Inspired by a session at the Historical Association conference, staff at York College have encouraged their students to engage with the cultural milieu of the periods they study at A Level. This is to help them gain the sense of period and place they need in order to make sense of their new specific topic knowledge. The results of two of them are here. There is a document on culture in Germany in the 20th century and one on 15th and 16th century English and European culture. Nice for other A level students, useful also for students doing GCSE units on all or part of these topics, and definitely nerd-y knowledge – thanks for sharing!
Natalie Kesterton, Head of History at Ryedale School and Chartered History Teacher, has developed several approaches to building chronological coherence in the KS3 curriculum by filling the gaps in the story – the bits we don’t have time to teach. She came to the University of York History PGCE mentors’ meeting and shared her ideas so far. This work is being written up for Teaching History and will be featuring in the SHP and HA conferences, so we were lucky to get a preview. Her work supports the development of students’ chronological understanding and helps them to join up the different depth studies by identifying the big themes. Natalie has kindly shared her resources so far:
Here is a PPT and some thoughts about using sources as evidence at KS3 and KS4 to do well at GCSE and NOT use endless exam questions because: 1) there is more to education, 2) it’s not the way to build secure knowledge for strong results.
The teaching materials that were presented in November 2018 at Yorkshire History Forum are here for your use. York PGCE medieval religion lessons-FINAL
- An activity about religion in medieval life with plan, resources and subject knowledge for teachers.
- Two lessons about Becket, with resources and subject knowledge for teachers.
- A fully resourced lesson on the rivalry between York and Canterbury that was fueled by the Becket affair with an impact on the historic environment still evident today.
- A lesson on medieval pilgrimage with teacher plan, resources and subject knowledge update.
These materials were developed by the University of York PGCE historians 2017-18. To do this they worked with Jeremy Muldowney from York Minster and with Dr John Jenkins, University of York and other members of the Centre for Christianity and Culture. The materials were edited by Helen Snelson.
Attached is Alex Ford’s PPT from our September 2018 meeting. You’ll find the ‘5 things we have learnt’ from the summer’s GCSE results and lots of useful ideas for re-planning Key Stage 3. First Fruit Alex Ford
Huge thanks to Dan Nuttall and Laura Goodyear for sharing their resources with everyone in the history teacher tribe. We are really pleased to publish the link here. People at the HA’s recent Yorkshire History Forum were able to hear them explain their work. If you missed it, do get in touch with Dan and he will happily explain the thinking behind these resources in more depth.
If you’re finding it difficult to teach students in any Key Stage what an argued piece of writing that offers a substantiated judgement looks like, you need to meet someone. She’s called the Old Lady in the Post Office and nothing I’ve tried has been more effective in helping students understand what a line of argument looks like when it runs throughout an essay. Here is the monologue as a PPT: The Old Lady in the Post Office . It has a screen and handout version.
Inspired by the work of Daisy Christodoulou, and her argument that we can teach and formatively assess specific elements within longer pieces of writing, the Old Lady is an attempt to characterise the line of argument, helping students self- and peer-assess this particular element of writing judgement essays in History.
The task is simple – the student with the best ‘Old Lady’ voice reads out the argument and the other students have to identify the core problem she has with the Post Office. They can then identify how she acknowledges subsidiary factors and how she brings them into her argument and builds her opinion from start to finish.
Once they have done this ten-minute task, they are able to identify the line of argument in their own and other essays by answering questions like ‘Can you ‘hear’ the Old Lady coming through?’ and ‘Has she got a clear answer to this question?’ Consequently students are far quicker at identifying their own and other lines of argument.
Bonus Tip 1: To exemplify a ‘real historian’ doing this, look no further than The Old Man in the Army Uniform. He can be found presenting an argued case about the causes of the American Civil War on YouTube for Prager University. (YouTube clip)
Bonus Tip 2: This characterisation of a line of argument as the ‘Old Lady in the Post Office’ is showing promising signs in the task of analysing written interpretations and looking for the overarching interpretation. It seems particularly useful for distinguishing between the interpretation and the evidence offered in support of it.
for YorkClio in Feb 2018
This is a developing project. Madeleine Blaess was born in France, but grew up in Acomb and went to the Bar Convent School (now All Saints). She was trapped in Paris during the Nazi occupation and wrote a diary recording everyday life under occupation. She managed not to be interned, by pretending to be French. Two of her friends were murdered in Auschwitz. After the war she was an academic in Medieval French Literature at the University of Sheffield. The diary was revealed among her papers, which she left to the university when she died in 2013. This was left to the University of Sheffield at her death.
The University of Sheffield are working on these papers and the diary is shortly to be publisned open access at White Rose University Press (which itself is something YorkClio folk should know about!) There is also a 35 minute film on its way.
This promises to be a fantastic way for York History and French teachers to connect a local story to a much bigger story that is commonly taught. We hope to develop the connection with this project further.
This week we have launched YHEP: the Yorkshire History Education Partnership
It is intended to be a site for drawing together, celebrating and promoting history subject-specific ITT and CPD. YorkClio is, of course, a fantastic example of Yorkshire based partnership in action. You can follow on Twitter @YHEPnews and a Facebook group is arriving next week. Meanwhile, we hope Yorkies are enjoying Residents’ First Weekend despite the drizzle.