History teachers often share things  One of the characteristics of the history education community in the UK and elsewhere is that there are lots of history teachers who are happy to share ideas and resources which they have developed, often through Twitter, Blogs or Facebook. The link here takes you to some useful ideas and resources which have been shared since the book was sent to print.

There are also some updates relating to changes in ideas and resources about how to teach effectively more generally, whatever subject you teach, and some updates to ‘official’ documentation relevant to history teachers in the UK.

Andy Hassan shared an interesting idea on Twitter,providing an aide memoire for pupils; providing all pupils in the class with an A3 desk mat/sheet with the core information for a topic – in this case an A3 of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles .

Another ‘share’ is from Ian Carse, who provides a link to a YouTube video he made on the Terms of the Treaty of Versailles (4 minutes 24). This sort of resource can make for a useful homework or revision exercise – there are lots of other examples on YouTube, some better than others. If there is someone in the department who is ‘good at ICT’, another option is to get the pupils making YouTube videos.


An important part of being professional (and getting better as a teacher) is being knowledgeable about your subject, and being up to date about developments in history, pedagogy and learning. Below are some suggestions for keeping up to date with developments in history education (and occasionally, education more generally). As well as being important for your developing practice, it is important that M level assignments show evidence of being up to date with recent research and scholarship in history education. 

Alison Kitson blog on the implications of the Core Content Framework for initial teacher education

The Core Content Framework for Initial Teacher Training (Educational Endowment Foundation, 2019) ‘defines in detail the minimum entitlement of all trainee teachers. Drawing on the best available evidence, it sets out the content that ITT providers and their partnerships must draw upon when designing and delivering their ITT programmes’. Alison makes the important point that as it is an ‘entitlement document’ applying to ALL student teachers, whatever their subject specialism, it is necessarily ‘generic’ in terms of focus, and pays very limited attention to subject specific issues. Although it is important to keep up to date and be knowledgeable about general issues pertaining to the whole breadth of the Teachers’ Standards, for obvious reasons, the book focuses primarily on history specific issues.

Phil Beadle on why he still loves teaching after 25 years. (Just in case you are having a difficult time or a bad day and wondering whether there are easier ways of paying the mortgage).

Poles in Britain: new, free teaching resources from The H/A’s ‘One Big History department site.  Another strand of teaching pupils about the historic diversity of Britain’s population. Whether or not you have Polish pupils at your school, it is helpful for them to understand that there have been Polish people in Britain long before recent Polish immigration to the UK.

A Richard Kennett blogpost, first in a series of posts about what  questions we might ask when teaching about the British Empire (Empire blogpost 1: asking different questions about Empire).

‘Don’t let the curriculum control your pedagogy’Thoughtful blogpost from the always useful and interesting Richard McFahn.

‘What’s the wisdom on extended reading?, Historical Association. Webinar from the H/A, 17 September 2021. Based around an article in Teaching History No. 183: 44-47, if you might prefer the text based version. 

Richard McFahn, a useful and succinct summary of Ofsted’s research into the history curruculum, posted on 2nd March 2019.

(The most recent  full Ofsted report into school history, Research review series: history, Ofsted, London, 14 July 2021).

Exam support groups for history teachers – for example, the Edexcel GCSE History Teachers 2016 support group (with over 6,000 members). There are several, including support groups for GCSE exams and A level exams. 

‘Study problems not periods’, Kate Hawkey, in Teaching History, No. 184, pages 4-6. A very interesting and (I think) important article about addressing  ‘the challenges of our times’ in our history teaching, in Kate’s words, ‘a classic example of how history education reflects the ongoing relationship between past and present with concerns of the present giving rise to fresh interpretations’. Kate notes that there is no mention of environmental history or climate change in the National Curriculum, and explores how history teachers might address this omission. 

For those of you who are interested in issues of diversity in the teaching of history, Claire Hollis’s blog, ‘Seeing the whole board’: The case for a more diverse history curriculum (posted on June 30, 2019 by freshalarums) is (I think) a very useful resource for getting a succinct overview of the issues involved. 

Research review of what makes for effective teaching Ko and Sammons (2013) – executive summary (page 2).

This review, based upon research evidence, suggests that effective teachers:

  • are clear about instructional goals
  • are knowledgeable about curriculum content and the strategies for teaching it
  • communicate to their students what is expected of them, and why
  • make expert use of existing instructional materials in order to devote more time to practices that enrich and clarify the content
  • are knowledgeable about their students, adapting instruction to their needs and anticipating misconceptions in their existing knowledge
  • teach students meta-cognitive strategies and give them opportunities to master them
  • address higher- as well as lower-level cognitive objectives
  • monitor students’ understanding by offering regular appropriate feedback
  • integrate their instruction with that in other subject areasaccept responsibility for student outcomes.

The review shows that in order to achieve good teaching good subject knowledge is a prerequisite; the skilful use of well-chosen questions to engage and challenge learners, and to consolidate understanding, is an important feature; and effective assessment for learning is a vital ingredient. It goes on to identify a number of characteristics of good schools, suggesting they:

  • establish consistency in teaching and learning across the whole organisation
  • engender a culture of professional debate and developmental lesson observation rigorously monitor and evaluate what they are doing
  • stress building good literacy, especially in a child’s early years
  • focus on the needs, interests and concerns of each individual learner.

Full report online at https://www.academia.edu/11341008/Effective_Teaching_a_review_of_research_and_evidence?email_work_card=view-paper.

Secondary Education and Social Change in the UK since 1945: KS3 resource packs. Free schools resource packs for Key Stage 3. These resources are the product of a 2020–2021 collaboration between the ESRC–funded project Secondary Education and Social Change in the UK since 1945. I think they are invaluable for educating pupils about the ways that life in the UK has changed since the end of World War Two. Some of the resources look very good.  The project provides resources for lessons on race and ethnicity, class and social mobility, gender and sexuality, and everyday school life.