Hints and Tips - 5 minute read
Matt Stanford, Director of the Schools History Project
We are thrilled that Matt Stanford has written a guest blog this month on the work of the Schools History Project and in particular about the role of SHP regional advisers. Over to you, Matt!
I hope that you are all safe and well. I’d like to begin by thanking all our SHP teachers for their hard work and commitment during these trying times. I am constantly amazed by both the rigour and creativity that goes into history teaching up and down the country – something that the recent SHP New Teachers’ Conference showcased to great effect. The difficulties teachers are facing with adapting to online learning has not got in the way of this exceptional work and I am prouder than ever to be part of the SHP history teaching community.
In this blog I’d like to update you on our recent work and to explain the role of the Regional Advisers. I hope that it may encourage some of you to apply to join the organisation as a new Regional Adviser.
The end of January saw the first SHP New Teachers’ Conference – an online conference aimed to support trainee teachers and teachers in their first five years of teaching. The day started with a round-table discussion involving teachers at different points in their career about the challenges new teachers face.
There were excellent and practical workshops from Dale Banham, Sally Burnham, Hannah Cusworth and Sally Thorne. These were followed by an introduction to the SHP OCR History B GCSE course, and a Q&A with Marc Morris on medieval history. The day was brought to a conclusion with an inspiring plenary from Alex Ford about the opportunities and responsibilities of belonging to a professional community of enquiry.
Given the positive feedback we have received we are looking forward to making this an annual event.
In June, Alex Ford, Lead Tutor of the History PCGE at Leeds Trinity University, SHP Fellow and author of the textbook The Making of America, 1789-1900, is leading a session aimed at students in years 11-13 that ‘goes behind the textbook’ and helps students understand the SHP GCSE course in its wider context. ‘Framing US History: The story your textbook didn’t teach you’ is designed to help students bridge the gap between GCSE and A Level and will show students the process of historical construction that lies behind the writing of history.
We are pleased to announce that we are planning two more ‘SHP Understanding’ sessions in the coming months: one on the work of the brilliant Colonial Countryside project and one on the partition of Ireland.
These three online sessions will be available live or as recordings and will be free to students of centres that teach OCR History B. Keep an eye on the SHP website and Twitter for further details.
We are in the process of putting together the programme for our second virtual summer conference on the weekend 10-11 July. Our summer conference is a very popular event and we ran a very successful online version last year. Keep a look out as details will be published on the SHP website soon.
For a number of years the SHP has had regional advisers whose role is to promote the work of the organisation and support teachers in their region, particularly those teaching OCR History B GCSE. They are the first point of contact for teachers, share advice and resources and help teachers find other sources of support.
We have recently recruited Ginny Harris as our new regional adviser for the South West, but we still have vacancies in Yorkshire & Humberside as well as London. If you are a talented and creative history teacher currently teaching the OCR History B GCSE course and are interested in helping shape the work of SHP, gaining experience outside of your usual roles and playing a part in developing the history-teaching community, we’d like to hear from you.
You don’t need to ‘have all the answers’ but you’ll need a passion for history and history teaching, a willingness to share your ideas and a commitment to the principles of the SHP. In return for your work, we are pleased to offer you free access to SHP events and some OCR training materials. You can find out how to apply for a position on the Who's Who website page, under Regional Advisers.
I am looking forward to working with many of you over the coming months through our online webinars and our summer conference and I look forward to hearing from you if you are interested in becoming a regional adviser. If you need any further help or guidance, do get in touch with your regional adviser and the subject advisors at OCR.
Give us your feedback in the comments section below, email us at history@OCR.org.uk or tweet us @OCR_History. And if you haven’t already, sign up for subject updates and ensure you are receiving information about resources and support.
Matt Stanford is the Director of the Schools History Project. He has taught history at secondary level for 16 years. During this time he has given numerous workshops at national conferences, delivered sessions for teacher-training courses and other CPD events, supported history teachers across a multi-academy trust, published articles in Teaching History magazine and written the chapter on assessment for the ResearchED Guide to Leadership. He tweets at @stanf80.