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Keynote addresses

Keynote Lectures

Alger Hiss, friend and/or spy?
Tony Badger
President, Historical Association

Alger Hiss was convicted of perjury on 21 January 1950 for having denied passing secrets to the Russians in the 1930s. Three weeks later, Senator Joe McCarthy announced that he had a list of 205 members of the Communist Party who still worked in the State Department. Hiss was a former high-ranking State Department official who was at Yalta and who organised the conferences that set up the United Nations. To staunch anti-communists, he was the prime example of a high-level Communist conspiracy in the American establishment. They believed that Hiss and his friends had given Eastern Europe away to the Russians and had inflicted a socialistic New Deal on the American people. For many liberals, Hiss’s conviction was part of an irrational right-wing conspiracy exemplified by McCarthyism to discredit the New Deal and destroy civil liberties. In recent years, the decrypted Venona files and Soviet records have convinced intelligence historians that Hiss, who always maintained he was innocent, was in fact a Soviet agent. Tony Badger was a friend of Hiss for twenty-five years. He got to know Hiss because of Hiss’s role in drafting the contract with the tobacco growers for the New Deal in 1933. He and his wife spent part of their honeymoon at Hiss’s house in Long Island and his New York apartment and visited in London, Newcastle and New York right up to Hiss’s death in 1996. In this lecture, Tony reflects on that friendship and attempts to weigh up the evidence for Hiss’s innocence or guilt.
Wednesday – 7pm

The Western magical tradition
Ronald Hutton
University of Bristol

In modern times, occultists have spoken of a specifically western tradition of ceremonial magic, which has been continuously handed down through the millennia, in secret, from an original starting point in ancient Egypt. Although professional historians have become increasingly interested in the history of magic in general, there has not yet been any general survey to test this proposition. This talk is designed to provide one.

Ronald Hutton is Professor of History at the University of Bristol (August 1996 to date). Prior to this he was a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, before serving as Lecturer and then Reader in History at Bristol (1981–96). He is also the historian and prehistorian on the Board of Trustees that runs English Heritage, and chair of the Blue Plaques Panel. Since the 1980s he has been involved in the writing and presentation of documentaries for various television channels. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Society of Antiquaries, the Learned Society of Wales and the British Academy. His many published works include The Stations of the Sun: a history of the ritual year in Britain (1996); The Triumph of the Moon: a history of modern pagan witchcraft (1999); Blood and Mistletoe: the history of the Druids in Britain (2009); and Pagan Britain (2013).
Thursday – 7pm

Effective history curriculum planning at Key Stages 2 and 3
Christine Counsell
Editor, Teaching History

What are the features of the finest history curricula at Key Stages 2 and 3? What are the signs that a history curriculum is strong in scope, rigour, coherence and sequencing?  And when Ofsted refer to the ‘curriculum as the progression model’, what do they mean? Christine Counsell will set out some principles for shaping a curriculum that is scholarly, that is responsive to all kinds of diversity in the past and that enables all pupils to make progress.  She will illustrate with practical examples of strong and weak curriculum practice, including with common pitfalls to avoid and which published works by history teachers to go to for renewed inspiration.
Thursday – 7pm

The life and legend of the Sultan Saladin
Jonathan Phillips
Royal Holloway, University of London

In the autumn of 1187 the Sultan Saladin etched his name in history when he regained the holy city of Jerusalem for Islam from the crusaders. This talk traces his emergence as the rising star of an ambitious Kurdish clan who came to power through military skill and, in his case, considerable charm, piety and good fortune. Saladin and his followers drew together the Muslim Near East to take the jihad to the Christians. After the capture of Jerusalem the sultan faced a huge crusading expedition led by Richard the Lionheart, but in this epic struggle he held on to the holy city. Making considerable use of contemporary poetry and medical texts, we will explore the sultan’s charismatic leadership, but also show him as fallible and prone to long periods of ill-health. Since his death Saladin’s exploits have attracted admiration and attention in the Muslim world and in the West. This talk reveals how a man initially branded as ‘the son of Satan’ became so esteemed in Europe and, through extensive new research, we will follow how his character and achievements have acted as a role model for generations across the Near East down to the present day.
Friday – 6pm



Olive Morris: reflections on Black British radical thought and activism during the 1970s
Angelina Osborne
Historian and author
Olive Morris was an anti-racist and Black women’s rights activist in the 1970s. Her considerable contributions to raise awareness of inequalities through organising protests and setting up support groups has been overlooked. This presentation explores Morris’s life and activism within the wider context of the Black Power movements in the UK, as a response to the lack of legal protections against racial discrimination.
Wednesday – 5pm

The people of 1381
Adrian Bell

University of Reading
The Peasants’ Revolt was one of the largest popular uprisings in medieval Europe and rocked the country in the summer of 1381. Central to this innovative project is the creation of a database to provide the first overview of events, places and people involved. Judicial and manorial documents will be combined with records of central and local government, poll tax records and more, to reconstruct collective biographies of the people caught up in the rising. In addition to developing case studies of individual rebels and their victims, the project will be a unique ‘history from below’, using an unparalleled set of medieval records to investigate the participation of social groups whose role has been little investigated, such as household servants, soldiers and women.
Thursday – 5pm

Baghdad at the centre of a world: 8th-13th century
Emily Selove
University of Exeter
The city of Baghdad during the eighth to the twelfth centuries CE was one of the most important centres of cultural production in human history. A melting pot of languages, religions, and ethnicities, it produced thinkers and artists whose impact on the sciences, literatures, and cultures of the world is still felt today. In this talk Emily Selove explains the importance of this city to the development of European and world culture, and argues that students in the UK should be taught the history of this city in the classroom today.

Friday – 2pm

Maggie’s Gospel: the Sermon on the Mound
Clifford Williamson
Bath Spa University
In May 1988 Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher addressed the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. What was normally a formal engagement became the centre of a storm about politics, faith and morality. Mrs Thatcher’s speech is one of the most important on the role of religion in public life and also an important ideological/theological testament. Thirty years after the fall of Margaret Thatcher, Dr Cliff Williamson re-evaluates the speech and its contribution to our understanding of Thatcherism.
Friday – 2pm

The terrors of the year 1000: the politics of apocalyptic fears in tenth- and eleventh-century Europe
Katy Cubitt
University of East Anglia
Christian teaching about the end of the world presented a terrifying image of disasters and persecution preceding the Last Judgment. Apocalyptic ideas were powerful especially around the Year 1000 which some interpreted as the time of the End predicted in the Bible. This lecture asks how widespread were fears of the End in Europe c. 1000 and how ideas of the End-time were used to advance different religious and political agendas.
Friday – 4pm

A grave business: what can be learned in burial grounds about the life and times of their inhabitants?
Diana Laffin
Maggie Wilson
This workshop will provide an outline of key features of graves and cemeteries, explaining some of the iconography, styles and materials and sharing examples of fascinating graves and cemeteries and the stories of famous and ordinary people buried there: tragic, thought-provoking, heart-warming and even occasionally funny. It will consider how much can be learned from these stories about, for example, attitudes to life and death; population growth; advances (or otherwise) in medicine; religious practices and belief. The workshop will be illustrated with colourful examples, provide some handouts with practical information and allow those attending to study examples in small groups.
Friday – 4pm

Reassessing the ‘Mad’ King: George III as revealed in the Georgian Papers at Windsor Castle
Arthur Burns

Kings College London
There was a lot more to George III than ‘losing’ America and ‘going mad’. The Georgian Papers Programme is now making his surviving papers at Windsor Castle available online. Only 15% have been published before; most are not even catalogued. The papers illuminate this much-maligned monarch, the family and court surrounding him, and wider issues in the Georgian world. Arthur Burns explores key themes emerging from the project.
Saturday – 2pm

The legacies of British slave-ownership: tracing local roots and global routes
Kate Donington
London South Bank University
As the work of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership project has documented, the traces of transatlantic slavery can be found throughout Britain. Street names, statues, country houses, art collections, infrastructure projects and philanthropic gifts – these are just some of the ways in which slave-based wealth manifested itself within British society. Slavery’s global reach had consequences which can be traced within Britain’s local histories. This session will offer a practical guide on how to use the database as a starting point for conducting local history research. It will also engage with questions around how a knowledge and understanding of this history can open up conversations about the relationship between history, memory and identity.
Saturday – 11am

African history: the new force in understanding and teaching world history
Toby Green
Kings College London
Since the early 19th century, western stereotypes portrayed Africa as the ‘continent without history’. This has endured in the perception of Africa and its history to this day. Even topics focused on the African diaspora tend to have little focus on Africa itself. In this lecture, Toby Green (author of the prize-winning A Fistful of Shells) explores new research and discoveries which show how African history provides a fundamental new perspective to understanding and teaching world history today.
Saturday – 4pm



What’s the issue with the baby and the bath water?
Karin Doull
University of Roehampton
With the Ofsted framework in mind, this workshop will look at curriculum design and development, highlighting some of the areas that can promote or hinder the redesign process. This will be a practical session. There will be time to consider individual curriculum maps and discuss these within the group. Please bring your school’s current curriculum map and any thorny problems or questions that you are grappling with.
Wednesday – 5pm

From intent to impact: planning primary history taking into account the new Ofsted framework
Andrew Wrenn
This practical session will demonstrate how to plan academically rigorous yet creative primary history.  It will help to meet the requirements of the new Ofsted framework, paying particular attention to how curriculum intent can be evidenced in curriculum mapping and sequenced enquiries in medium-term plans.
Thursday – 5pm

The early years and how history fits in
Rob Nixon
The Berkeley Academy
This session will look at how the early-years learning goals can be used to enhance and implement history within your school. It will explore how history can be taught to children at a younger age than Key Stage 1 and how to include EYFS in your thought process as a subject leader.
Friday – 2pm

An introduction to mastering primary history
Bev Forrest
Stuart Tiffany
Westroyd Primary School and Nursery
This session provides a taster of the full-day course offered nationally by the Historical Association. It is aimed at NQTs/RQTs and anyone wishing to gain greater confidence in teaching the subject. You will be introduced to a range of exciting and fun ways to teach history, while supporting pupils in achieving depth and mastery within the subject.
Friday – 4pm

Curriculum design: coverage, connections and creativity
Chris Trevor
Chris will describe her approach, using simple steps, to support the design of your bespoke history curriculum within your wider whole-school curriculum, based on her experience of helping over 500 schools. The latest Ofsted guidance on curriculum design, intent, implementation and impact will be incorporated to help you form a coherently planned, localised curriculum with progression and connections to previous and subsequent learning.
Saturday – 11am

Using technology to bring history to life
Glenn Carter
Ingleby Mill Primary School
Learn how to bring history to life using a variety of apps and technology that are sure to engage and excite your class.
Saturday – 2pm

Who are we? Exploring approaches to migration in the recent and distant past
Paul Bracey and Helen Crawford
University of Northampton
The National Curriculum offers many opportunities to explore migration stories across the key stages. This workshop will provide insights into a range of planning, teaching and learning approaches for teaching about migration in both Key Stages 1 and 2. These will be related to National Curriculum programmes of study.
Saturday – 4pm



‘Taking in the view’: bring coherence to your curriculum through big picture overviews
Richard McFahn
University of Sussex
There seems to be general agreement in history-teaching literature that teaching big-picture overviews will help your students make much more sense of the past. Such overviews help to give your curriculum coherence. Yet if we are honest how often do we really stand back and allow our classes to see the big picture? In this workshop, Richard will share his research and provide you with a number of practical ideas and activities that you can adapt for your own classrooms.
Wednesday – 5pm

Revision: Help, I can’t bear it any more!
Paige Richardson
Hazelwick School
A workshop focusing on active revision techniques for all; with an emphasis on resources for those for whom traditional revision guides may be inaccessible.
Wednesday – 5pm

Discussion with the Exam Boards
AQA, CCEA, OCR, Pearson Edexcel, WJEC Edquas

With the cancellation of exams in 2020 and uncertainty over the 2021 exams, teachers have many questions they may which to ask about GCSEs and A levels. These questions may be exam board specific or general to all exam boards so we are pleased that OCR, Pearson Edexcel, AQA, CCEA and WJEC Edquas have come together in this Q&A session to answer the questions you may have about their specifications.

Join us on Thursday 14 November between 4-5pm to pose your questions and hear directly from the exam boards.  This session will offer a 5 minute update from each board on developmental news. We will then we open out to Q&A from the audience and during the last 20 minutes you will be invited to join a breakout room for more in depth discussions with your chosen exam board.

Pearson Edexcel will be the only exam board that will be showing a pre-recorded session which will be available to view from 2 November along with the other sessions, under the Secondary Section of the website this is titled ‘Changes to the Summer 2021 Series: the latest guidance for Edexcel History teachers’  and contains the latest guidance for Edexcel History teachers, including changes to the summer 2021 series and the new Migration thematic study .
Thursday – 4pm

See it, say it, write it
Carmel Bones
Anne Jackson
The British School of the Netherlands
It is said that knowledge is power… but not without the right vocabulary. Literacy and oracy are crucial skills, but they should not be, as Jim Carroll has pointed out, ‘bolted on’. Teaching students to write historically means that students need to become more familiar with how historians construct an argument.  This workshop will explore a variety of practical, easily applicable ways to embed literacy, ditch generic scaffolding and encourage students to explore the interconnectedness of factors and their relative importance.
Thursday – 5pm

Empire, curriculum and belonging
Hannah Cusworth
The Charter School, East Dulwich
The session will look at how I’ve developed our KS3 curriculum to include much more about the British Empire and Black British history, with a focus on an enquiry we taught: ‘How and why has the Empire Windrush become such a big part of Britain’s island story?’ It will also include my reflections on the challenges and implications of teaching Empire and Black British history on students’ (and teachers’) sense of belonging.
Thursday – 5pm

Understanding narrative decision-making: Year 8 interrogate the making of the Peterloo graphic novel
Arthur Chapman
UCL Institute of Education
Jenny Thornton
Loreto Grammar School
How are histories made and how can we help children make analytical sense of variations in historical narration and interpretation? We will explore these questions through an enquiry looking at the construction of the Peterloo graphic novel and at ways in which Year 8 students respond to the enquiry. Our scheme of work drew on the novel and on interviews with the historian, the graphic novelist and the script writer who wrote it.
Friday – 2pm

Beyond ‘so what!?’ explanations: modelling academic causal arguments for students
Jim Carroll
Esher Sixth Form College
Frustrated that when they were answering causation questions my students would simply state facts without explaining why events led to consequences, I came to realise my students ‘knew to’ explain but they did not ‘know how’. I therefore tried to model for them some particular explanatory models that academic historians employ when constructing a causal argument. In this workshop I plan to share some of this modelling and discuss some of my students’ examples.
Friday – 2pm

Engaging with medieval women at Key Stage 3
Philip Arkinstall
Hardenhuish School
Take a trip through medieval history with a twist. See the role of early medieval queens like never before. Explore the stories of different women in medieval England and then focus on the role of the anarchy in making and shaping Empress Matilda. This workshop will look at ways of delivering a fresh take on schemes of work at Key Stage 3 and provide a blueprint for resourcing a scheme of learning which explores the significance of medieval women.
Friday – 4pm

LGBT+ history: why include it and how to do it well
Claire Holliss
Reigate College
As more teachers have sought to include LGBT history in their curriculums, there has been a renewed focus on how to do so in a historically rigorous way. This workshop will explore how I have tried to include key individuals without engaging tokenism, how I have linked the ‘big stories’ of queer history into the rest of the curriculum and how I have grappled with some of the problems of interpretation linked to queer history as a discipline.
Friday – 4pm

Synthesising good practice of independent learning strategies to reinforce learning in the classroom
Martyn Bajkowski
Pleckgate High School
Alex Fairlamb
St Wilfrid’s RC College
Effective modelling of methods taken to synthesise community-wide good practice to develop independent learning strategies rooted in second-order concepts and further cement sequential classroom learning. Woven within this is the role of collaboration without borders: colleagues looking beyond the boundaries of content and specification differences to collaborate on cultivating a climate of independent learning, and honing second-order concept skills which can be utilised in all history departments.
Saturday – 11am

History for all at GCSE: supporting less able students in your GCSE classroom
Sally Burnham
Carre’s Grammar School
This workshop will look at strategies for helping students, especially less able students, to enjoy and succeed at GCSE History. The new GCSE has highlighted difficulties for some students trying to learn and remember a knowledge-rich curriculum as well as being able to apply this knowledge to answer questions. The workshop will look at ways to support students tackling thematic units, how stories can help students remember key knowledge and then ways to help students apply their knowledge.
Saturday – 11am

Dual coding in the history classroom
Emily Harrison and Hugh Richards
Huntington School
Cognitive psychology has been increasingly offered as a way to significantly improve classroom practice, when carefully combined with disciplinary teaching traditions. Dual coding is a way of working we have carefully brought into history classrooms at Huntington, a Research School, using it to improve first-time understanding as well as memory recall. This workshop will explore how dual coding can be used to sequence and structure knowledge, develop first- and second-order historical concepts and tackle common challenges in the teaching of history across the key stages.
Saturday – 2pm

What is history? An African start to secondary history
Sharon Aninakwa

Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College
Robin Whitburn
Justice to History
This session is about reviving the core approaches to studying history at secondary school, using sources and concepts, through a study of Africa before Western contact. The new Justice to History enquiry interrupts our assumptions about Africa and fires pupils with new ideas and skills. The presentation will show you the new lessons, give news of its impact in schools, and give you access to all the materials after the session.
Saturday – 2pm

The historical process uncovered: bringing the academic discipline into the classroom to help students improve their understanding of historical interpretations at A-level
Holly Hiscox
d’Overbroeck’s School
Student evaluation of academic historical interpretations at A-level is a challenging prospect. By helping students to understand the process and methodology involved in historical research and writing, they can come to more sophisticated analyses of interpretations. A variety of ways to do this will be explored – through bringing historians directly into the classroom, developing teaching sequences and resources focusing on historical methodology, and through accessing video clips of historians talking about their work remotely.
Saturday – 4pm

Mirror images and wide-angle lenses: using diversity to ensure a curriculum that reflects students’ identities and broadens their horizons
Paula Lobo
Bristol Grammar School
Polly Simson
Hardenhuish School
Paula and Polly will explore their journeys towards a diverse curriculum, in which they seek to broaden their students’ horizons. As a starting point, they considered the limited scope of a curriculum that reflected their homogenous student bodies and decided to diversify their teaching. By considering diversity within past societies, and by widening the breadth of their students’ studies, Paula and Polly reshaped and expanded the scope of their curriculum content.
Saturday – 4pm

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