Building local history into the curriculum

Teaching History article

By Neil Bates and Robert Bowry, published 16th December 2021

‘That’s next to my Gran’s house’: building local history into the curriculum

Neil Bates and Robert Bowry have chosen to tackle the issue of curriculum coherence by including local history, both as starting point for new students joining the school in Year 7 and as a golden thread running throughout their Key Stage 3 curriculum. In this article they explain the rationale for their plans, focusing not only on the powerful ways in which local history can stimulate and support student engagement, but also on the ways in which carefully devised local history enquiries can establish a provisional understanding of key substantive and disciplinary concepts to which students will return on a regular basis. While few schools may be as fortunate as Harrow Way Community School in their proximity to a World Heritage Site, Bates and Bowry offer invaluable advice to history departments everywhere about how to make effective use of student consultation in their planning and how to counter young people’s assumptions that ‘history never happens here’...

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