Planning for progression in sourcework

Sally Thorne
Montpelier High School, Bristol
Alex Fairlamb
Kings Priory School, Tynemouth

Sources are the materials that historians use to construct their accounts of the past. This workshop outlines how Alex and Sally teach for progression in using historical sources, with students from Year 7 through to sixth form. As well as the importance of knowing more context, they have been considering how to draw out more complex inferences over time, by asking the right questions; teaching students to construct their own questions to help them to interrogate sources; moving on from content and provenance to looking at sources as a whole, perfect package; and cross-referencing different types of sources to support enquiries. Not a ‘biast’ in sight, we promise! There will be a range of practical examples and a chance to build on your own progression model, using sources you bring that are relevant to your curriculum.

Friday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16
Improving our teaching of the Indian sub-continent at Key Stage 3
Richard Kennett
Gatehouse Green Learning Trust, Bristol
Zaiba Patel
University of Oxford, Oxford

‘Why weren’t we taught this?’ is something that Anita Anand says about the history of India in nearly every episode of the Empire podcast. She has a point. If India is included in our curriculums at all, it is mostly there as a brief sideways glance. Yet the history of India impacts all of us. It is rich, fascinating and important. It has shaped Britain and British history. In this workshop, we will give you the tools to include a richer story of India in your Key Stage 3. We will discuss what we think are the most important points that need to be covered, including a focus on 1857, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and Partition. We will share approaches and enquiry questions. We will spotlight the stories of those who have been previously neglected from our narratives.

Friday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 3

Developing students’ understanding of the planetary crisis in history lessons
Alison Kitson and Michael Riley
UCL Institute of Education, London

The importance of teaching young people about our planetary crisis is hard to overstate. This is the defining existential challenge of our time, yet the school curriculum does little to help students to understand our present predicament or to think about possible futures. UCL’s new Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Education has been established to provide research-informed professional development for teachers on these issues. Alison and Michael’s workshop will draw on their work at the centre to consider how history teachers can engage with academic research to teach environmental history. They will share practical approaches that can be used to build students’ knowledge and understanding of how we got into this mess, and of how history might help us to envisage a hopeful future.

Friday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 3

Ending the violence: challenging colonial narratives of the American West

Alex Ford

Schools History Project; Leeds Trinity University

‘Erasure is a form of violence that sustains a settler-colonial present.’ (Blackbird and Dodds Pennock, 2021, pp. 248–249) 

The American West has been a staple GCSE topic for over 50 years, and remains one of the most commonly taught GCSE units. Yet too many young people say that the American West is complex, boring and irrelevant. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yet GCSE specifications make it hard for young people to recognise the historic and continuing struggles of Indigenous peoples against settler-colonialism, contributing to Indigenous erasure and perpetuating injustices. It is within our power as teachers to challenge these injustices. This session will offer practical solutions to put Indigenous peoples at the heart of the GCSE American West and ensure that the American West is a history that young people demand to learn.

Friday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 4, Key Stage 3

Seeing causation: using graphic scaffolds to dual code and support written causal analysis
Morgan Robinson

School of Education, University of Sheffield

Why do our students struggle to write convincingly about the causes of events? An answer that this session provides is that students can’t see the narrative link between cause and event, and so don’t have the awareness or ability to explain that link effectively.

By using graphic scaffolds to dual code the narrative connection between cause and event, we can visualise causation and model how to translate them into written analysis. We can then train students to write causal analysis using these visual aids that we’ve provided, adapting their content and the way in which they are used in response to students’ needs, and gradually remove that support until students can independently create their own graphic scaffolds and translate this into written work. The resulting analysis establishes a clear and secure narrative link from cause to event.

Friday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16, Teacher educators
Righteous Gentiles: teaching the interfaith rescuers of the Holocaust
Alice Solomons and Kate Boardman
Sharples School, Bolton
This session will explore the rationale, research and resources behind a Key Stage 3 unit focusing on the interfaith rescuers of the Holocaust. This unit explores the teaching of the Holocaust from a point of view designed to make students understand the relationship between different religions, and why they responded to the Holocaust in sometimes similar and sometimes contrasting ways.

Friday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 3

Beyond stamps, stickers and coloured pens: a journey from marking to feedback
Deborah Hayden

Trinity Catholic School, Leamington Spa

This is a workshop based on a research project that I completed with the IoE at UCL and Ross McGill on a range of feedback techniques and how to start and develop a journey from marking to feedback within a history curriculum. A range of ready-to-use strategies will be shared, which can be implemented the very next day. Details will also be shared to ensure that these strategies fit the demands of a history curriculum: retrieval, scholarship, summative and diagnostic assessment, etc. Recent research in this field will be shared, as well as both student and staff voice in terms of the impact on student progress and, most importantly, staff welfare. This workshop was delivered at the Midlands History Forum in October 2021.

Friday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 2, Cross-phase/transition, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16
But what made the difference? Incorporating comparison so students justify their causal arguments
Jim Carroll

Department of Education, University of Oxford

After growing frustrated by some of his students’ underdeveloped causal arguments, Jim Carroll sought to model more clearly to them how historians justify their arguments when prioritising causes. In this workshop, Jim outlines one such approach to this end: how historians use comparison to explain why a consequence happened in a certain place at a particular time. The workshop will include examples of the scholarship that inspired the lessons and that the students read in class. It will also include some resources from the lessons that exemplify the substantive knowledge and linguistic support that enabled such disciplinary thinking to drive the students’ written arguments. Finally, there will be examples of the students’ written work, as well as feedback by academic historians on what they valued in the students’ essays.

Friday: 12.00–13.00

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16
Hiding in plain sight: attempting to integrate migration and empire into Key Stage 3 ‘British’ history
Ben Walsh
David Ross Education Trust, Loughborough

Many scholars have indicated that units on the British Empire can sometimes result in pupils seeing empire and migration as topics that are separate from, rather than integral to, ‘domestic’ British history. This session shares a first attempt to hide these issues in plain sight by integrating them into a mainstream British narrative from c1500 to c1800.

Friday: 12.00–13.00

Key Stage 3

Assessing curriculum progression through the concept of consequence
Danielle Donaldson and James Ellis
Concord College, Shrewsbury

This session, based on research and classroom implementation, focuses on how we used the disciplinary concept of consequence to facilitate curricular links and measure our students’ learning. We will link the theory of the curriculum as a progression model with our teaching practice designing assessments for Year 9. A conceptual focus on consequence through the question ‘What were the most important consequences of the First World War?’ enabled our students to make meaningful links between a range of twentieth-century topics, spanning the soldiers of empire to suffragettes and the German Revolution. We will reflect on using assessment to help strengthen curricular connections and the importance of thinking time in lessons to facilitate independent engagement with the curriculum as a whole.

Friday: 12.00–13.00

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Teacher educators
The People of 1381: a window onto the later Middle Ages
Helen Snelson

University of York

The largest revolt in English history (to date!) took place in 1381. It has resonated across the ages. So many people from so many walks of life took part, and in so many places. Yet how we teach it in schools is quite frankly verging on ‘fake news’. The HA Teacher Fellowship on the People of 1381 has enabled history teachers to connect with the latest scholarship and to develop teaching ideas and resources that the team would like to share with you. The Revolt of 1381 is rich in stories of people and places that can bring vibrancy, coherence and complexity to your teaching of the later Middle Ages in England. The academic team have provided resources that help us to teach about how historians really work with sources as evidence.

Friday: 12.00–13.00

Cross-phase/transition, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16,  Teacher educators

‘Guess who’s coming to…?’ How an ‘inclusive’ curriculum needs a new lens to truly inspire BAME pupils
Zara Daswani
Chorlton High South, Manchester
A look at the reality of ‘inclusive’ curriculums and some tips on how to really inspire BAME students within our world of historical obsession! Often, tokenistic attempts will be transparent to any student and an authentic, integrated curriculum is what will leave them wanting more once they leave school. Tackling how we teach diverse stories in our history curriculum is what is needed in order to address the disproportionately low amount of BAME students going to university and consequently into academia or careers in historical practice. As a secondary school teacher of history in an inner-city school in Manchester, I hope to share the barriers that BAME students face and some ways in which I have managed to inspire and push them forward as future historians.

Friday: 12.00–13.00

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16, Teacher educators, Mentors

GCSE History thematic studies

AQA sponsored session

Ros Farrell


In this session Ros will demonstrate strategies to improve students’ ability to think thematically, encompassing pedagogy, assessment, and long term planning across Key Stages.

Friday: 12.00–13.00

Tangible history: centring material objects and artefacts in the curriculum
Sasha Smith

Sir Robert Pattinson Academy, Lincoln

Sarah Longair

University of Lincoln

How can we teach the micro histories of objects as a tool to illuminate the macro? In this session, we will explore the value of material objects as a medium for understanding wider histories, as well as how to build a curriculum supported by objects. The session will spotlight how a third-year undergraduate course from Dr Sarah Longair has been used to create a scheme of learning for Key Stage 3 by Sasha Smith to create an object-centred, challenging and ambitious course, to inspire and enliven history students’ learning. The session will also include practical examples demonstrating how objects and artefacts can be successfully used to supplement the Key Stage 3 curriculum, from Viking archaeology to the Partition of India. 

Friday: 12.00–13.00

Key Stage 2, Cross-phase/transition, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16, Teacher educators

Why might teaching about the British Empire be controversial, and what can we do about it?
Natasha Robinson

University of Oxford

The history of the British Empire finds itself entangled in the culture wars. But why has this history, more than any other, become so politicised in Britain? In this workshop, participants will explore the nature of historical legacies: what they are, why they’re controversial, how they manifest in the classroom and what we can do to prepare to teach them.
1. What do we mean when we talk about the ‘legacies’ of the British Empire? What is a ‘legacy’?
– Since legacies are about causality, it can be difficult to identify what is and isn’t a legacy.
2. Why are legacies controversial?
– Beliefs about the legacies of British Empire are associated with voting behaviour.
3. How do legacies manifest in the classroom?
– Textbooks rarely make reference to historical legacies, yet students want to discuss historical legacies.

Friday: 14.00–15.00

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16
History + maths = a winning formula
Heather Sherman

York College

The past is full of numbers, but sometimes the way in which that historical data is presented in books, journals and other sources can seem daunting, abstract or tricky to interpret for our A-level students. In this session, we will look at how we can design meaningful learning activities to support A-level students in working with historical data to interpret and simplify it, so that they can use it with confidence as a meaningful source of evidence to support and develop high-quality analysis and evaluation. Making historical data more accessible will strengthen our students’ historical toolkits and increase their confidence in working with the figures of the past.

Friday: 14.00–15.00


Convivencia, comparisons, conclusions: why you should add Al-Andalus to your Key Stage 3 curriculum
Danica Johnson
Dixons Kings Academy, Bradford
This session will persuade you that the fascinating world of Al-Andalus deserves a place in your Key Stage 3 curriculum. Drawing students into the world of the Umayyad Caliphate of Spain provides an insight into a world in which Jews, Muslims and Christians interacted (often harmoniously) with one another. This topic is rich with a vast array of primary sources: poems, artwork and coins, to name a few. Islamic Spain also provides a captivating close study of oft-marginalised figures such as Hasdai ibn Shaprut, a Jewish advisor to the Caliph. The study of medieval Islamic Spain also invites a worthwhile comparison to medieval England. Not only does Al-Andalucian study provide a reference point for students of Islamic background, but it also provides powerful knowledge about the basis of modern-day Europe.

Friday: 14.00–15.00

Key Stage 3
‘Are we still having to march for this sh*t?!’ Change and continuity in British twentieth-century women’s rights
Alex Fairlamb
Kings Priory School, Tynemouth
Typically, our studies of twentieth-century Britain and women’s rights tend to focus upon the periods 1900 –1929 (‘first wave feminism’) and the 1960s –1970s (‘second wave feminism’). This session will explore change and continuity in women’s rights from the period 1880 to the modern day, including reference to the origins of feminism. During the talk, the history of British women’s rights will be discussed, including issues of suffrage and political participation, education and employment, marriage and sexuality, and culture. A focus will be upon the methodology of organisations and movements, and key case studies such as Endell Street and Jayaben Desai. Interwoven within this will be suggestions as to how to incorporate this powerful history into curriculums, including resources.

Friday: 14.00–15.00

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16
Giving students credit for talking history: exploring the use of speaking assessments at Key Stage 3
Toby Dove
Bartholomew School, Eynsham

Student dialogue is a feature of all vibrant history classrooms. However, when it comes to assessment, there is too often the temptation to retreat from dialogue to traditional written essays. Indeed, student dialogue is often viewed as a means to an essay end, rather than an end in its own right.

This session will share approaches to structuring, supporting and assessing student dialogue in Key Stage 3 history classrooms. There will be a particular focus on the use of speaking assessments as a means of elevating the profile of ‘talking history’ in the eyes of students, as well as within the curricula of history departments. Experiments with a framework for speaking assessments in history will be shared, alongside ways in which technology can be utilised to support such assessments. Successes, limitations and future plans will then be discussed.

Friday: 14.00–15.00

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16

Teaching South African history at A-level: building subject knowledge and confidence

Pearson Edexcel sponsored session in collaboration with Anti-Apartheid Legacy

Ciara McCombe 

St Claudine’s Catholic School for Girls, London

Caroline Kamana

Anti-Apartheid Legacy: Centre of Memory and Learning

Students have the chance to learn about apartheid-era South Africa as a depth study in the Pearson Edexcel A-level history specification, Route F: Searching for rights and freedoms in the twentieth century. Learning about this history is an avenue to develop student understanding in substantive concepts such as nationalism, democracy, protest, race, empire, and human rights. These concepts have gained attention in recent years because of strong contemporary resonances that lead to the heart of why we study history. However, most teachers are unlikely to have studied South African history at university, and will lack subject knowledge. This workshop is designed to help teachers find out more about the subject, discover new learning materials, and build their subject confidence.

Friday: 14.00–15.00

Understanding the ‘meanwhile’ – teaching global chronology in primary history

Nick Latham

University of the West of England, Bristol

This practical session will showcase ways in which to engage children in chronology with a global perspective, and beyond the realms of the Anglo-centric areas of the National Curriculum. We know that the Romans left Britain in A.D.410 but what was the global context of the time? What was happening in Asia? In Africa? What about the rest of Europe? Were there any links between these regions? This session intends to inspire teachers and give them tools and ideas with which to give their children the ‘big picture’ when beginning a new unit of history learning.

Friday: 14.00–15.00

Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Cross-phase/transition

Teaching sensitive and controversial histories: a practical guide
Kate Smee and Charlotte Milton
Fairfield High School, Bristol

This workshop will look at the challenges around teaching difficult areas of history, and how departments can overcome these to teach sensitive and challenging topics with confidence. We will discuss how TRACTION has impacted our work, and examples will include teaching the history of the Holy Land; racialisation; trans-Atlantic slavery; Somali history; Indian Partition and LGBT histories.

Friday: 16.30–17.30

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16
Strategies to help maximise the use of intervention and interleaving at GCSE
Martyn Bajkowski
Pleckgate High School, Blackburn

A look at different practical strategies to introduce and implement interleaving at GCSE level to help pupil progress. This will involve understanding research, internal data and the utilising of interventions to enable students to know more and remember more at GCSE. 

Friday: 16.30–17.30

Key Stage 4
How can history be made accessible and enriching for all? Inclusive teaching in history classrooms
Harry Pike
Harris Federation, London
History adds meaning and context to our world, enriching the lives of those given access to this world-building narrative. However, the aspects of our discipline that have the power to be transformative can also be some of the most challenging for students to grasp. How can we support all students to engage with the intricacies of abstract and fluid concepts? How can we bring to life the abstract world of the past for all? And how can we build all students’ confidence to write and engage with subject-matter like an historian? This session will explore how teachers can begin to support all learners, including those with SEND needs, to engage with both the substantive and disciplinary aspects of our subject. It will also explore the power of ‘world-building’ in the history classroom as a transformative tool of inclusive teaching for all.

Friday: 16.30–17.30

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16
The power of cultural history in Key Stage 3: from reading remains to explaining empires
Sarah Jackson-Buckley and Jessica Phillips
Sawston Village College, Cambridgeshire
In this session, we will be sharing our approach to cultural history across our Key Stage 3 curriculum in Sawston Village College. We will theorise about how cultural history might look in the classroom, focusing on how pupils can use context, fresh perspectives and their own resonances to unravel the meaning behind the actions and ideas of those in the past. We will share many practical examples from tried and tested enquiries, which include engaging with the material culture of the infamous Koh-i-Noor diamond to explore changing power dynamics in imperial India; delving into the complexity and humanity of the medieval world through the material remains of a local monastery; and looking at diverse post-war social histories of sexuality, class and migration by exploring what it meant to ‘belong’ in a changing community.

Friday: 16.30–17.30

Key Stage 3, Teacher educators
Asante gold: revealing the nature of Empire through objects
Sam Jones and Janiece Jackson
Bolder Academy, London
Wresting with how to appropriately teach empire? Keen to centre indigenous culture in your empire enquiries? Not sure how to explain why British museums are full of African objects? Two teachers explain how they knitted all of these questions together, using the collection of one London museum. The Wallace Collection is home to an eclectic mix of art, jewellery and ornaments, including a trophy head acquired from the Asante Empire during the Third Anglo-Asante War. Using the enquiry question ‘What might Asante gold reveal about the British Empire?’, students explored the nature of empire and collecting in Victorian Britain. This session will feature an evaluation of how we went about this, and how far our aims were achieved.

Friday: 16.30–17.30

Key Stage 3

Bringing complexity, diversity and scholarship to teaching the 1960s
Will Bailey-Watson, Hannah Cusworth, Sarah Davis and Hannah McInroy-Betts

HA Teacher Fellows and course leaders

This session will look at the outcomes from the Historical Association’s Teacher Fellowship on ‘Broadcasting and social change in 1960s Britain’. The 1960s are much more than the stereotype of a swinging decade of cool Britannia. It is a period that lends itself to so many curriculum aims: change and continuity, similarity and difference, beginnings and endings, societal hope and fear. Through talks with historians, collaborations with the BBC and archives, and sustained collaboration, our participants developed a keen passion for teaching about this fascinating decade. Drawing upon recent historiography and a wide range of contemporary sources, this session will discuss powerful enquiry questions, share high-quality resources and suggest possible teaching approaches to the 1960s.

Friday: 16.30–17.30

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16
Dialogue in the primary classroom and children’s fluency with substantive historical vocabulary

Patricia Hannam

University of Exeter, Exeter

In this interactive workshop, Pat opens a conversation about the role that dialogue can play in the history classroom (primary and secondary). This is especially so that children and young people can become increasingly fluent in the use of substantive historical vocabulary. The workshop will have practical elements and introduce supporting theory and international research. She discusses the contribution that dialogue can make to children and young people becoming increasingly aware of the significance of context and nuanced meanings of substantive vocabulary, such as civilisation, empire, conquest, invasion, monarchy and sovereignty. Educationally, Pat is interested in how all this will contribute to children and young people gaining big-picture, broad and deep historical consciousness, able to speak and think well as they emerge into our shared world.  

Friday: 16.30–17.30

Early Years, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Cross-phase/transition, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16, Teacher educators

Making pre-colonial African kingdoms meaningful at Key Stage 3: weaving in Mali, Benin, Songhay and Asante
Katie Amery
West Kirby Grammar School, Wirral
Teni Gogo
Ark Pioneer Academy, London
This presentation is designed to help delegates to promote a more diverse and representative Key Stage 3 curriculum, to ensure that students’ first encounters with Africa are not centred on the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Its aim is to give delegates practical classroom strategies to weave in African narratives and to encourage the understanding that these kingdoms were not so dissimilar to European kingdoms at this time. We aim to show how they are linked and connected to other Key Stage 3 topics and enhance delegates’ understanding of teaching Mali, Benin, Songhay and Asante in a meaningful and relevant way.

Saturday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 3, Teacher educators
Keeping assessment in its place
Christine Counsell
Why have ineffectual or distorting assessment practices often persisted or continued to reinvent themselves at Key Stage 3? What form does this often take in history and why? How have shifts in Ofsted’s emphases helped heads of history to steer clear of such practices? What do heads of history need to know in order to challenge confused or unhelpful directives from SLT? Why is it important to separate formative and summative assessment in history? This workshop will present both principles for and examples of manageable, useful assessment in Key Stage 3. It will also build your antennae for spotting damaging memes that creep back in to damage good curricular practice.

Saturday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 3, Teacher educators, Mentors
From Mughal emperors to medieval monks: working collaboratively to enable curricular change
Kath Goudie and Matt Stanford

Cottenham Village College

In what could be described as a rash move, our history department decided to change our GCSE specification in the middle of the pandemic. Come to this workshop to find out why. We share the curricular principles that underpinned our decisions and which could be applied to any department reviewing their curriculum. We reflect on our decision-making at each stage of the process, from looking at the coherence and scope of the GCSE (including teaching unfamiliar topics) and how it complemented our Key Stage 3, to the micro-planning decisions for individual lessons. We reflect on our resourcing challenges and how we overcame them, and the trials and tribulations of forging collaborative working practices that made the whole endeavour possible. Come and find out why we think curricular change is often necessary, worthwhile and (dare we say it) enjoyable.

Saturday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4
Using art history to make A-level history more accessible
Gemma Hargraves
King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham
Showcasing activities used by an experienced examiner in the A-level ‘France in Revolution’ course, this workshop will outline how paintings and architecture can be used effectively when teaching any A-level history course. It explores how key artists and paintings can be selected and will show how activities can be adapted to cater for pupils’ needs. The workshop will discuss what it means for pupils to be actively engaged with art, and how to weave in key concepts and desirable difficulty throughout.

Saturday: 10.45–11.45

What is direct instruction in the history classroom, and what is it not?
Mike Hill
Ark Soane Academy, London
Explicit instruction, direct instruction, teacher-led instruction: many names surround the teacher as the ‘sage on the stage’. It is perhaps unsurprising, therefore, that there are often questions about what this really looks like in the classroom, especially in a subject like history.
In this workshop, we will look at direct instruction through a history lens, and not vice versa. I will explain why I find teacher-led instruction powerful and what this looks like in my classroom. I will also give a few health warnings about strategies that are sometimes associated with direct instruction and that I think are unhelpful or misapplied in history. (‘I do, we do, you do’, anyone?) By separating the wheat from the chaff, I will try to answer the question ‘What is direct instruction in the history classroom, and what is it not?’

Saturday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Teacher educators, Mentors
‘But it might not have happened, Miss!’: Year 8 exploring the concept of meaning and significance
Hannah Howard
The Holt School, Wokingham
Martin Luther’s 500-year anniversary of his posting of the Ninety-five Theses is an event that, in 2017, dominated Europe: concerts, ceremonies and even Luther-shaped pasta! Yet it doesn’t always tend to receive attention in English schools; it may be used simply as a footnote or initial stimulus material to launch into an enquiry on the English religious rollercoaster of the sixteenth century. This session will explore how my recent reading of Peter Marshall’s 1517 got us to reconsider our department’s approach to exploring the Reformation through the cultural history lens and the concept of significance. It will reflect on the planning and outcomes of an enquiry that tried to get students to grapple with the idea that significance is imposed onto the past and how the meaning of one event, the Ninety-five Theses, can change over time.

Saturday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 2, Cross-phase/transition, Key Stage 3

Harnessing the power of objects: building an enquiry around artefacts

Emmy Quinn

Newminster Middle School, Morpeth

Artefacts can give students a unique and valuable insight into the time period that they are studying, but they are often neglected and are rarely the main focus. This session will showcase an enquiry on Ancient Egypt, centred around artefacts from the tomb of an Egyptian architect and his wife (Kha and Merit) and how they give an insight into the lives of ordinary Egyptians. Attendees will come away with practical ideas about how to use artefacts in lessons and take a different look at a popular topic. The session will also consider how using artefacts can give students an insight into the work of historians, archaeologists and museums, as well as the contested ownership of artefacts. The adaptability of this approach will be demonstrated through its application to other topics, such as the Kingdom of Benin and the Vikings in Britain.

Saturday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 2, Cross-phase/transition, Key Stage 3

Exploring sites of Black British history: inner-city activism and change, 1960–1990
Robin Whitburn and Abdul Mohamud
Justice to History, London
The histories of Black lives in Britain are revealed everywhere, but certain places are at the heart of how African and Caribbean people have shaped their communities and the nation as a whole. In the 1960s, a group of pioneering men and women in Bristol’s St Paul’s district took up the challenges of survival in diverse Britain. In Brixton, in the 1970s, Black communities resisted oppression through grassroots activism that would impact on Black identities across the nation. Find out how you can take this knowledge into your classrooms at any key stage.
Saturday: 12.00–13.00
Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4
How useful is this source for telling her story? Critical fabulation in the history classroom
Ed Durbin

Yate Academy

Recently, history teachers have been rediscovering the power of storytelling in the classroom. This session explores ways in which to introduce students to the tricky process of writing fictionalised historical narratives. Drawing on Sadiya Hartman’s concept of ‘critical fabulation’ and making explicit links to English language teaching, the session presents an enquiry that uses narrative construction as a way to encourage students to engage critically with medieval sources.
Saturday: 12.00–13.00
Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16, Teacher educators, Mentors
Teaching environmental history in secondary school classrooms
Verity Morgan
The Cotswold School, Bourton-on-the-Water
While environmental history is an established academic field, it has made little progress within the teaching of history in secondary schools in the UK. In this session, I will discuss how and why this should change, by offering and justifying methods of bridging the gap between academic approaches to environmental history and secondary school history teaching and learning contexts. Five topics have been chosen that have links to academic literature in the field of environmental history and which are already commonly taught in UK secondary schools, so as to provide practical and usable suggestions that highlight that teaching environmental history requires an adaptation of focus rather than an addition of content. These topics are: the Black Death, the British Empire, the Industrial Revolution, World War I and the Holocaust.
Saturday: 12.00–13.00
Key Stage 3, Cross-phase/transition, Teacher educators
From Cyrus to Cleopatra: the ancient history adventure
Steve Mastin
Gráinne Cassidy

The Classical Association

Ever thought about offering ancient history at Key Stage 3, GCSE, or A-level? It could unlock a whole range of possibilities for your department! This session, offered in collaboration with the Classical Association, will showcase how to embed the teaching of ancient history. The conversation will be led by modern historians who have made this journey themselves. They will explain how the study of the ancient world has enriched their classrooms, and how giving learners experience of some key and distinct ancient civilisations – such as Persia, Greece and Rome – can engender a wider sense of diversity and inclusion in the curriculum, as well as a deeper and broader understanding of the past. They will also explore how ancient history can drive educationally important conversations and enhance historical skills through new and exciting material.
Saturday: 12.00–13.00
Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16
The downfall of PEEL: teaching students to read, speak and write like historians
Alex Dickens and Harry Pike
Harris Federation, London
Reading, writing and discussion are vital components of the work of historians. Historians read extensively and in depth, sifting evidence from claim and seeking to interpret what is being read in light of their rich knowledge of the past. Historians argue and explain. But they also produce beautiful descriptions, emotive character portrayals and gripping narratives. So why are generalised approaches to writing such as PEEL still so common? Why are rich primary sources so often reduced to gobbets? Why do so many students only read the work of historians as a precursor to an exam question? This session will explore the ways in which historians read and create texts and how these approaches can be incorporated into teaching. It will also explore how we can improve both the literacy of our students and their appreciation of the past.
Saturday: 12.00–13.00
Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16, Cross-phase/transition
Telling a more representative and coherent story about Britain’s twentieth century

Hodder Education sponsored session

Claire Holliss

Reigate College

Helen Snelson and Ruth Lingard

University of York

The first key question that this workshop will explore is ‘How can you weave several different underrepresented histories together into a coherent social history of the twentieth century?’ We will present work that we have done together this year to suggest how we can all do justice to the distinctive stories of women, disabled people and the GRT and LGBTQ+ communities in this period, while also telling a meaningful story about British society. This meaningful story will connect to the twentieth-century ‘big events’ and help our students to make meaning from the UK’s recent past. We will also use examples from our work to explore how teachers can teach using these stories in the classroom, modelling how we would use them with our students and introducing discussion about how they could be developed further and integrated into existing curricula.
Saturday: 12.00–13.00
Key Stage 3
What is history teaching now?

Alex Fairlamb

King's Priory School, Tynemouth
Rachel Ball

Co-op Academy Walkden, Walkden

What are the issues that history teachers and leaders of history currently experience when constructing curriculums, implementing them and evaluating their impact? This is a workshop focused on discussing current issues within history teaching, in terms of teaching disciplinary concepts and substantive concepts. The session will also explore other areas such as literacy and oracy in history, leadership of history and transition. Moreover, it will look at lesser-taught topics in history and how we can approach incorporating them within curriculums. As a workshop model, the session will begin with outlining what the key issues are and then having groups read different excerpts on different issues, which will then be fed back to the group with guided questioning. Conclusions will then be drawn as to takeaways.

Saturday: 12.00–13.00

Key Stage 2, Cross-phase/transition, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16, Teacher educators

GCSE students or historians?
Sally Burnham

Carre’s Grammar School, Sleaford; University of Nottingham

Ever wondered what happens to your ‘amazing’ historians from Year 9 as they enter the GCSE classroom and stop thinking/writing/talking like an historian? Do content overload, exam practice, retrieval and whole-school initiatives dampen your students’ passion for history and their willingness to think? This session seeks to give practical examples of how, within the constraints of the school curriculum, you can plan and teach in a way that enables your students to think, and to continue to develop their passion as historians while also ensuring that they are exam-ready/A-level-ready.

Saturday: 14.00–15.00

Key Stage 4

Significance and silences
Rachel Foster

University of Cambridge

Out of all the stuff that happened in the past, only some of it becomes history. The very fact that it is recorded, written, talked about and argued about means that some bits of the past are treated as being historically significant. But what about the bits that aren’t? They exist as silences. This workshop will explore how, by linking the concept of significance to questions about the creation, preservation and use of sources and to the production of history, we can help pupils to consider where and why some people and places in the past come to enter the historical record and consciousness, and others don’t. It will also consider what we can learn from cultural historians who have focused on popular and public memory.

Saturday: 14.00–15.00

Key Stage 3

‘But there’s so much to revise!’ How to help your A-level students become more effective learners
David Brown
The Sixth Form College Farnborough, Farnborough
Amy Diprose
i2i Teaching Partnership SCITT, Farnham

With A-level history exams incorporating the entirety of the course for the first time since 2019, it is clearly more important than ever to consider how we help students to develop methods of organising and revising their work over the two years of study. We believe that teacher understanding of how students learn is a critical starting point to achieve this. This session utilises the work of cognitive scientists such as Weinstein and Sumeracki to set out key strategies for effective learning, with a specific focus on how to help students become more accomplished independent learners. We will both look at the theories on creating effective independent learners and provide practical examples on how this can be implemented in your A-level classroom to enhance your students’ performance over their two years of study.

Saturday: 14.00–15.00

Carving out space for history in the school ecosystem
Catherine Priggs
Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, Amersham
Hugh Richards

Huntington School

A subject leader’s job can be fraught with difficulties, and leading history in a way that is authentic to the discipline can seem impossible. Data drops that don’t line up with your assessment points; whole-school mandates on pedagogy; department meetings full of bureaucracy; ‘Mocksteds’… woe is the subject leader! But what if there’s another way? In this session, we will consider proactive ways in which to grow the profile and value of history. We will discuss how to forge meaningful relationships with senior leaders so that the essence of your curriculum and the distinctiveness of history are understood. We’ll focus on how to stay true to history as a subject, while aligning your priorities with those of the whole school. This session is suitable for anyone who’d like to think deeply about how we can protect the integrity of history as a discipline.

Saturday: 14.00–15.00

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16
A guide to how to illustrate how your curriculum is the progression model
Martyn Bajkowski
Pleckgate High School, Blackburn
This session will explore different ways in which heads of department can illustrate how their curriculum is the progression model, covering formative and summative assessment strategies that can help teachers to identify how well students are progressing on their curriculum journeys and showcasing helpful ways for teachers to showcase this while steering clear of GCSE-style questions.

Saturday: 14.00–15.00

Key Stage 3

GCSE History: implementing change and preparing for future reform

Pearson Edexcel sponsored session

Mark Battye

Pearson Edexcel

Katie Hall

History subject specialist, Pearson Edexcel

Work on developing the current GCSE History specification began nearly a decade ago now, and much has moved on since then in the study of history. This workshop is an opportunity to reflect on this and consider what changes may be on the horizon. As well as presenting some of our observations and ideas, we would like to hear your thinking on a range of issues, such as selecting and structuring content; approaches to assessment; the development of historical skills; diversity, equity and inclusion; student voice and the ongoing relevance of the subject; and how we support teachers and students as the study of history continues to evolve.

Saturday: 14.00–15.00

Project North Star: how can we create history projects that impact our learners and their communities?

Terence Graham

Heworth Grange, Gateshead

Shabana Marshall

St Mary’s College, Twickenham

Project North Star is a group of teachers and academics from the North East, telling Black history through a North East lens from Roman to modern times, including the region’s links to the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans and its role in abolition. Project North Star links students and wider communities to their local heritage and lesser-known histories. Our session will show how we could ‘dream big’, and to work with local and international partners to create this. We will examine the pathways and the problems along the way. We’ll look at projects that you would like to create and how you can make them happen. We have links with local higher education, archives, museums, community groups, theatres, local historians and partners in the West Indies and USA. We’ll offer guidance in creating your own project, handle difficult histories and inspire you to dream big.

Saturday: 14.00–15.00

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Cross-phase/transition, Key Stage 2

Ofsted inspection: impacts on schools and teachers 1993–2022… and beyond: lessons from the past and practical tips for the future

Ian Luff and Dale Banham


This secondary keynote will commence by drawing upon Ian’s five years of research for his successful PhD thesis on the impacts of Ofsted inspection on schools and their teachers between 1993 and 2018. The research will be used to place the Ofsted of today in context, based on in-depth interviews with secondary teachers, many of whom were heads of history, and who had 757 years of teaching experience and 119 inspections between them at the time of interview.

The implications of this research will then be built upon and applied to activities and ideas relevant for history classroom teachers, history and team leaders, and school leaders of today, using Dale and Ian’s experiences of Ofsted inspection. This experience was gained over many years of service as deputy headteachers, advisory teachers, teacher trainers, authors, heads of history and, above all, history teachers. Tips and ideas for the future will be based on history lessons and schemes of work of proven success. These key themes will include:

  • How to prepare for an inspection of a history department or history lesson – key questions for history teachers and leaders to consider
  • A review of research into factors that influence the quality of history education in schools in England – exploring the 2021 Ofsted Research Review
  • Building an ambitious history curriculum – developing complex thinking and high-quality writing
  • Putting your values and love of history at the heart of a relevant, diverse and inclusive curriculum

Saturday: 15.15–16.15

Cross-phase/transition, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16

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Tel: +44 (0) 1904 702165

The Historical Association, c/o Mosaic Events
Tower House, Mill Lane, Askham Bryan, York, YO23 3FS