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Term one in review.

A few notes, as much for myself as anything else, about the various units from the last term.

Year 7

The lessons introducing the ideas and concepts of History are pretty much sorted now, although I need to look again at the assessment task. I’d like to replace the one shot written test with some kind of assessment (maybe online) that gives students multiple goes until they get it right. And then maybe again a few months later to still if they’ve still got those building blocks.

The Battle of Hastings stuff seemed to go well. The walk through was good – my room is now big enough to do it in there which helps. The chronology exercise was hit and miss – I need to provide an extra source for students to remind them of the events (maybe this video), and I’d like to try and get some kind of self-marking drag and drop activity rather than one that they need to wait to be marked.

Year 8
The Tudor life project had some real highlights. One group’s questions were excellent and I was pleased with the way they came back the following lesson having discovered that either they couldn’t find the answers, or they couldn’t make sense of what they found. The museum exhibits were great and there were some good and thoughtful evaluations. Next year I’d like to try and get them out to a museum if I can, even if it’s only on a Saturday.

The Tudor religion unit held together pretty well. The idea of starting with the gunpowder plot worked quite well, but as a guiding question (should be ban the celebration of the death of Guy Fawkes) it was too distant from the main focus of the lessons.

Year 9

Jack the Ripper went pretty well. It’s still not very PBL, but I think the order and focus of lessons was better this year, with more problem based stuff as a focus. Some really good essays at the end.

Who Do You Think You Are produced some great stories. As a project it works better with a wider choice of questions for students to investigate. The resources for the immigration project are better than before, but it still doesn’t have as much punch as I’d like. Perhaps it needs a more controversial question?

A Level

The more project based stuff definitely seems to be working with Yr 13 – I was really pleased with the ‘In Our Time’ discussions and the presentations using Google Docs.

Final thoughts to take through to next term

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Dave Stacey

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