History is literacy: 'doing history' with written and printed sources

Primary History article

By Jon Nichol, published 1st September 2013

Introduction: English, Literacy & History - The Bullock Report

In 1975 the British government published a very great and wise man, Lord Bullock's report, on the teaching of English. Lord Bullock, a world-class historian, worked closely and intensely with distinguished figures in the teaching of English [literacy]. Lord Bullock, with the insight, sensitivity and understanding of the historian, produced a document based upon the English experts testimony that combined the best of scholarship and research in the field with the professional, applied knowledge of expert classroom teachers and teacher trainers. As a young history teacher I remember the thrill and excitement that the Bullock Report engendered, particularly as his view of English across the curriculum grounded in disciplines mapped totally upon my own view of the role and nature of History as a school subject. The Bullock Report has stood the test of time - it is as fresh, relevant and inspiring today as when it was written. Indeed, its principles underpin the proposed 2014 Engish [Literacy] National Curriculum. The Bullock Report's understanding of the role and nature of literacy mirrors the queen of all disciplines: History...

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