Overview & Depth

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  • Overview & Depth: Section Guide

    Information

    New assessment criteria for public examinations (at A-level and GCSE) now require students to study history at different scales of resolution. Sometimes they are required to adopt a wide vantage point that allows them to survey a long sweep of time, making it possible to see the prevailing trends and...

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  • Curriculum coherence into the new GCSE: best practice for KS3 History

    Article

    This workshop took place at the HA Annual Conference May 2017 in Manchester. Zoë Howells and John Blake, Harris Federation The workshop sets out thinking behind designing a truly stretching, appropriate and historically sound curriculum at KS3 which develops students’ knowledge and understanding, as well as ability to write historically...

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  • Of the many significant things that have ever happened, what should we teach?

    Article

    There are three basic strands to our lessons. How should we teach? What skills should we enable our students to build? What content should we use to deliver those skills? In this article Tony McConnell, who has been re-designing the curriculum in his school in response to a changed examination regimen, considers the issue of subject...

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  • Putting Catlin in his place?

    Article

    Jess Landy’s desire to introduce her pupils to a more complex narrative of the American West led her to the life story and work of a remarkable individual, George Catlin.  In this article she shows how she used this unusual micro-narrative in order to challenge pupils’ ideas not just about the bigger narrative of which it is a part, but about the...

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  • Cunning Plan: GCSE Thematic study

    Article

    I started teaching ‘crime and punishment through time’ thematically a few years ago. I was teaching it as a Schools History Project ‘study in development’. We had moved from ‘medicine through time’ in order to keep things fresh. After six times through the content, much as I loved it, crime,...

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  • Mummy Mummy - Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

    Article

    Mummy, Mummy, why is there a pea in my endz? Not now, dear. Mummy’s got some vacancies in her department because the wonderful colleagues she’s been working with have been snapped up by other schools. She’s spending half of her time trying to persuade SMT that the good results the...

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  • Exploring big overviews through local depth

    Article

    ‘Miss, did this really happen here?' Exploring big overviews through local depth Rachel Foster and Kath Goudie's search for a more rigorous and interesting way of teaching Year 7 the Norman Conquest was initially driven by a desire to incorporate local history in a more meaningful way in their Key...

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  • Transforming Year 11's conceptual understanding of change

    Article

    For all that history teachers appreciate the need to build substantive knowledge and conceptual understanding systematically over time, they are also likely to have experienced that sickening moment when they realise that a Year 11 pupil has somehow missed something fundamental. In Anna Fielding's case, her pupil's misconception was related to...

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  • Historical Perspective & 'Big History'

    Article

    Moving forward, looking back - historical perspective, ‘Big History' and the return of the longue durée: time to develop our scale hopping muscles ‘Big history' is a term receiving a great deal of attention at present, particularly in North America where considerable sums of money have been invested in designing curricula...

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  • Move Me On: Knowledge

    Article

    Move Me On 157  This issue's problem: Rose Valognes feels she hasn't got enough ways of getting knowledge across to the students before they can do something with it. After a positive start to her training year, Rose Valognes seems to have got stuck in a rut in her thinking,...

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  • New, Novice or Nervous? 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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  • Getting medieval (and global) at Key Stage 3

    Article

    Taking new historical research into the classroom: getting medieval (and global) at Key Stage 3 Although history teachers frequently work with academic historical writing, direct face-to-face encounters with academic historians are rare in secondary history classrooms. This article reports a collaboration between an academic historian and a history teacher that...

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  • Assessing the Battle of Waterloo in the classroom

    Article

    Defying the Iron Duke: assessing the Battle of Waterloo in the classroom The approaching bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo has stimulated debate about how it should be commemorated. This article reports a collaboration between the Waterloo200 Committee and Tom Wheeley, history teacher, to create a lesson sequence analysing the...

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  • Helping Year 9 explore the cultural legacies of WW1

    Article

    A world turned molten: helping Year 9 to explore the cultural legacies of the First World War Rachel Foster shows how her own study of cultural history led to a new dimension in her planning. She wanted to show her students not only that historians are interested in many different...

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  • Bringing Rwanda into the classroom

    Article

    A short 20 years: meeting the challenges facing teachers who bring Rwanda into the classroom As the twentieth anniversary of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda approaches, Mark Gudgel argues that we should face the challenges posed by teaching about Rwanda. Drawing on his experience as a history teacher in the...

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  • Building an overview of the historic roots of antisemitism

    Article

    ‘But I still don't get why the Jews': using cause and change to answer pupils' demand for an overview of antisemitism Research by the Centre for Holocaust Education has suggested that students need and want more help with building an overview of the historical roots of antisemitism and that they...

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  • How to teach meaningful overviews

    Article

    Move Me On 152 This Issue's Problem: Martin King is worried about how to teach meaningful overviews...

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  • Year 9 - Connecting past, present and future

    Article

    Possible futures: using frameworks of knowledge to help Year 9 connect past, present and future How can we help pupils integrate history into coherent ‘Big Pictures' or mental frameworks? Building on traditions of classroom research and theorising reported in earlier editions of Teaching History, Dan Nuttall reports how his department set...

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  • Continuity in the treatment of mental health through time

    Article

    Where's the other ‘c'? Year 9 examine continuity in the treatment of mental health through time Helen Murray, Rachel Burney and Andrew Stacey-Chapman show how they strengthened three goals of their practice - secure knowledge, narrative shapes and conceptual analysis - by securing strong connection between them. The curricular focus...

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  • Time and chronology: conjoined twins or distant cousins?

    Article

    Weaknesses in pupils' grasp of historical chronology are a commonplace in popular discussion of the state of history education. However, as Blow, Lee and Shemilt argue, although undoubtedly necessary and fundamental, mastery of chronological conventions is not sufficient: the difficulties that pupils experience when learning history are conceptual, as much...

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