Webinar series: History and literacy

HA webinar series for secondary history teachers

Writing history is hard, and motivating students to read long texts can be difficult. In this series of four webinars, Dan Warner-Meanwell and Paula Lobo-Worth will demonstrate how they have helped their students to meet the challenges in reading and writing history. They haven’t done this by bolting-on generic activities or churning out cookie-cutter task sheets; rather, Dan and Paula show that history can serve literacy best by being itself.

This on-demand webinar series is aimed at all secondary history teachers. 

In this series, you will:

  • Learn subject-specific strategies to support students in reading and writing history
  • Understand how to embed these approaches in your curriculum


Session 1: Motivating teachers and learners

This first webinar will begin the series with a discussion of how to motivate teachers and students to wrestle with the challenges of reading and writing history: by choosing engaging and compelling stories for students to ‘live inside’, for example, and by rehearsing arguments in speech.

Session 2: Modelling

In the second webinar, Dan and Paula show how they use modelling in their lesson sequences: by using historical scholarship and historical fiction, by drawing attention to grammar, metaphor and structure, and by choosing words carefully to ‘let the linguistic release the conceptual.

Session 3: Moving on up

In the third webinar, Dan will discuss how to draw on students’ knowledge of sentence construction and grammar at Key Stage 2 in order to help Year 7 students hit the ground running at secondary school, and Paula will discuss successful strategies to help post-16 students make a success of their essays, and to handle sources and interpretations with confidence.

Session 4: Making it routine

This final webinar focuses on how to embed successful strategies to support literacy into the curriculum by 'making it routine': Paula discusses the importance of preparing students to access long texts in medium and long-term planning, and how to plan for successful essays by avoiding endless exam practice and rooting literacy in a diverse range of puzzling and engaging enquiry questions. Dan ends the webinar series by showcasing an example lesson featuring a wide range of the strategies covered in the webinar series, from vocabulary-based starters to oral rehearsal.

How to book

This webinar series took place in Spring 2023 and we have made access to the recordings available on demand from January 2024–January 2025.

Release date: Wednesday 3 January 2024
Expiry date: Monday 6 January 2025

You will need to be logged in to pay and access each webinar using the links on this page. We regret we are unable to arrange block purchases or issue invoices, but VAT receipts are available upon request. Once you have purchased each webinar, the recording will be available to view at the bottom of the relevant resource page until the stated expiry date. 

Terms and conditions

All Historical Association webinars are subject to the HA CPD terms and conditions. For enquiries please contact events@history.org.uk.