of Nations is the topic covered by this GCSE History revision quiz. Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our GCSE History topic database on the League of Nations - so you get a different test each time!. At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - League of Nations

GCSE Revision Quiz - Causes of the First World War

This GCSE History revision quiz helps you test knowledge and understanding of the topic of the Causes of the First World War. Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our GCSE History topic database on the Causes of the First World War. At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Causes of the First World War

GCSE Revision Quiz - Origins of the Cold War

This GCSE History revision quiz helps you test knowledge and understanding of the topic of the Origins of the Cold War. Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our GCSE History topic database on the Origins of the Cold War. At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Origins of the Cold War

GCSE Revision Quiz - Nazi Germany

This GCSE History revision quiz helps you test knowledge and understanding of the topic of Nazi Germany. Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our GCSE History topic database on Nazi Germany. At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Nazi Germany

GCSE Revision Quiz - Vietnam

This GCSE History revision quiz helps you test knowledge and understanding of the topic of Vietnam. Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our GCSE History topic database on Vietnam. At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses.  Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Vietnam

GCSE Revision Quiz - Women in the 20th Century

This GCSE History revision quiz helps you test knowledge and understanding of the topic of Women in the 20th Century. Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our GCSE History topic database.  At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz -Women in the 20th Century

GCSE Revision Quiz - End of Empire 1919-1969

The End of Empire 1919-1969 is the topic covered by this GCSE History revision quiz. Each time you take the quiz, 10 questions are drawn from our GCSE History topic database on the topic- so you get a different test each time!. At the end of the quiz you can review your answers against the correct ones and also print out your responses. Good luck!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - End of Empire 1919 - 1969

History Teachers and Departments on Twitter

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Twitter is an increasingly important part of the personal learning networks of many history teachers and students. We've put together a dynamic list of a History teachers and departments whose tweets have inspired us recently.

Take a look through the list and follow a few of your colleagues!

If you are not on the list, please follow @tutor2u and tweet us a message - we'll then add you directly!

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GCSE Revision Quiz - Labour and the Trade Unions

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

20 multiple-choice questions here for GCSE History on the topic of Labour and the Trade Unions. Each time you take the quiz you get ten new questions!

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Labour and the Trade Unions

GCSE Revision Quiz - Liberal Reforms 1906-1914

20 multiple-choice questions here for GCSE History on the topic of the Liberal Reforms 1906-1914

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Liberal Reforms 1906-1914

GCSE Revision Quiz - South Africa

20 multiple-choice questions here for GCSE History on the topic of South Africa

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - South Africa

GCSE Revision Quiz - Mao’s China 1930-76

20 multiple-choice questions here for GCSE History on the topic of Mao's China 1930-76

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Mao's China 1930-76

GCSE Revision Quiz - The United Nations

20 multiple-choice questions here for GCSE History on the topic of The United Nations

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - The United Nations

GCSE Revision Quiz - The Middle East 1919-1973

20 multiple-choice questions here for GCSE History on the topic of The Middle East 1919-1973

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - The Middle East 1919-1973

GCSE Revision Quiz - The Welfare State

20 multiple-choice questions here for GCSE History on the topic of The Welfare State

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - The Welfare State

GCSE Revision Quiz - Impact of War on Britain 1903-54

20 multiple-choice questions here for GCSE History on the topic of the Impact of War on Britain 1903-54

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Impact of War on Britain 1903-54

GCSE Revision Quiz - The Peace Treaties

20 multiple-choice questions here for GCSE History on the topic of The Peace Treaties

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - The Peace Treaties

GCSE Revision Quiz - Warfare Through Time

20 multiple-choice questions here for GCSE History on the topic of Warfare Through Time

Launch GCSE Revision Quiz - Warfare Through Time

WOW! GCSE History 2014

Friday, November 22, 2013

Launches London - 13 June 2014...

WOW! History is a brand new CPD course that will provide teachers with a fantastic collection of resources that can be used immediately in the GCSE History classroom.

We've asked a superb team of experienced and passionate History teachers to develop their best-ever lesson resources for GCSE 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.

The inaugural WOW! GCSE History will take place in Central London on 13 June 2014.

You can make provisional bookings for the inaugural WOW! GCSE History 2014 course now using this online booking form..

A printable booking form can also be downloaded here

​Applying to study History at University?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Have you ever thought about studying history further? It so happens, as I am sure that many Upper Sixth students are aware, that the UCAS application process is open. If you are thinking of studying history then read on for some useful information such as tips, hints and advice.

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Revision Quiz - KS3 History - The English Civil War

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

This KS3 revision quiz has twenty questions to allow students to test their knowledge of the The English Civil War.

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37,000 Extra GCSE History Students in 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The recent GCSE results have received widespread media coverage. A significant feature was the increase in candidate numbers opting to take History. I have provided a little more analysis of the GCSE History candidate numbers below to illustrate which specifications were taken by the extra 37,000 students - always interesting to see how the various exam boards are getting on and how their grade performances vary!

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“I Have a Dream” - 50 Years Since Martin Luther King’s Speech

Monday, August 26, 2013

It is 50 years since the American civil rights leader Martin Luther King delivered his "I have a dream" speech and there is lot of excellent media coverage of the anniversary.

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Gove’s new secondary curriculum - main features of the KS3 History proposals

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I have summarised some of the main features of the new curriculum announced last week alongside a couple of questions and queries.

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Kinaesthetic history: The Battle of Hastings (Recreated)

Monday, February 04, 2013

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..

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Violence in the Middle Ages…and Other Interesting Facts

Friday, August 31, 2012

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.

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Macmillan’s secret role in the Cuban Missile Crisis

Friday, August 24, 2012

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.

Macmillan’s secret role in the Cuban Missile Crisis

GCSE & A Level History Teacher Resource Newsletter

Thursday, August 23, 2012

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.

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Life in the FWW trenches - uncovered in 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

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.

The Nixonian King

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Henry VIIIt 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 Battle of Hastings - According to The Sun

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

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:

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The best WW2 blog on the web?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

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.

Who’s who in Tudor History

Thursday, June 23, 2011

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

Civilisation: Is the West history?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

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)

Valkyrie at the History Film Club!

Monday, January 31, 2011

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.

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Untold Stories: Survivors of the Rwandan genocide interviewed by students

Sunday, January 30, 2011

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.

London History Network

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.

The King’s Speech, Hollywood History And An Unconstitutional Act

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

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.

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In Parliament we trust

Thursday, September 23, 2010



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Dressing up a Victorian Pharmacy

Saturday, July 31, 2010


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.

Making History Website

Thursday, July 22, 2010

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.

5,000 maps to choose from

Tuesday, July 13, 2010



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.

Speaking2Survivors - an Interview with a survivor of the Rwandan genocide: clips now live

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

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.

Wild about the Frontier

Sunday, July 04, 2010

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.

Speaking2Survivors: An opportunity to interview a survivor of the Rwandan genocide

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

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

WW2history.com: A new resource from Laurence Rees

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.

History Pin, Just what I was looking for

Tuesday, June 08, 2010



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.


History and Policy do mix

Wednesday, May 26, 2010



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.

A wonderful vision of Britain

Sunday, May 02, 2010



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.

The History of Nuclear Weapons - Interactive Timeline

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A neat interactive timeline here charts the development of the arms race and subsquent negotiations and treaties on disarmament.

Nuclear Weapons Timeline

The BBC Archive collections

Sunday, April 04, 2010



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 close up and personal

Monday, March 22, 2010



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.

Timelines and 3D Models

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The TimeRef website is a useful source of detailed information about Medieval and Tudor England. It has plenty of timelines and allows you to customise your own. It also has a section of 3D models and “tours” of castles and cathedrals, and a useful guide to heraldry.

Video History Today

Saturday, March 06, 2010


Maurice Savage had an idea, as school trips became increasingly difficult he thought he would allow students to see footage of visits he had made. He quickly set up http://www.videohistorytoday.com/ the first web site dedicated to providing schools with modern, adaptable video clips recorded at places of historical interest. The site contains video images recorded on the actual sites of major historical events, his aim was to provide students with the basic ingredients to produce video essays and mini-documentaries. I became involved when he looked to publicise his materials, unfortunately this was just as the Youtube hysteria set in, so we had to find another way to allow access. This is when Maurice had the idea of putting the clips into collections, there are now seven Video Collections, designed to be used by teachers and students to help in the study of four major events in World History, and as each collection is provided on a 4GB USB memory stick these can be accessed by students and teachers. There is also a new Download facility on the site.
There are numerous ways in why the clips can be used; from the simple presentation of material to more detailed analysis, thus they can be used for KS3, KS4, A Level and University students. For example a study of the White House pits at Auschwitz-Birkenau ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sgoNS0jTL4 ), can be enhanced by the use of Video History Today footage of the site, linked to a Google Earth Placemark, setting the information in context, as well as providing an interesting alternative presentation of the information. This site contains a virtual treasure trove of material, and fully deserves recognition

Streets of Pompei in Google Street View

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

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Google Street View in Pompei

As you may be aware I am a fan of Google Street View, Google maps and Google Earth. I was therefore pleased to find Pompeii added to the list of locations. Now we can send our students on a short virtual educational visit, without the expense of hotels and flights. The ‘User Photos’ option will be useful, allowing students to take images from the site for annotation. I admit the tour does not get into the buildings, and as such is not really a virtual tour, but I do feel this is a wonderful addition, that can be used to compare and contrast. As a starter activity a search around Pompeii would motivate most teenagers. The theatre and amphitheatre are the most spectacular places to visit, but a simple stroll down some of the streets will add so much to a study of Pompeii. I even feel that the tourists and the building/restoration work, adds to the feel, giving students a greater context in which to study the site. I think this is a wonderful addition, and will enable Google maps to be used effectively in the classroom.

Crime and Punishment Online

Saturday, February 20, 2010



Like its sister site on Medicine through time from Dan Moorhouse, this site is being developed to provide links to the best teaching and revision materials available for the SHP development study of Crime and Punishment through time. Initially this will consist of linking to materials elsewhere, with regular updates and additions. In time it is planned to develop pupil guides to the key elements of the course and interactive materials to support teaching and learning.Still in its early development this site will quickly become the first stop for teachers and students following this SHP development study.
The link to other sites has become a key aspect of very good sites, for teaching has become much more collaborative, this site highlights the best of this collaboration.

Google Earth’s WWII aerial images

Wednesday, February 10, 2010



I have used the Google Earth overlay a few times now, but usually with images of the past I have found, thus to find that Google has ‘stolen’ my idea, came as a suprise. In all seriousness, this World War Two overlay is a development of their overlay policy, and it certainly works, the image above of Dresden is particularly significant to me, as I used Google maps to do this some four years ago, and the resulting image had a positive impact on the students. The Warsaw Ghetto, the bombed centre of Berlin and Dresden will be the most popular images I feel, but it certainly shows what can be done. I feel sure many educators will find these overlays useful, I look forward to Google exploring other Historical events in this way.

Prezi’s new Educational License

Wednesday, February 03, 2010



Just after Christmas I received a message (via Twitter) asking me to write to the CEO of Prezi, to ask, nicely, if they would consider reducing the cost for educational use. I had heard about the power of Twitter, but this was the first time I took an active part - within hours there was a reply, and within days Prezi announced an Educational Licence.
As mentioned in a previous review, I have moved from Powerpoint’s linear presentation to using Prezi for my presentations, and have a few times used it in the classroom, but only as ones and twos, as I signed in for them, giving them an opportunity to play. The Educational licence, at just $59 for the EduPro, will allow schools use Prezi to its highest potential.
The educational licence has three main aspects: upgrade - EduEnjoy (500MB) had the added feature of allowing students and teachers to Choose if a prezi is private, published, or shared with selected individuals, making it useful within a school network; EduPro (2,000MB) has the extra feature of offline production.
Prezi Reuse is the second new feature, this allows a prezi to be edited by multiple users, allowing for collaboration, but also allows for updated prezis, effectively we can load a prezi, alter it and save it as a new Prezi, allowing teachers to see student progress.
Lastly the Learn Centre allows for the sharing of ideas, and information, which should allow even greater use of this tool. Overall I have been impressed by the Prezi, not just the wonderful tool, but also their response to educationalist, giving us a resource we can make use of in the classroom. My thanks go to Peter Arvail, CEO of Prezi for showing us what can be achieved with 2.0 technology.

Lesson Planning - this is Learning Score

Tuesday, January 19, 2010



Learning Score is an amazing multimedia lesson-planning and delivery tool. My Twitter network highlighted this to me, and although it is not a History resources, I thought it was worthwhile highlighting it. I, like many begrudge writing out lesson plans for observed lessons, interview lessons and (rarely) general lessons, I see the lesson plan as a plan of what I will do in the lesson, not as seems to be the view of SMT as a rigid blow by blow prediction of what is going to happen. I therefore think this tool will be of great benefit, after just 10 minutes on the trial version I was confident I could use it to plan and deliver lessons using it, in fact I think it would improve my lesson planning, getting me to think about the aspect of the lesson, rather than get bogged down in the aims, objectives and outcomes. I think this would be ideal for teacher training, and at just £35 it is not outside most departmental budgets. This has the feel of a tool produced by someone who knows what teaching is about, and for that reason alone I think John Davitt (the inventor) should be applauded, well done John, I am sure you will find many appreciative teachers out there.

Medicine through time Online

Saturday, January 09, 2010



Again I must confess my interests in this site, Dan Moorehouse is a friend and Colleague, thus I have been following the production of this site for some time. He states:

This site has been established to offer support to pupils following a GCSE course that incorporates the SHP development study in medicine through time.

and as someone who teaches this SHP development study I have been watching the resources available carefully. Dan has utilised the new Web 2.0 technology, making the integration of the resources into schemes and lessons easier, I for one follow him/this site on twitter, and would encourage students to do so also, this is but one part of the site. The recently introduced Timelines are very good for independent student research, for that end of period Homework assignment. The revision activities draws on some of the best, newest and most innovative activities available, providing useful links to valuable sites. Although still a ‘work in progress’ this site will surely become the first stop for those of us guiding out students through the SHP Development study, Medicine through Time

David Rumsey’s Map Collection - what a collection

Saturday, December 12, 2009

David Rumsey Map Collection

The David Rumsey Map Collection was started over 25 years ago and contains more than 150,000 maps. The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century maps of North and South America, although it also has maps of the World, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. The collection includes atlases, wall maps, globes, school geographies, pocket maps, books of exploration, maritime charts, and a variety of cartographic materials including pocket, wall, children’s, and manuscript maps. Items range in date from about 1700 to 1950s.
What we have here is genius, this is something I have done on a local level, and found it to be very useful in getting students to see and explain changes and continuity. The opacity function on the maps works excellently, enabling use of the site for presentations and student research. To be honest this feels like an early Christmas present, a new toy I can spend hours playing with,  the drawback is that I feel over use would diminish its impact and it certainly has an impact.

CIA codebreaking

Friday, December 04, 2009

If you or your classes like code-breaking you might enjoy this site from the CIA. There are chances to look at and solve various famous codes from history. Perphaps people who crack them quickly enough get offered a job!

The main site is full of interesting information and primary sources, especially documents on the cold war, including recently declassified Soviet material.

History Books for Christmas

Thursday, December 03, 2009

If you are thinking of doing some wider reading over Christmas, or have been asked what you want in your stocking, you may find inspiration at these websites. The Guardian and Telegraph History books sections have excellent reviews, often by historians, and give you a good idea of what is currently being published. Amazon.com of course has a vast range of books and you can see a few of them here.

Here is a specific selection of Tudor History books and here is a guide from tudorhistory.org to useful authors.

Warfare (1) - Auction House Starter Activity

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Many thanks to Andy Lawrence for producing this Auction House starter activity quiz on warfare…

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Interactive Illustrated Holocaust Glossary

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Friend and Colleague, Sharon Artley has spent the past two years producing this, for the IWM Fellowship in Holocaust education. She has made this illustrated Glossary available for educational use.

It can be found at: http://smartleydoesit.co.uk/illustrated-holocaust-glossary/

Starter Activity - Cold War Wipeout Challenge

Monday, November 23, 2009

Here’s a great starter activity from Andy Lawrence using tutor2u’s Wipeout Challenge quiz format…

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Historical Ignorance

Monday, November 09, 2009

This article from the Daily Mail has provoked quite a reaction amongst my history students this week. It reports on a survey which states that “Adolf Hitler was Germany’s football team manager, according to youngsters aged nine to 15,” and 12% of the children surveyed thought Remembrance Sunday is represented by the McDonalds logo. Clearly the methods used in the survey have been designed to score an easy headline, and it may help to stimulate a debate about historical significance, and the nature of using evidence in newspaper reports…

Its more than a Modern World History GCSE revision site

Saturday, November 07, 2009



John D Clare is a prolific textbook writer, his latest textbook is for the AQA Modern World, this Heinemann published book is part of the new generation of textbooks, but this is not all, the website, which is also well established provides a much needed extra dimension for GCSE.
John will admit to teaching for a number of years, this site provides support and practical advice for students and teachers, John shares his experience. The huge advantage of this site is that one does not need to be taking the AQA course to take advantage of this experience, the advice to teachers is used by experienced teachers as well as newbies, the advice to pupils is clear and concise.

I have used some of the activities and quizzes on the site,despite not taking AQA or Modern World, the self-test activities can be used with KS3 & A Level Students, as they are can be used as they are or as foundations for later activities, I have certainly steered my GCSE & A Level students towads this site, to use it as a tool for good revision. I will also continue to use the site to stucture my courses and revsion activities for my students.

The Fall of Communism - Key Events on Video

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The 20th anniversary of the fall of Communism is well covered in these interactive BBC resources, including video clips from the news archives:

Mapping the fall of Communism

Key events of 1989

Scotlands History - Curriculum for Excellence - Launched

A major new teaching resource to support learners covering Scotland’s history has just been launched.  As part of Curriculum for Excellence, Scotland’s History covers a broad range of curriculum topics, from Scotland’s early history right up to the 21st Century.  Well worth a look

Remembrance day and beyond

Wednesday, November 04, 2009



As the last three Great War veterans died this year, to mark the passing of this ‘World War One generation’, a national event will take place at Westminster Abbey on Remembrance Day, Wednesday 11th November 2009. To encourage schools to support this significant milestone and to engage young people in the history of the WW1 generation and experiences of the passing generation, the Ministry of Defence, in collaboration with key organisations such as the IWM, are providing a range of engaging primary and secondary education resources on this site.

The resources are very detailed and will provide the basis for projects and research into this aspect of the Great War. I have used some defence dynamics www.defencedynamics.mod.uk resources in the past, and found them useful for G&T students, when I have wished to set an individual research project. With the Imperial War Museum and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission involved in this venture, the resources and Links will be invaluable. This site is well worth noting for the the links to other sites related to this issue alone.

Using Buildings and places

Tuesday, November 03, 2009



Engaging Places is brought to us by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) in partnership with English Heritage.

This site provides ideas and resources for extending teaching beyond the classroom, both physically and metaphorically.
As someone who has worked with English Heritage and the National Trust, I am aware of the work these organisations are making to engage in a dialogue with schools and educational institutions. This site showcases some examples of this dialogue, as well as providing practical examples of how to use buildings and places to enhance learning. As this site grows I feel the resources will become even richer, certainly a site worth keeping ones eyes on.

Into the Storm - Churchill and the War Years

If you missed the superb Into the Storm last night, then it is well worth catching on BBC iPlayer.

Loads of reenactments of key WW2 events in there for students, including Dunkirk, the War Cabinet, Yalta and the bombing of Dresden. The 1945 General Election is also featured prominently.

Watch Into the Storm

The Day the Wall Fell (BBC Radio 2- Tuesday 3 Nov)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A quick heads up about a programme on Radio 2 next week.

According to the programme guide:

Jeremy Vine marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by looking at its history, from construction in 1961, to the day it was finally breached on 9 November 1989.

Jeremy visits the city to examine what remains of the Wall and speaks to those who lived on both sides - East and West. He visits some of the key locations in the Wall’s history including Checkpoint Charlie; the Brandenburg Gate; Bernauer Strasse, which was cut in two in 1961; and Mauerstrasse, where the largest remaining section of the Wall exists today. Jeremy explores why the Wall went up in the first place, why it came down and asks whether the psychological scars of a divided Germany still remain.

The programme contains firsthand testimony from Germans who escaped from the East and those who helped them. It also considers what it was like to live in a state controlled by the secret police or Stasi and hears from a political reformer who was held in the notorious Hohenschönhausen prison. He considers to what extent the phenomenon of “ostalgie” or nostalgia for life in the former East Germany still exists, particularly as some former Stasi and government officials have prospered since the Wall came down 20 years ago.

There are interviews with escapee Joachim Neuman, who spent two years working on tunnels under the Wall to bring his girlfriend to the West; and escapee Irmgard Muller, who escaped from East Berlin under a false passport to be with her husband. We also hear from West Berliner Horst Seeliger, who was in East Berlin on November 9 1989, and one of the first people to cross back through the border into the West; and Vera Lengsfeld, an East German reformist politician who was imprisoned by the Stasi.

Additional contributors include historian Frederick Taylor; Sunday Times journalist Peter Millar and veteran BBC reporter Brian Hanrahan, who both covered the fall of the wall; and Ben Bradshaw, Secretary Of State for Culture, Media & Sport, who was a young BBC reporter in Berlin in 1989.

Great War battlefields trips recommendation: The Road To Passchendaele

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Like many colleagues we’ve been taking large groups of Year 9 pupils to the First World War battlefields for many years. Only this year did we discover the fantastic ‘Road To Passchendaele’ experience. This allows groups to dress up as Great War soldiers, eat what they ate and be guided along the route taken by Australians on October 4th 1917 as they attacked German positions. Because we had a large group we couldn’t don the uniforms but the tour was magnificent and worked its way from Zonnebeke to Tyne Cot. I’d recommend it to any colleagues planning a trip. Further details here

An exiting video, overview & timeline resource

Thursday, October 29, 2009



Andrew Chater is one of those skilled artisans who’s work is more famous than him. I feel sure most History educators are familar with the Historyfile series, which have become the standard documentary in History Classrooms, especially the five Nazi Germany documentaries of which the ‘Geordie Nazi’ is the most famous, these are the work of Andrew Chater.

Less well know are the Timelines series: Ruler and Ruled 1066-1660, Power to the People 1688-1928, Empire 1290-1948 and Changing Lives 1066-1984, they provide a thematic approach to British History, fitting into the new approach to History teaching very well. they are of a very high standard, (Andrew received a BAFTA in 2006 for the third in this series).
The website here adds to these programmes, providing additional information and materials, billed as an online-resource it can be given to students for research, or used as a classroom resources, as the transcripts from the programmes can be downloaded.

With pressure on teaching time growing, this resource can provided the overview which is becoming squeezed or sometimes overlooked, and with such a range, most aspects of British History is covered.

Putting the Thinking into History

Saturday, October 24, 2009



Anyone lucky enough to see Ian Dawson at History CPD conferences, and especially the Saturday evening session at the SHP conference, will be familiar with his active learning techniques. This site began as a place to highlight this work, but it has grown into much more than this now, providing teaching resources of all types and styles.

I have used a number of the resources myself for GCSE and A Level, and have a couple of my activities on the site. One aspect of A Level especially, and GCSE to some extent, is the pressure to concentrate on ‘chalk & talk’, these active learning activities can be taken straight off the site and used, or one can use the ideas and adapt them to one’s own circumstances.

I would reccommend this site highly, I generally dip into it every month or two, and usually find something to inspire me towards a lesson activity.

The Wall Street Crash - Interactive Guide

Friday, October 23, 2009

On the 80th anniversary of the Wall Street Crash, the Guardian has produced this excellent interactive guide to the events in 1929.

Revision Video - Czechoslovakia and the Prague Spring 1968

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This ten-minute You Tube video gudies students through the events immediately following the appointment of Alexander Dubcek as leader of the Czech Communist Party.

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Berlin Wall - BBC Archive now available online

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A terrific resource from the BBC archive has recently been updated and upgraded.  The Berlin Wall archive contains a rich collections of video and audio clips explaining the entire history of the Berlin Wall.  An essential AV resource.

Visit the BBC Archive on the Berlin Wall

Revision Video - Solidarity in Poland

The Polish challenge to the Soviets from Lech Walesa’s Solidarity trade union is described in this 10 minute You Tube video.

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Apartheid Resources

Monday, October 19, 2009

If you need resources for the study of Apartheid in South Africa I recommend taking a look at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg. Having visited it recently, I can say it really is fantastic. You can access educational resources from their site at apartheidmuseum.org

Interactive quizzes on the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Here are links to a series of new interactive quizzes for GCSE History courses that cover the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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Cold War Wildcard GCSE Quizzes

Test your knowledge of key names, events and concepts in the history of the Cold War with these four “wildcard”-style quizzes.  We give you a partially completed term.  Your task is to complete it.

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GCSE Superpower Relations: Quizzes

Here is a collection of interactive multiple choice quizzes which help students test their knowledge of the Superpower conflicts:

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Hungarian Uprising 1956 - Ten Minute Video

Sunday, October 18, 2009

This You Tube video explains the events of the 1856 Hungarian uprising…

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East German Jokes

Friday, October 16, 2009

West Germany’s intelligence service has released a collection of jokes made in East Germany during the Cold War. You can read some of the here, such as,
“If Christmas had happened in East Germany, it would have been cancelled. Mary would’t find any napppies for the baby Jesus, Joseph would be called up to the army and the three kings wouldn’t get a travel permit.”
Or, “What would happen if the desert became communist? Nothing for a while, and then there would be a sand shortage.”
The humour is pretty dry, but it reveals the way many East Germans coped with the repressive regime and their dreary surroundings - through cynicism and sarcasm. Of course, the penalty for being caught telling such jokes could be very high. The Stasi had 189,000 informants who reported any criticsm of mockery of the government, and many people were arrested and sent to labour camps.

The report is published by Der Spiegel, a German news magazine, and you can find further coverage (in English) of the events marking the anniversary of 1989 here.

History Videos - Cold War - Checkpoint Charlie

This excellent short CNN video tells the story of Checkpoint Charlie…

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History Videos - The Berlin Airlift

This ten-minute newsreel video tells the “official” story of the Allied Berlin Airlift…

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Battle of Hastings Anniversary

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Today is the 943rd anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. Here is a very detailed site on the causes, events and consequences of the battle. There are plenty of videos available on the subject, including this cheerful description of Harold Godwinson’s death from Terry Deary. The BBC have also provided a game, and lots of other useful information.

A level Resources from The Cabinet Papers

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

If you need some A level resources for units on British History between 1915 and 1978, take a look at The Cabinet Papers area of the National Archives site. There are some dedicated A level materials. The site has particularly useful sections on the origins of the NHS and the Welfare State.

What if Arthur Tudor became King?

Friday, October 09, 2009

Arthur Tudor has had a book written about him, which isn’t a bad achievement considering he was dead by the age of 15. It is discussed in an article on the History Today website which considers why Arthur’s memory was so deliberately forgotten during the latter Tudors’ reigns, perhaps to avoid difficult suggestions about their own mortality and the precarious positions of their heirs. The article also indulges in a bit of virtual history - if Arthur had become King and remained happily married to Catherine of Aragon, would the English Reformation have taken place? Would Arthur have been able to give the Tudors the same strong identity as his brother? We will of course never know, but this exercise in counterfactual history is helpful in identifying which factors were crucial in shaping this period.

PS: Here is some more information about counterfactual history, including some academic links.

Should Truman have dropped the atomic bomb?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Help your students decide whether Truman should have dropped the bomb with this source-based activity from the Learning Curve

Black History Month in Liverpool

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

As you know, October is Black History Month. This national celebration aims to promote and celebrate Black contributions to British society, and to foster an understanding of Black history in general.

Throughout the month National Museums Liverpool holds a series of events including performances, talks, music, dance, craft activities and more, across several venues. Full details are available from the Liverpool Museums website

2000 CPD opportunities for teachers from MLA

Over 2000 opportunities for Continuing Professional Development are being offered to those working with children and young people across England as well as people working in museums, galleries and archives by the MLA (Museums, Libraries and Archives Council).

The range of CPD activities, taking place between September 2009 and March 2010, will include seminars, workshops and mentoring/exchange activities. These aim to provide skills, knowledge and experience to enable the cultural sector to deliver quality learning programmes for children and young people.

As part of MLA’s Strategic Commissioning Workforce Skills, the CPD national programme underlines the role of the cultural sector as valued partners in the delivery the Children’s Agenda.

For further information about the CPD programme, please visit the MLA website and scroll down the page to check out opportunities within your region.

Writing the History of the English Civil War

Paul Seward, Director of the History of Parliament, formerly a Clerk in the House of Commons will speak on Politics into History: Hobbes and Clarendon consider the English Civil War at Richmond & Twickenham branch meeting in the Vestry Hall, 21, Paradise Road, Richmond 8pm Thursday 15 October 2009.

The massive History of the Rebellion by Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon (1609-74) is the most famous contemporary history of the English Civil War; the philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), best known for his towering work of political thought, Leviathan, also wrote on the Civil War in a book he called Behemoth.

Both men were working on their accounts at the same time; both were intimately connected with the politics of their time; and they knew each other very well. What can their work tell us about how the Civil War was explained by contemporaries? More broadly, how politics is transmuted into history - and history into politics?

6th Formers especially welcome!

Admission free to HA members: guests £2;


You may be aware that the British Museum has just opened an exhibition about Montezuma, leader of the Aztec Empire, which as you can see from the picture above, is full of spectacular artefacts and treasures, dripping with gold and precious stones.

However, the reaction has not been completely positive, as this New York Times article, cheefully summarises. Philip Hensher in the Daily Mail writes that the artefacts are as “evil as Nazi lampshades made of human skin”. Boris Johnson himself writes that Montezuma’s regime, with its devotion to human sacrifice, fully deserved to be taken over by the Spanish conquistadores in 1519.

Is it right to put objects, however beautiful, in a public exhibition if they come from such a bloodthirsty regime? Do we have any right to pass judgement on other cultures from different periods of history?

D-Day Quiz

Monday, October 05, 2009


Here is a revision mutliple choice quiz for GCSE history students covering the Second World War and the events of D-Day

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GCSE Pilot - Marketing/ Managing Heritage units

If you are doing the Pilot GCSE units on Marketing Heritage or Heritage Management, you might like to show your students this video on Heritage at Risk fron English Heritage TV.

Free CPD for teachers of the Holocaust.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


Free to secondary school teachers

Places are available free of charge to every state secondary and middle school in England. And the programme workshops are delivered regionally by world-recognised experts. For workshop participants, the CPD also offers distance learning through a Virtual Learning Environment which provides on-going resources and development opportunities.

CPD participants can also become part of a network of Holocaust educators, and a community of enquiry and exchange, with access to a set of online resources and support materials which will continue to grow and develop.

Benefits of the 2 day workshop
The CPD comprises a two day workshop. It will allow you to:

•Access effective, engaging and age-appropriate learning materials,
•Participate in regional CPD workshops at a venue near you,
•Network and share materials and expertise in an online community,
•Bring the latest developments in learning theory and Holocaust research into the classroom,
•Access national and international experts in Holocaust education,
•Continue to a Masters Level course following the CPD (optional)
Click here for more information and to apply

A tool to make 3D Timelines

Saturday, October 03, 2009


One of the challenges of the GCSE History option SHP is the length of the development study. Students look at an aspect of History (either Crime or Medicine) over an extended period of History, usually from the Prehisttoric to the present. I was looking for something which my students could refer back to, as well as continually update. I used Google Sketchup as I had found most other timelines got ‘clogged up’ after the 18th Century, there was just too much information in the latter part of the timeline to enable a balanced and accurate timeline. I feel sure this tool can also be used for KS3 and A Level students to produce useful timelines.

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British Newspapers - superb opportunity to view contemporary views of Historical events

Monday, September 28, 2009



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Women’s Suffrage Resources

If you are looking for primary evidence on the Women’s Suffrage Movement take a look at the excellent selection from The British Library’s site Learning: Dreamers and Dissenters.

A level Coursework Research

If you want a really good site to immerse your A level students in the world of research try British History Online

A text to Movie application which is so much fun

Friday, September 25, 2009



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A Level Black Separatism Resources

Thursday, September 24, 2009

If you are looking for resources on Malcolm X, the New York Public Library has a great educational resource guide. These could be used in class or for independent research.

London History Forum 2009

The HA London History Forum - 3rd October 2009 at the British Museum (10am-1pm)
The London History forum will focus on teaching emotive history this year. There will be a workshop and interactive software given by Laurence Rees on WWII, plus talks on the Holocaust, and teaching emotive history using film.
Price £20 - Contact Szannah Stern for more details ( She is very helpful!) : suzannah.stern@history.org.uk

Black History Month 2009

You can download a teachers pack from BHM. Ostensibly these are for younger students but I can see the KS3 pack being very adaptable for GCSE courses, particularly the coursework and teacher assessed units on the OCR GCSE Pilot.

Looking for Anglo-Saxon evidence for OCR History GCSE Pilot?

The skill of evaluating evidence is essential for the GCSE Pilot. There is quite a paucity of evidence for the external Medieval unit. Here is an ideal opportunity to take your students to see a sample of this Treasure Trove found by a chap from my home town!
The Staffordshire Hoard contains about 5kg of gold and 2.5kg of silver, making it far bigger than the Sutton Hoo discovery in 1939 when 1.5kg of Anglo-Saxon gold was found near Woodbridge in Suffolk. A small selection is on show at Birmingham Museum from tomorrow until 13th October. You can also see a short video on the items at BBC Staffordshire
It is absolutely the equivalent of finding a new Lindisfarne Gospels or Book of Kells,  Leslie Webster, former keeper at the British Museum’s Department of Prehistory and Europe.

An excellent book providing many valuable strategies



I have just finished reading this excellent book, written by Dr Cooper and Arthur Chapman. I will admit to buying the book for one reason, that reason being ‘Alphonse the camel’ who gets a mention. For the uninitiated Alphonse dies for the sake of Causal reasoning, and has done so in numerous of my lessons, the instigator of this bizarre, but successful, activity is Mr Chapman. I thus expected to pick up one or two ideas that I could use in the History classroom, I am please to see that I have far more than the one or two I hoped for. The strength of the book is that the case studies are very recent and have an emphasis on the use of technology, thus we are dealing with the next generation of classroom activities, using ICT from an active learning approach. Constructing History is much more than a description of practical examples, it provides the pedagological theory behind the examples, reinforcing the usefulness of the practical examples, for one does not need to replicate the activity exactly to benefit from the approach. The emphasis on personalised and collaborative learning will be useful for CPD trainers, but the e-learning aspects are the parts that most interested me. I feel the book has something for all educators in History who wish to engage, stretch and inspire their students.
Additional materials are available on the books’ webpage: www.sagepub.co.uk/cooperchapman”>www.sagepub.co.uk/cooperchapman

Bay Of Pigs Explained in Video

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Two short videos from YouTube take take students through the background to, and events of Bay of Pigs in April 1961…

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John Dee - The Last Royal Wizard?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A conference has been held this week in Cambridge to consider the reputation of John Dee (1527-1608/9), one of England’s greatest original thinkers. He owned the largest private library in the country, coined the phrase “The British Empire”, was an expert on algebra, astronomy and navigation, advising explorers of the Northwest Passage of suitable routes to take. He was a tutor and adviser to Queen Elizabeth, introduced the first English edition of the works of Euclid, and his proposals to modify the calendar were 200 years ahead of their time.

Unfortunately…he has largely been remembered as an astrologer and an occultist - i.e. a bit of a wizard. He cast horoscopes for Mary and Philip and suggested the most auspicious date for Elizabeth’s coronation. He had a crystal ball for communicating with angels, and looked into the future using a special black mirror. He fell in with a conman and had a sequence of unfortunate adventures in Bohemia and Poland when he tried to share his angelic communications with several unimpressed monarchs. He returned to England penniless and died in poverty, cared for by his daughter.

However, Dee’s reputation, both as a scholar and a mystic has grown considerably. There is a vast amount of information on him on the internet, and you can even read some his own books. So - does he deserve to be called a Royal Wizard, or not?

David Starkey on MP3

Here is a podcast of David Starkey speaking on the events of 1605 (The Gunpowder Plot) for Cambridge University. It would appear that both Oxford and Cambridge have been busy creating mp3s from some of their most eminent academics, so if you spot any other good ones, please let us know.

PS: Here’s a list of interesting historical podcasts, including this one on codebreaking by the official historian of MI5.

Revision crosswords on the Cold War

Events, dear boy, events.  And the Cold War period was packed full of them - so many in fact that GCSE History students can be forgiven for confusing Potsdam with Prague or Detente with the Domino Effect.

Here are a couple of revision crosswords which you might use with students to help reinforce core knowledge of what happened and when during the Cold War.  There are two crosswords - one with 10 clues and one with 20 clues.

Download the Cold War Events Crosswords

Many thanks to Andy Lawrence for producing these resources which we are about to make available as part of a comprehensive PuzzlePack on the Cold War for GCSE History students

Revision Puzzle on the Personalities of the Cold War

Do you have students who don’t know their Arms Races from their Eisenhower?

Here is a matching activity which can be used to help students test their knowledge of the main historical characters involved in the Cold War.  There are two puzzles - one has 10 people listed; the other has 15 people.  The aim is to match the person with the clue!

Download Cold War History Matching Activities

innovative history . net

Monday, September 21, 2009



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Creative A Level Teaching - Getting them to Read!

A way to introduce a topic, give an overview or just get them to read content to be discussed in lesson.

This actually works and students do like doing it!

Students are given two or three sides of text, or a section of a text book.
Students are split into groups of three. There is a reader, a writer and a runner.
Each group is allocated a pack of ten question cards
(different colour for different groups). The same ten questions are in each pack

The cards are kept at the front of the classroom
When the teacher says, ‘Go!’ The runner runs to get a card and takes it back to the group
The reader is busily reading the text ( although more often than not the whole group end up reading it)
When they find the answer the writer runs to the front with the written answer.

The teacher checks that the answer is correct and then the runner is allowed to take the next card.

It is best if the cards are shuffled so that they do not all have the same card at the same time.
The first group with all the cards gone is the winner.

Horrible Histories on YouTube

Friday, September 18, 2009

Plenty of material from the Horrible Histories BBC programme has made its way to YouTube. This sketch for example imagines what Georges I II III and IV would be like if they auditioned for the X-Factor… There also plenty of links to other sketches from the series.

PS: Here is an interview with Terry Deary, creator of the Horrible Histories books.


Thursday, September 17, 2009


Superb interactive and animated Historical maps.

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Happy Birthday Dr Johnson!

Tomorrow is the 300th anniversary of the birth of Dr Samuel Johnson. Dr Johnson House in his birth place, Lichfield, Staffordshire, is hosting a series of events to celebrate the occasion.
Visit Dr Johnson House site for more details.

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Is “Our Island Story” being told?

Here is a further article (From Dominic Sandbrook in the Telegraph) worrying about the decline of history teaching in schools. He criticises the government’s “Yo! Sushi” approach to the subject, “in which schools randomly pick unrelated historical topics like saucers from a conveyor belt, instead of studying our national story as a continuous narrative, which is how any sensible person sees it.”

He believes students would be better served by a more narrative approach giving a greater overview of our national story, and recommends H E Marshall’s “Our Island Story”, although this was first printed in 1905. The complete text is now available here on the internet.

UPDATE: Too busy to read? You can download the entire book for free and listen to it on your MP3, alongside other classic books. Have a look here!

SchoolHistory.co.uk Student Forum

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A discussion forum for students, run by History educators for students


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A presentation application, which provides so much freedom.

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Educational Resources from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has lots of lesson plans, activities and worksheets to download. Take a look particularly at An Historical Enquiry for History Students (Secondary)

Apply for the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge

Apply for the new Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge.
For the purpose of the Quality Badge they define Learning Outside the Classroom as “the use of places other than the classroom for the teaching and learning of young people aged 0-19” This includes experiences that take place in:

•School grounds: for example gardening
•The local environment: for example land and streetscapes or places of worship
•Places further afield: for example museums and galleries or field study and environmental centres
•Residential places: for example summer camps or expeditions

You can also check out which establishments hold the LoTC Quality Badge when planning trips.

Tackling Pupil-Lead Enquiry for Lead Practitioners

‘What do you think we should learn in history today?’

Tackling pupil-led historical enquiry more effectively. Tuesday 10 November 2009, 9.30am - 3.30pm Bottisham Village College, Cambridge
A Lead Practitioner Seminar led by Kate Hammond, Head of History at Bottisham Village College and SSAT Lead Practitioner.  The Lead Practitioner network supports the transfer of effective and innovative practice in schools through seminars, run by teachers for teachers.


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CABE Offers Education Grants!

Do you do want to start a SHP GCSE or Pilot GCSE coursework unit using the built environment? These grants may interest you.

Pilot GCSE - Marketing Heritage - enthuse the boys!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

If you are considering writing a unit on Heritage Marketing  or Presenting the Past for the GCSE History pilot have a look at The National Football Museum  We are always being challenged to enthuse those boys - this could be just what you are looking for!


Living with the Wall

The Berlin Wall fell on 9th November 1989. The Imerial War Museum North is commemorating this historic watershed with a photographic display. See information here

GCSE Pilot - Assessment

For help assessing OCR pilot GCSE History take a look at Teacher’s TV -  KS4 History - Assessment for Learning

A Level Research: Early Civil Rights Activists

www.biography.com is an excellent way to introduce A level students to research. Students can be asked to research the backgrounds, aims, methods and achievements of early Black activists such a Booker T Washington, W.E.B. Dubois, Marcus Garvey, A. Philip Randolph, Ida B Wells-Barnett…
Obviously this site could be used with many different topics.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Wordle generates “word clouds” from text.  Describing itself as “a toy” this application disguises it’s full power. The ‘Word Clouds’ can look very pretty, and would in themselves suffice as a display, but the uncanny ability to highlight the key words in the text can be most useful in a classroom.

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