Good ‘citizen historians’ understand the world we live in and can interact with it discerningly.
To paraphrase from https://sallythorne.com/
By some ways of measuring, York and area is not as diverse as other parts of the UK. Therefore history lessons need to work even harder to provide the education to which our students are entitled and which will equip them to live well in Britain. Our students may not be absorbing the narratives at home that enable them to gain anything close to a representative picture of British history. We are doing our students a disservice if the message our history curriculum gives is that people who are not white or nomadic people are outsiders, migration is a recent phenomena, people with LGBT+ and disability have no past, women have played the historical role of occasional queens and frequent victims … and anyway that’s all ahistorical! Therefore big questions for us are:
  • What should a history curriculum in our area look like if it is to reflect Britain’s diverse past and fulfil other demands?
  • What do we need to do together to get there?
  • How can we take some big steps to get there by working together as YorkClio?
  • How can we keep getting better at this as a network in a relatively less diverse area?

A persuasive message from David Olusoga about why we should be doing this.

Here are some prompt questions we have developed to help conversations in departments about the curriculum: Wider history checklist 2021

Here are some ideas for discussion about diversifying our teacher talk: Diverse teacher talk

The HA has collated resources into different sections to support more diverse history.

And the Runnymede Trust has lots of links and resources for teachers – here is a specific example.

For support with wider issues about understanding and teaching about racism you could start here.

Please do make suggestions to help us improve what comes next…


This Word doc has a set of principles and lots of weblinks to resources for teaching BAME, gypsy and traveller, women’s, LGBTQ+, disability histories:  whose-histories-diversity-in-history-lessons-2021

It’s also important to keep an eye on the ever-expanding HA material and back catalogue of Teaching History (examples: disability, race, GRT)

Here are more links:

Across periods:

Ancient, medieval and early modern:

Industrial and modern Britain:

AND follow: Diverse histories – @diversehistory – BAME / diverse history Research & learning resources (for different age groups)

ALSO: Jen Thornton, a history teacher in the NW, has put this list together to help her students start to think more deeply and take action against racism.

And here is an awareness film from York Travellers Trust

Teacher knowledge:


  • Queer City by Peter Ackroyd
  • Black Poppies: Britain’s Black Community and the Great War by Stephen Bourne
  • Mother Country: Britain’s Black Community on the Home Front 1939-1945 by Stephen Bourne
  • Gypsies: an English History by David Cressy
  • The Company Quartet by William Dalrymple
  • Staying Power by Peter Fryer
  • A Fistful of Shells by Toby Green
  • Slaves Who Abolished Slavery by Richard Hart
  • The Brutish Museums by Dan Hicks
  • Black Tudors by Miranda Kaufmann
  • Medieval Women by Henrietta Leyser
  • Doing Justice to History by Abdul Mohamud and Robin Whitburn
  • Madness: a brief history by Roy Porter
  • Disability in the Industrial Revolution by David Turner
  • Chocolate, women and empire by Emma Robertson
  • Hitler’s Black Victims by Clarence Lusane
  • Black and British by David Olusoga
  • The World’s War by David Olusoga
  • African Europeans by Olivete Otele
  • The Black Count by Tom Reiss
  • Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain by Sathnam Sanghera
  • Sugar in the Blood by Andrea Stuart
  • Silencing the Past by Michel-Rolph Trouillot
  • Disability and the Tudors by Phillipa Vincent-Connelly
  • Asians in Britain by Rosina Visram
  • James Walvin – everything! – start with Slavery in Small Things
  • Citizenship, Nation and Empire by Peter Yeandle

Textbooks and online collections:

  • https://footballmakeshistory.eu/
  • Hodder KS3 book ‘Understanding History’ has a range of enquiries, covering the past of a range of people and places, with diversity of examples and images.
  • Hodder KS3 ‘From Prejudice to Pride: a history of the LGBTQ+ movement’
  • Hodder KS3 ‘Black History Matters’

Important history teacher voices:

Important historian voices: