Primary Programme

Our primary pathway is tailored specifically to cater for the needs of primary educators, exploring a spectrum of themes from disciplinary concepts to diverse histories. Immerse yourself in the wealth of knowledge shared by our speakers. Explore the programme to uncover the full extent of what awaits you.

What did we ever do for the Romans? Why sequencing matters in teaching Roman Britain
Steve Mastin

Consultant

This session will use the power of storytelling to build pupils’ knowledge of the Roman world, their vocabulary and their disciplinary thinking. From the characters Caratacus and Boudicca to places such as Aquae Sulis and Vindolanda, we will look at approaches that make the stories of Roman Britain so memorable. Using the work of historian David Olusoga, we will consider why sequencing matters so much in teaching primary history, with prior knowledge making new knowledge accessible.

Friday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 2
Why do people disagree about the past? Using historical scholarship and interpretations in Key Stage 2
Emmy Quinn
Newminster Middle School
This session will give practical ideas for using historical scholarship and interpretations at Key Stage 2. Historians rarely write with children in mind, and this session will show you how to make scholarship accessible to learners and where to find it. It will also offer advice on where to add scholarship to enquiries and how to build enquiries around scholarship and interpretations.

Friday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 2

Teaching a shared colonial heritage through UNESCO’s Memory of the World archive
Natasha Robinson
University of Oxford
Annika Roes
UNESCO, Paris, France

The ‘Memory of the World’ (MoW) is a digital register hosted by UNESCO that contains world-significant historical records. This session will first introduce approaches for using the MoW register in the classroom and introduce teachers to the pedagogical resources developed around selected historical records. The session will then report on a UNESCO pilot project, which has used the MoW to develop approaches to teaching colonial history, thus empowering students to become global citizens. This project involved supporting teacher pairs from formerly colonised and colonising countries (Ghana/UK and Indonesia/Netherlands) to develop a shared scheme of work around a specific colonial-era document. The opportunities and challenges for UK schools to pair with schools in former British colonies when they teach colonial history will be explored.

Friday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, post-16
Developing the disciplinary concept of change from Early Years to Year 6
Chris Trevor
Consultant
There will be a short introduction to the disciplinary concepts and then a focus on how ‘change’ can be developed, with a clear progression and increasing challenge, from Early Years and throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. It will include examples and activities using historical sources, based on the guidance for the EYFS from Development Matters and some suggestions from some of the National Curriculum units, and will also include aspects of change in the local area and diversity.

You will leave with lots of suggestions to map out and develop the concept of change in your school (and its relationship to continuity, cause and effect, and significance where appropriate) to meet aspects of ‘Understanding the world’ in EYFS and ‘Change over time’, which is part of the geography curriculum as well as history. There will be opportunities for brief sharing of ideas.

Friday: 12.00–13.00

Early Years, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, cross-phase/transition
Assessment: how to track developing schemas and knowledge
Karin Doull
Consultant
The recent Ofsted history subject report, ‘Rich encounters with the past: history subject report’ (2023), has a clear focus on assessment. There is a concentration throughout the report on identifying how teachers can ensure that children’s understanding of the past progresses past the superficial, ‘focused on trivial details or seemingly disconnected facts about topics’ (Ofsted, 2023), and on how they, the teachers, can know that this is happening.

This workshop will consider how subject leaders and classroom teachers can begin to put into place strategies that will provide relevant understanding of children’s development in historical learning. It will focus on ideas to track progress in the expansion of children’s ideas about some of the key ‘themes’ or substantive concepts. It will use examples from two schools working with this as a focus.

Friday: 12.00–13.00

Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2
‘How to mummify a pharaoh’? Let’s make generic writing styles history!
David Morel and Laura Sutton
Willingham Primary School, Cambridge
The National Literacy Strategy has a lot to answer for. Much was positive, but writing techniques designed to improve pupils’ English have leached into their history, science and geography… Pupils should write instructions – but not for mummifying pharaohs.

In this session, we will expose the tyranny of the English ‘writing’ curriculum and how pupils are taught to write in disciplinarily inappropriate ways. We will look at a different approach to writing, focusing on the language, features and conventions of history, rather than ‘non-fiction’ genres. With practical examples, we will consider what great disciplinary writing might look like in history; how ‘formative’ and ‘summative’ writing differ; and how careful curriculum planning can enable pupils to write in ways that will support and demonstrate their great historical thinking.

Friday: 14.00–15.00

Early Years, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, cross-phase/transition, teacher educators
Teaching disability within the primary history curriculum
Bev Forrest
Leeds Trinity University
Melanie Jones
Historical Association
Disability is part of life in every era and yet it is often hidden from history; we do not see disabled people represented nor consider how disabled people were treated by the societies in which they lived. Before the advent of modern medicine, this seems even stranger, given that many more people suffered with disability than in our present-day society. This workshop will consider perceptions of and attitudes to disability in the past, and offer practical suggestions for representing disability and the disabled in the current primary history curriculum. It will look at how we can celebrate strength in difference and build a more representative picture of society, peoples and events in the past.

Friday: 14.00–15.00

Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2

Bringing local, global history into the classroom
Deborah Hayden
Trinity Catholic School, Leamington Spa
This workshop will cover examples of how to diversify your curriculum using local case studies. It will include strategies for uncovering local links to global events and the importance of working with local community groups to develop your curriculum. It will also share examples of the projects in which our students have been involved, including narrating historical documentaries, delivering talks to local community groups, working with our local county records office, and taking part in Oxford University’s national archive project – ‘Their Finest Hour’ – and ‘The Holocaust, Their Family, Me and Us’ research project, as well as being a UCL Beacon School for Holocaust Education.

Friday: 14.00–15.00

Cross-phase/transition, teacher educators, mentors, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4
Dawson Lecture
Penelope Harnett
The Dawson Award amplifies the ethos of inspiration, collaboration and continuous learning in the field of education. This award celebrates an individual who has supported and nurtured history teachers and teaching. We are delighted that this year’s recipient is Penelope Harnett.

Penelope is a distinguished figure in the field of history and citizenship education. Her notable contributions extend to various Council of Europe projects focused on history teaching. Penelope is recognised for her extensive research and published widely within the broader sphere of learning and teaching in history.

Having served as the former editor of Primary History and been an active member of our Primary Committee for many years, Penelope’s commitment to educational advancement remains evident as she continues to be an important voice in primary history education. Her dedication to shaping the landscape of history education is a testament to her enduring impact on the field and one of the many reasons why she has been awarded the Dawson Award.

Friday: 15.15–16.15

From Trinidad to Solihull: celebrating the contribution of Windrush migrants to local history at Key Stage 2
Janice Weathers
Welford Primary School, Birmingham
Andrew Wrenn
Consultant
This practical workshop will show how staff at Welford Primary School in Birmingham collaborated with historian-in-residence Andrew Wrenn to help a diverse class of Year 5 pupils to create a class biography of Jake Jackson, a local Windrush migrant and veteran of the Second World War. It will demonstrate how a powerful combination of primary history and English planning can help pupils to create a vibrant local history based on the life of extraordinary individuals such as Jake, who experienced racist opposition to his mixed marriage in the post-war West Midlands on the journey to becoming a Black Briton. The workshop shows how national themes of empire and migration can be woven into local history.

Friday: 16.45–17.45

Key Stage 2

Teaching historical significance in Key Stage 1
Emma Groves
New Milton Infant School; HIAS Hampshire Primary History Steering Group
The Key Stage 1 National Curriculum objectives for history are centred on significance. This session will support teachers in their teaching of historical significance and provide strategies to help younger children to understand this historical concept.

Participants will get the chance to share with one another the significant individuals and events that they are currently teaching, and explore methods of quantifying significance in their current historical topics. The session will offer suggestions on how to construct a curriculum that is rich in historical significance, and show how links can be made between topics to provide children with a deeper understanding of the past. We will look at how the concept of historical significance progresses from the Early Years through to Key Stage 2, and how key substantive and disciplinary concepts relate to it.

Friday: 16.45–17.45

Key Stage 1, cross-phase/transition
Transition
Sarah Herrity
Hampshire County Council
Kerry Somers
Halterworth School, Romsey; HA Primary Committee
Would you like to ensure that your historians develop a coherent narrative of history, where their conceptual understanding is grown as they move through key stages? Are you confident that your EYFS children are best prepared for a future in history? When your historians leave Year 6, how do you ensure that they have the foundations to enable them to access a continuing ambitious history curriculum? Are you able to maximise opportunities for collaboration with colleagues across key stages?

This workshop aims to offer practical ways in which to support children to make connections with prior and future learning and develop a more coherent narrative of the past.

Friday: 16.45–17.45

Key Stage 2, cross-phase/transition
Teaching Islamic civilisations in Key Stage 2
Christine Counsell

Consultant

What’s the case for giving substantial time to teaching about diverse Muslim societies within a wider, knowledge-rich Key Stage 2 curriculum? How does knowledge of everything, from eighth-century Arabia to ninth-century Baghdad to tenth-century Cordoba, fit in with everything else? This workshop shows how, when planning a history curriculum, sometimes ‘more is more’. Christine will show how to be thorough, so that pupils can build sense of period, and how to connect ancient civilisations in meaningful ways, so that pupils are enthralled by each new topic, full of better, more informed historical questions. It will illustrate the planning principles and approaches that enable pupils to build mental models of how Viking and Arab worlds, Greek and African worlds, and pagan, Christian and Muslim worlds interacted.

Saturday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 2, teacher educators, cross-phase/transition
Creativity in primary history
Bronte Bailey
Stoneham Park Primary Academy, Eastleigh
Paul Sowden and Frances Warren
University of Winchester
Take a minute to note down your initial ideas about ‘creativity’. What does the term mean to you and what does it look like in your classroom? Creativity is too often over-simplified. Creativity is not an adjective. It is not a simplistic and superficial term to describe ‘doing something differently’ or ‘producing an attractive product or outcome’. Instead, creativity is a complex process that draws upon a number of valuable and varied capabilities. The Centre for Real-World Learning’s model of creativity demonstrates this, showing that creativity embodies several habits: being imaginative, inquisitive, persistent, collaborative and disciplined. Schools in the University of Winchester Academy Trust have been fortunate enough to work alongside researchers at the University of Winchester to develop teaching for creativity within the classroom. Through real examples, this workshop shows how offering opportunities for creativity in history lessons engages children and offers rich, memorable learning experiences.

Saturday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 2

Creating purposeful learning: the place of history within Curriculum for Wales
Lloyd Hopkin and Yvonne Roberts-Ablett
Welsh Government
Wales is in the process of significant curriculum reform. As Curriculum for Wales is taught in all schools from September 2023, the role of the history teacher is changing. Curriculum for Wales is asking the teaching profession to think differently about curriculum design, moving from a model of lesson planning and delivery to a more sophisticated approach to designing learning with purpose. Through our pioneer process, this is a curriculum for teachers, written by teachers. This workshop aims to support an understanding of the process of curriculum reform, what it means to design learning with purpose and how history is supporting a practical understanding of how to do this. The aim of this workshop is to demonstrate the place of history in shaping purposeful learning that ignites future passions and learning.

Saturday: 10.45–11.45

Early Years, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, cross-phase/transition, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, post-16, teacher educators, mentors
Significant individuals: who to choose for a more localised, meaningful and diverse primary history?
Chris Trevor
Consultant
This session will explore how to go beyond any given examples in the National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2 for your history units, by widening diversity (in all its forms) and choosing some individuals who are more meaningful from a local perspective, making more use of the Historical Association’s ‘Significant individuals’ resource to help you to extend the range of people that you study. There will be opportunities for you to share your own suggestions with others.

Saturday: 12.00–13.00

Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2
Teaching crime and punishment through local archives
Steven Kenyon
Lancashire Professional Development Service
David Tilsley
Lancashire Archives
This session will explore the huge benefits that local archives can bring to primary history, illustrated with a case study of Lancashire Archives. Steven and David have worked in partnership for four years, seeking to give a ‘voice’ to local archives and to interest, engage and provoke thought among primary-aged pupils.

During the session, Steven will explore ‘Crime and punishment in Lancashire’ (a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066), through an exemplified sequence of learning including two fascinating local case studies. Steven will also briefly explain how this sequence can be part of work on a key concept (justice and equality) spanning EYFS to Year 6. David Tilsley will share his expertise as an archivist and bring along a selection of related archive material.

Saturday: 12.00–13.00
Early Years, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, teacher educators
Creating curiosity
Michael Riley
UCL Institute of Education
Creating curiosity about the past is the starting point for all successful learning in history. Using intriguing historical sources is an excellent way in which to generate interest in historical people, events and situations. What are the characteristics of these sources? How can we combine individual sources with powerful pedagogies? In what ways can we deploy these sources and pedagogies in the context of an historical enquiry? Michael’s workshop will explore these questions using some case studies of sources, learning activities and enquiries that can be used to create curiosity and build deep historical understanding with pupils in Key Stages 2 and 3. The workshop will focus on some neglected sources and histories, but the strategies will be transferrable to a range of contexts.

Saturday: 12.00–13.00

Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3
The power of paintings: a significant source in developing historical understanding and perspective

Sarah Whitehouse

University of the West of England, Bristol

This workshop will provide examples of significant paintings that constitute a powerful source in supporting historical enquiry in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. It will provide teachers with tools to discuss the use of these sources and how the skill of historical interpretation can be developed. A number of practical activities will be modelled, using some significant works of art and what they can and cannot tell us about life in the past. Key links will be made across the National Curriculum and further guidance will be signposted to participants. This workshop will provide an opportunity to empower teachers to build confidence in using challenging sources.

Saturday: 14.00–15.00

Early Years, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, cross-phase/transition, teacher educators
When my granny was little: using oral histories to explore changes within living memory
Emma Thomas

University of the West of England, Bristol

This practical workshop will explore how oral history can develop historical understanding of changes within living memory. Teachers will gain an understanding of:

1. How oral histories can be used as an historical source.
2. How to develop children’s skills in asking historically relevant questions to explore oral histories.
3. How to use oral histories as a tool to develop children’s understanding of changes within living memory.

This workshop will explore how the power of personal oral histories from local communities can ‘bring the past to life’ and support younger children in developing historical perspective.

Saturday: 14.00–15.00

Early Years, Key Stage 1
‘How should young people “feel” and “do” history? How may this shape their world?’ One year on!
Michael Maddison and Martin Spafford

Consultant

At the end of his thought-provoking Dawson Lecture at the 2023 HA Conference, Martin Spafford set the history teaching community eight specific challenges. They were: train students to be historians of their own world; give students practice in using history to understand contemporary issues; help students to see how historical consciousness can help them to deal with their own lives; locate history across the curriculum; design the content around the needs of students; generate respect for people in other periods and cultures; pay careful attention to the full inclusion of working-class histories; and celebrate the storytelling power of history but prioritise history that offers hope. This workshop looks at how teachers across the country are already addressing some of these challenges, and explores practical ways of taking this further…

Saturday: 14.00–15.00

Early Years, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, cross-phase/transition, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, post-16, teacher educators, mentors
Understanding and hope: school history and the planetary crisis
Alison Kitson and Michael Riley
UCL Institute of Education
The importance of teaching children and young people about the planetary crisis is hard to overstate. School history has a crucial role to play in helping pupils to understand our present predicament and to think about possible futures. UCL’s Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Education has been established to provide research-informed professional development for teachers on these issues. Alison and Michael will draw on their work at the Centre to consider how teachers can draw on academic research to give the history curriculum a stronger environmental focus. They will share practical approaches that can be used to build pupils’ knowledge and understanding of how we got into this mess and of how history can help us to envisage a more hopeful future.

Saturday: 15.15–16.15