In my first couple of months I have been learning the ropes and getting to know my new team, who have been very supportive in introducing me to OCR History. I am very lucky to be working on some really interesting History projects in my new role and have already gained some momentum in getting these projects off the ground. Here’s an update of some of the new things coming up and my best bits so far.
I have really enjoyed being involved in the recent collaboration with The Migration Museum Project to support the new GCSE History A and GCSE History B (SHP) ‘Migrants to Britain’ option.
This week I met with the project working group to discuss the details of the competition, the new group included Dr Cathy Ross - Honorary Research Fellow at the Museum of London, Martin Spafford – former Head of History and education committee member of BASA (Black and Asian Studies Association), Emily Miller – Education Manager for MMP, and Clare Broomfield – Head of History at Villiers High School. The working group has proved to be a great mix of professionals, who each bring different skills and perspectives to the table. One thing that was highlighted at the meeting was the importance of ensuring that the competition supports learners in their subject knowledge of the course in a fun and engaging way. This is certainly something that we will be setting out to do. We understand that teachers may not have time to work on a project that does not align with the objectives of the History specification and will do our best to ensure that the competition process helps them to do this.
I must say that I have been really impressed with the effort that’s been made to ensure that we are working to make our specification inclusive, culturally diverse and up-to-date, and I very much look forward to seeing how this evolves. The competition with the Migration Museum is a great opportunity for students to bring the topic to life – I cannot wait to see what the students come up with!
A launch event for the competition has now been confirmed for 22 June at the Londonewcastle gallery space in Shoreditch. Read further details about the competition.
As a former member of the Resources team, it is always good seeing any potential opportunities for useful and engaging resources to support our teachers and learners, and this is something that I will be working to develop in the coming months.
One resource that I have already been working on is a guidance document on the parameters around site overlap for the History B Site Study and how these should be approached. The document aims to assist teachers when they are making decisions on choosing a site for the History Around Us component of the History B specification and includes a number of real site examples to demonstrate how this works in practice.
It was really nice working on this document, we are so privileged to have so many wonderful historical sites in the UK and there are certainly worse things to be doing than researching the history of these sites. A sneak preview of the guide has already been uploaded to our GCSE (9–1) History Around Us Forum. I hope it goes some way in helping you with your choice of site for this component of the History specification.
Another resource that I have been working on is a Teachers’ Pack for our 2018 site: Framlingham Castle, to follow the key topics and content for Castles: Form and Function c.1000-1750 in partnership with English Heritage. This is still currently in development but I will keep you updated with its progress.
In addition to all of the above resources I have been looking at how we can improve our email support to make life easier for our teachers. After having a good look at our email correspondence I could see that many of our enquiries are similar in their nature and could, therefore, be answered by looking at a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document. Although we know that we cannot expect to address everyone’s queries in one document, it is certainly a great help for there to be one place where you can get a quick answer to the most common enquiries.
The FAQs can be found on our main webpages for GCSE and A Level.
If you would like to see anything else covered then please let us know by emailing email@example.com. We will be updating these documents on a regular basis to ensure that they remain current.
As a team we have plenty coming up over the next few months. I will be attending several history events including the OCR History Forum, our Framlingham Castle Teachers Event, Historical Association Conference and the launch event for the Migration Museum Project – so I will have lots to report back! For more information on anything discussed please don’t hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow us on Twitter @OCR_History to keep up to date with any recent news and developments.
Zoe Wells - Assistant Subject Specialist - History
Zoe Wells recently joined the Humanities and Languages team, as an Assistant Subject Specialist. She will be covering for Clare Trevatt whilst Clare is on secondment to another team. Zoe moved to this role from her previous position as a Resources Creative within Education and Commercial Services. Zoe has a degree in Environmental Studies and she has an interest in International Relations. Outside of work, she enjoys yoga, and has been involved in various voluntary projects, including a UN toolkit helping indigenous communities.