New, Novice or Nervous?

The regular ‘New, Novice or Nervous?’ feature in Teaching History is intended to help new teachers or those new to history to locate key articles written about essential aspects of teaching and learning. Every problem new teachers are wrestling with is a problem other teachers have wrestled with too. Quick fixes don’t exist. But in others’ writing, you’ll find something better: conversations in which history teachers have debated or tackled your problems – conversations which any history teacher can join. If you have a problem you would like to see addressed in this section please email: teachinghistory@history.org.uk Read more

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 174: Building students' historical talk

    Article

    How do we get our students to talk more in lessons? No, not like that! How have history teachers engaged with the issue of students’ historical – and general – oracy? Talking about history is not the same skill as writing about it. It is more immediate, and more easily...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 173: including BME history in the curriculum

    Article

    This page is for those new to the published writings of history teachers. Each problem you wrestle with, other teachers have wrestled with too. Quick fixes don’t exist. But in others’ writing, you’ll find something better: conversations in which history teachers have debated or tackled your problems – conversations which any history teacher...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 172: Curriculum planning

    Article

    This page is for those new to the published writings of history teachers. Each problem you wrestle with, other teachers have wrestled with too. Quick fixes don’t exist. But in others’ writing, you’ll find something better: conversations in which history teachers have debated or tackled your problems – conversations which...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 171: Teaching Medieval History

    Article

    Was your diet of school history mostly modern? Are you more comfortable debating the industrial revolution than the feudal revolution? And do you now find yourself teaching more medieval history, particularly at GCSE and A-level? Recent changes to the examination specifications in England have made the medieval mainstream, and as...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 170: Building students’ historical argument

    Article

    This page is for those new to the published writings of history teachers. Each problem you wrestle with, other teachers have wrestled with too. Quick fixes don’t exist. But in others’ writing, you’ll soon find something better: conversations in which other history teachers have debated or tackled your problems –...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 169: Developing a sense of place

    Article

    This page is for those new to the published writings of history teachers. Each problem you wrestle with, other teachers have wrestled with too. Quick fixes don’t exist. But in others’ writing, you’ll soon find something better: conversations in which other history teachers have debated or tackled your problems – conversations any history...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 168: Local history

    Article

    This page is for those new to the published writings of history teachers. Each problem you wrestle with, other teachers have wrestled with too...   The opportunities afforded by local history are far from parochial. The study of a neighbouring town, a local battalion, a village street or even a...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 165: Enabling progress - students who need more support

    Article

    Students often find history ‘hard’; senior managers and pastoral managers perceive it as challenging and many, with the best of intentions, steer students away from taking it for GCSE. Indeed, in the most recent HA survey, 49% of respondents reported that some students are actively discouraged or prevented from continuing...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 164: Constructing narrative

    Article

    Narrative is shedding its status as the ‘underrated skill’, re-emerging as a requirement of the new GCSE in England. As Counsell has argued, constructing a narrative is ‘no easy option’, however, and asking students to ‘Write an account…’ lacks the comfortable familiarity of ‘Explain why…’ or ‘How far…’. Fortunately, many...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 163: Historical significance

    Article

    Historical significance first appeared in England’s National Curriculum for history in 1995. It entered the assessment framework (Level Descriptions) in 2008. In 2014, it became part of the History NC ‘Aims’. One thing never changes, however: it is hard. But history teachers have written a great deal about historical significance...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 162: GCSE Thematic Study

    Article

    Thematic studies have been a long-standing feature of the Schools History Project (SHP) GCSE specifications in England and Wales; but for teachers of ‘Modern World’ GCSE specifications, the thematic study in the new GCSE specifications for teaching in England from September 2016 is unfamiliar territory. Perhaps you are entirely new...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 161: Teaching substantive concepts

    Article

    It’s worrying when pupils reach Year 9 or 10 unable to properly interpret or find fluency in major abstract nouns that crop up again and again in history. They should have bumped into ‘empire’, ‘republic’, ‘federation’, ‘peasantry’, ‘commons’ and ‘communism’, many times by Year 10, so why are many students...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 160: Progression in evidential understanding

    Article

    You have a wealth of fascinating sources you would love to explore with students but despair at their seeming inability to connect ‘source work' with the construction of historical claims. Year 7 get stuck in the ‘it's biased so we can never know' trap again and again. Year 9 students...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 159: Writing history essays

    Article

    Until the 1990s, it was unusual for the majority of England's secondary school students to write history essays. The traditional essay was a staple of the old History O Level examinations, but fewer than 20% of pupils did these history exams. In the 1980s, various history teachers became increasingly concerned...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 157: Teaching Overview

    Article

    Overwhelmed by overview? Bewildered by how to teach bigger pictures? Tied up in mental knots by trying to work out the difference between thematic stories, frameworks and outlines? You are not alone. Like many history teachers, you feel more confident when teaching depth studies but find yourself beating a rapid...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 156: Analysing interpretations

    Article

    This page is for those new to the published writings of history teachers. Every problem you wrestle with, other teachers have wrestled with too. Quick fixes don't exist. But if you discover others' writing, you'll soon find - and want to join - something better: an international conversation in which others...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 155: Similarity & Difference

    Article

    This page is for those new to the published writings of history teachers. Every problem you wrestle with, other teachers have wrestled with too. Quick fixes don't exist. But if you discover others' writing, you'll soon find - and want to join - something better: an international conversation in which...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 154: Using historical scholarship in the classroom

    Article

    As another World Book Day goes past, you have been watching the English department wax lyrical about all of the wonderful books that pupils might read. You know that there is a wealth of well-written historical scholarship out there for pupils to dive into, yet you are not sure about...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 153: Good Enquiry Questions

    Article

    This page is for those new to the published writings of history teachers. Every problem you wrestle with, other teachers have wrestled with too. Quick fixes don't exist. But if you discover others' writing, you'll soon find - and want to join - something better: an international conversation in which...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 152: Describing Progression

    Article

    'New, Novice or Nervous?' is for those new to the published writings of history teachers. Every problem you wrestle with, other teachers have wrestled with too. Quick fixes don't exist. But if you discover others' writing, you'll soon find - and want to join - something better: an international conversation...

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