Where can I find…?

This pinned post is a handy guide to the resources in this section. Each resource is hyper-linked from here:

Resources in time order:

Planning and ideas and displays:

KS3/GCSE and A Level topic resources

Teaching Gypsy, Roma and Traveller history

On this post you will find the resources from the HA conference sesssion in Bristol, May 2022. Richard Kerridge and Helen Snelson have worked with the historian Professor Becky Taylor to produce a range of teaching resources for teaching the history of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people. There are made freely available here and they are adaptable.

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people are the largest minority ethnic group in some communities (and therefore in some schools) in the UK. Yet the past of Gyspy, Roma, Traveller people may rarely be part of history lessons. The result is that pupils of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller heritage may not encounter their past in history classrooms and myths and stereotypes may take root in the minds of others. 

The HA is keen to help teachers with this problem. An HA page to support teachers is here.

Update: Here is a PPT display to support Gypsy, Roma, Traveller History month in June:

The workshop resources:

A four lesson sequence that focuses on the history of Gypsies and Travellers from the start of the first industrial revolution period to the eve of the First World War. This was a time of great social and economic change in Britain. By completing this sequence pupils will not only learn about a period of British Gypsy and Traveller history, they will also learn about some of the social and economic changes in Britain in the period. They will consider how much changed in society and how much changed for Gypsy and Traveller people. 

By completing this sequence of lessons pupils will learn:

  • How life changed for Gypsy and Traveller people in Britain in the 150 years up to the First World War
  • An outline history of Gypsies and Travellers in Britain before 1750
  • Some of the social and economic changes that occurred in Britain 1750-1914
  • Hinterland knowledge that will help develop their sense of period and place for further study of the years 1750-1914
  • To evaluate the ‘extent’ of change and to learn that changes are not experienced in the same way  
  • To collect notes from a variety of sources and interpretations, to organise them and to frame them as an answer to a historical question. 

Jack Cunningham VC source material

Jack Cunningham was born in 1897 into a Traveller family. He volunteered for the Hull Pals in 1914. In 1916 he won the VC at the very end of the Battle of the Somme. He served to the end of the war and was permanently disabled as a result. He struggled to return to civilian life. 

The various materials here present a complex, human story of World War One. They can be used as a short activity with students. They could be printed off, laminated and given to small groups of students:

  • At the start of learning about World War One to stimulate student engagement and hypothesising. Students could piece together Jack’s story and then ask questions about the First World War and its impact. The teacher could then teach the topic, providing answers to students’ questions and referring back to the story to ask ‘how typical was Jack’s war?’
  • While studying the Battle of the Somme to introduce a human story to the big narrative and to take away from the focus on the first day. The story can provide a bridge from 1916 to the later part of the war on the Western Front. 
  • Following a study of the course of World War One, Jack Cunningham’s story could form part of an enquiry into the impact of the war on the survivors. The problem of veterans settling back into civilian life and the consequences for people around them is still a current issue in the 21st century. 
  • As part of a battlefields tour when visiting the Serre Road, Beaumont-Hamel and Thiepval. Jack Cunningham won his VC for action just north of the village of Serre. 

What does the story of fairs reveal about life in Britain over time? 

Fairs are a useful device to study in a particular time or over time. Their economic function was very important in the pre-industrial age. Over time the fair has lost its importance as a hub of economic activity, but it has kept other functions. Fairs continue to exist in many parts of the country and are part of local culture, from the Nottingham Goose Fair to the Appleby Horse Fair, and from St Giles’ Fair to Hull Fair. Gypsy and Traveller people have long been associated with fairs.

The text, task and images are fully adaptable to your setting. You can transfer them into other formats. You might:

  • Use the information in separate sections as you teach the different time periods, either directly with students or just to inform your teacher talk. 
  • Set the work in one lesson, or as a homework, as a mini thematic context to help students link periods of learning together. 
  • Use the information in your curriculum to ensure that Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people do not just appear as victims of oppression in history. 
  • Use the information as context to learning about a local fair and the local economy in your area.

The TH article to accompany these resources is here:

Teaching a more representative and coherent British 17th Century

Ruth Lingard and Helen Snelson have presented their work on teaching a representative and coherent British 17th century for the HA at the 2021 Virtual Conference. All the resources accompanying the session are free to download from this blogpost.

You can find the link to a folder of all the resources here. In the folder you will find life stories of people who lived in the period 1625-1714 written in the first person. Some of them are names that are more popularly known, others are less familiar. For each person there is an accompanying worksheet. There is also a summary of the 16 stories and a suggestion for a summary activity. All the resources can be downloaded and adapted. Some exemplars of stories adapted for SEND have been provided. The resources as presented can be used to teach a coherent overview of the period in 2-3 lessons. This might be, for example, to bridge between topics, or prior to a depth study on a particular aspect of the period. However, colleagues may decide to use just a few stories, or parts of stories, and they could be used at the end of a depth story.

The enquiry question that frames these stories could be ‘What matters about the 17th Century?’ That is, what mattered to people at the time and what matters were they concerned with. The first person stories written as narratives enable pupils to be introduced to key knowledge about the period 1625-1714, including:

  • The importance of religion to people’s lives, the way it divided people and how that drove a civil war and its aftermath.
  • The impact of a civil war on all the people and the country, both at the time and its legacy.
    The impact of England’s growing trade and settlement of the Americas, as a place of emigration, domination, hope, horror and change.
  • The substantive concepts of power, parliament, monarchy, liberty, rule of law and how they develop in this period.
  • The interplay of science and religion – new understandings of space and time.

The stories are diverse in their range of place and people. (For example, the people whose stories they tell lived in different parts of the UK and beyond, lived across the time period, had different backgrounds and roles in society.) They enable an exploration of relationship, in its widest sense, and they avoid oversimplification of a complex world. History stays messy!

Stories are popular with history teachers – they are engaging and ‘sticky’ – but they can be problematic. Sometimes a story can be so powerful that it makes a broader, deeper and richer understanding more difficult. For example, the story of the assassination at Sarajevo that sparked war in 1914 can take up too much space in students’ minds when they are trying to make sense of what caused the First World War. For example, perhaps the key stories of Rosa Parks’ bus ride and Martin Luther King’s speech, while rich and important in themselves, have hindered a more nuanced understanding of the struggle US Civil Rights’ struggle of their period? For example, a focus on the killing of Wat Tyler at Smithfield obscures the more complex story of the People of 1381 and can make it harder to make meaning about the greatest uprising in England (and some historians assert Tyler didn’t even exist!). We do need to be careful with story. However, stories which are carefully crafted to lead our students to a wider and deeper understanding of people and place can be very powerful teaching tools. The stories here are crafted so that they, hopefully, do some of that. The stories are not inward looking, they reach out to the wider issues. That means that they are not written in a way that only includes what is exactly known about the people and their concerns. They also include detail that is historically accurate about the places, events and cultures that existed around these people. It is in this way that they help students to think about what matters about the 17th century and to learn what mattered to its people.

The stories are also rich in the disciplinary concepts of change, and similarity and difference. The stories introduce many people, but the ‘lead’ characters are more likely to be people from more privileged positions. This should be brought to the attention of pupils. It will enable teachers to draw out issues relating to the fragmentary nature of what survives to us from the past and how this can shape our sense of who and what is historically significant. The meaning that people in the 17th century gave to their lives may sit oddly with 21st century popular perceptions of what was significant in British history from that period. By raising these issues with pupils we can explore the silences and the gaps in our knowledge.

We hope these resources will be useful and that they will also serve to increase teacher, as well as pupil, knowledge of the period 1625-1714.

Update October 2021: huge thanks to Natalie Kesterton for adding a PDF of two lessons and SEND materials to the Drive folder!

Podcasts for A Level students

Huge thanks to Daisy Kemp and the volunteer history undergraduate team (Hannah, James, Madeline, Molly, Nell and Niamh) at the University of York. They have worked hard this term to create podcasts for keen school historians. Three podcasts are now loaded here on the YorkClio History Nerds site with supplementary materials. Each one has been created by undergraduate historians working with academics and thinking about the needs of school students who want to learn more history. They take a different approach to the popular school topics of the Tudors and Stuarts, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and China Vietnam. Each one is designed to introduce school history students to a different aspect of the history of the period. They can be used by teachers with students, or listened to by students in their own time – great for securing knowledge and thinking harder about history!

Enjoying local history!

The current York PGCE history students have been working with local history and have created some resources to use with their pupils in the next few weeks. You might enjoy browsing their afternoon’s work.

Consett Iron and Steel Works

Harewood House

Huntington History

Learning Thirsk

Railway History of Selby

Spain – The Alhambra

St Robert of Knaresborough

Thornton Abbey

Walking Tour of Horsforth

York’s Street Story

Students reading Marc Morris on Eleanor of Castile

Thanks to Henry Walton of Manor CE Academy for sharing this reading task. Students are supported to read historian Marc Morris’ account of Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I. There is a glossary and a worksheet to accompany the reading.

Eleanor of Castile

Eleanor of Castile – worksheet

Eleanor of Castile Glossary

Slot-ins, Most…Some…, beginning teacher subject knowledge

It’s been a busy start to the year in so many ways. One very positive way it has been busy is in the creation of resources by the University of York PGCE history students. Here are new slot-ins for pupils:

Also some more ‘Most… Some…’s (thanks to Polly Simson via the HA conference for this idea!)

And here are some nice film clips to help beginning teachers with subject knowledge. Enjoy!

GCSE Public Health using York Archives

Huge thanks to Heather Sherman, York College, for generously sharing this work using York’s city archives. Heather has put together this booklet of sources about public health in York for GCSE students.

The booklet is a teacher pack (this document: GCSE Public Health York Archives Material_Teacher Pack ) that links the research to the OCR, AQA and Edexcel GCSE History specifications. There are suggested activities/ questions to use with students to develop their thinking and link national history to a local context.

Heather has also provided a blank copy of each of the sources (separate sources) for use to design your own activities/ resource pack for students. She suggests that colleagues use any of the glossaries/ questions/ activities that she has designed when creating their own resources, or create their own, or use a mix of both. The suggested activities/ questions are not intended to be an exhaustive list and can be adapted to suit different students.

As a very experienced A level teacher, Heather also has her eye to what students may need to be able to do if they decide to carry on their history studies.

Meanwhile she … Aletta Jacobs

Aletta Jacobs was one of the first women in the Netherlands to become a doctor and opened one of the first birth control clinics for poor and working-class women in 1882. Thanks to Caitlin Sutherland, who completed her UoY PGCE in June and is about to start teaching in Uxbridge, for putting this ‘meanwhile she’ together. It will be useful for colleagues to add diversity to the part of the medicine / health through time course where Robert Koch is busy identifying bacteria. Meanwhile she Aletta Jacobs

Meanwhile, nearby… David Oluwale

Thank you to Kristian Shanks, Head of History at Sherburn School, for creating and sharing this Meanwhile, nearby about David Oluwale. David Oluwale was born in Nigeria, moved to Britain and lived in Yorkshire. He died after police brutality in Leeds in 1969. Meanwhile Nearby – The Murder of David Oluwale