Editorial – November 2022

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Practical Histories

Welcome back to Practical Histories.

So, we held an inspiring Practical Histories conference in June 2022 at the University of Sussex. We were spoilt with outstanding speakers and inspirational workshops and key notes. There was a real buzz about the place!

But don’t take our word for it. The evaluations told us that the day was either excellent (90%) or very good (10%).  When asked what we could improve, several the responses asked for more face-to-face CPD and conferences.

 We have listened.

We are therefore pleased to announce the next Practical Histories Conference will take place on 4 February 2023. Again, prices have been kept down to just £65 for the day. Early Career Teachers and trainee teachers get to go for even less. We also have another set of amazing speakers who are keen to share their ideas with you.

Find out more and book your place on the University of Sussex website.

November 2022 Edition

We have been working hard thinking about the best way to bring you Practical Histories on a regular basis. As you know we both do this in our spare time. To make it all work, we have decided to produce two editions a year. This gives us time to provide you really thought-provoking and helpful articles and ideas.

This edition offers loads and loads of practical tips, ideas to improve your teaching AND ideas and strategies to help you focus on curriculum planning.

Curriculum Planning

Claire Hollis has written an inspirational piece explaining how she went about making her curriculum more representative. This was no mean feat as Claire is Head of History at Reigate 6th form. Essentially the curriculum is prescribed by A level courses. Nevertheless, Claire explains how she has worked hard to make it more representative. I

Similarly, Molly Navey and Ellie Osborne have worked hard on their Key Stage 3 curriculum. They were determined to diversify and even decolonise their curriculum. You can read about their story AND download some resources that could help you to add more diversity to your curriculum.

Neil Bates also discusses curriculum planning. Neil explores the seemingly tricky issue of injecting local history into your curriculum. After all local history is a  requirement of the present National Curriculum. But how many of us explore local history with our students?

Neil provides many convincing arguments as to why this should happen. He also provides some examples and practical ideas to help you develop your own local study.

Teaching Ideas

Meanwhile Simon Beale has written his second piece for us. Simon provides many practical, simple yet effective ways that you can insert historical scholarship in your history classroom. By the way, Simon is also one of our Keynote speakers in February where he will be discussing this in more detail. Not to be missed!

Dr Tom Haward also focuses on history teaching. He explores a whole host of strategies to help us use visual images and sources more convincingly and effectively with our classes. Tom should know. This was the focus of his PHD!

Dr Dave Brown is also passionate about history teaching and learning and he discusses the history essay! Let’s face it, we all want our students to write well. But how do we go about helping them to do this? Dave’s article provides many practical tips for you to think about and try out.

We also have the second input from our ‘Secret Examiner’. They explain how to get to grips with the thematic study. The focus here is on those pesky ‘factors’ that are highlighted in the spec. This article provides some clear ideas on how you can use them to help your students improve their thinking and explanations in this unit.

Where in History

Finally, we have a must read Where in History. Its written by Dr Alison Morgan, Associate Professor at the University of Warwick where she is the deputy head of the postgraduate secondary teacher-education programme.

Alison explains how the Romantic Period is the place to be. It’s a passionate love letter to a historical period.

We hope you enjoy this edition of Practical Histories.

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