Event - six minute read
Mike Goddard, OCR History Subject Advisor
We are delighted to announce the launch of a history prize in collaboration with Kings College London (KCL). Open to any A Level History students studying pre-Colonial African history as part of their OCR course, either for their non-British Period Study or for their NEA. The prize will be awarded annually to two students, based on teacher nominations.
Together with KCL, we’ll be presenting the two winners with £100 in book tokens each, and a signed copy of Toby Green’s prize-winning A Fistful of Shells kindly donated by Penguin Random House.
Pre-colonial African kingdoms has been an option on the OCR A Level History specification since 2015, when it was introduced to promote the diversification of history content.
2020 has seen serious interest in the history curriculum, and a clamour for change that has recognised the need to teach the history of non-western civilisations in their own right.
A steady stream of teachers has contacted us to find out more about teaching this option. This prize was created as further encouragement, and in recognition of their efforts to effect positive change.
From the start we have worked with KCL in order to provide academic integrity, as well as the necessary resources for teaching the course.
If you are considering teaching the course you can see the positive results from our collaboration with KCL at the African Kingdoms website - there is also a helpful Q&A blog on the reasons why you should teach it too.
We’re delighted that KCL are taking a full and active part in awarding the prize. Toby Green, Senior Lecturer in Lusophone African History and culture in the department of history, wrote the textbook which accompanies the module and has developed the African Kingdoms website with a full suite of teaching resources to accompany it.
Professor Stephen Lovell, Head of the History Department at King’s College London said:
"We're delighted to be co-sponsoring this prize with OCR. African history is an important part of the syllabus in our department, and we have strong links with universities in Ghana, Nigeria, and beyond."
‘The move to bring African history more fully into the school syllabus is something I'm delighted to see. I hope this prize will encourage more teachers and students to take up this A Level option, helping them to work towards the sort of global historical understanding which is of increasing importance to history at university level.’
Together, we know that studying this course can have a transformational impact on students’ understanding of what history is, and of the wider world. And that this is of real importance in today’s society. We’re really looking forward to receiving your entries, and awarding this exciting prize.
We want to know who in your class has been an inspiration, and why. Has a student made significant improvement, clearly inspired by the topic, or have they been an ambassador for the subject within your school? Have they done some extra-curricular reading or research that has brought new knowledge into the classroom?
You can nominate up to two students per centre. The competition opens for entries on 1 January 2021, with entries to be received by 28 February. The winners will be announced in late March, before the Easter holidays. Entries will be judged jointly by KCL and OCR.
The full rules, together with the entry form will be published on our website shortly. In essence this is intended to be an inclusive prize. It will be awarded before the 2021 exam series and is not based on any test results.
If you have any questions about the African Kingdoms option, or the prize, send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are creating a network of teachers teaching the topic, and further support on planning and teaching will be available in 2021. You can also follow us on Twitter @OCR_History. And if you haven’t already, sign up for our email updates.
Mike is a history subject advisor and has worked at OCR on the history portfolio since 2007. Previously he has held roles at Cambridge International Examinations and for an educational publisher. Mike has a degree in Economic and Social History from the University of York and a Masters in Modern History from UCL. In his spare time he enjoys crosswords and snooker.