Throughout this NQT year, I have found it hard to keep up to date with improving my subject knowledge and it has made me feel unequipped at times so to combat this temporal feeling of inadequacy, during this period of lockdown I have made a conscious effort to change the script. I have replaced the time that I would commute to work with a daily hit of history which has made my confidence boost even if it is just for teaching online lessons and preparing homework booklets.
Below are just a few ways that I have tackled the development of my subject knowledge. I hope that you will feel inspired to make time to develop your passion for History and utilise this time of lockdown and working from home.
At the click of a button you may find a fantastic array of podcasts from historians. These are great for teacher knowledge and for getting a fast track to ground-breaking research and historical scholarship. Whatever you are teaching, whatever your interests may be, you are sure to find something you will love amongst this list!
- BBC Radio 4
- History extra
- Versus History
- BBC World Service – Witness History
- Dan Snow’s History Hit
- This Day in History Class
- A History of the World in 100 Objects – Neil Macgregor
Blogs and Websites
Historical Association - Most schools have a subscription so check with your department before signing up. The HA has great features such as:
- What’s the Wisdom On – a short guide to a particular aspect of history teaching.
- New, Novice or Nervous? – An article to help new teachers of history.
- Polychronicon – designed to help history teachers update their subject knowledge.
- Cunning Plan – step-by-step plans for tackling particular teaching issues.
Made By History by Kerry Apps (https://kerryapps.com) - Social and post-colonial history, the early modern period and musings on teaching 11 – 18 history.
Justice 2 History - (https://justice2history.org)
Twitter - Just search the hashtag #HistoryTeacher and everything from subject knowledge to resources is at your disposal.
One Big History Department - a place for sharing thinking, resources and conversations about teaching and learning history
TeachMeet History Icons - providing high quality, free CPD, to UK teachers. (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeihlqFBpMOPGjXzMbgi3Bw)
Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC Iplayer and Youtube - all of these sites have a wide range of history documentaries. Be mindful that a number of the films are not historically accurate and adapted for entertainment.
From general overviews to specific periods and themes to support the needs of teaching history. This is not an extensive list but it should provide you with a starting point for reading around widely taught subjects.
The Black Death by John Hatcher
Blood Sisters by Sarah Gristwood
Reformation by Diarmond McCulloch
Heretics and Believers by Peter Marshall
God’s traitors by Jessie Childs
The Ratline by Phillippe Sands
Travellers in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd
The English Civil War:
The English Civil War by Diane Purkiss
White King by Leanda de Lisle
The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer
Elizabeth 1 by Helen Castor
The Butchering Art by Lindsey Harris
Medieval Bodies by Jack Hartnell
The War that Ended Peace by Margaret Macmillan
The World’s War: Forgotten Soldiers of Empire by David Olusoga
The Five by Hallie Rubenhold
Death in ten minutes by Fern Riddell
The Anarchy by William Dalrymple
Chocolate, women and Empire by Emma Robertson
Slavery and abolition:
Bury the chains by Adam Hochschild
A Fistful of shells by Toby Green
Black British History:
Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga
Black Tudors by Miranda Kaufmann
Trouble in mind : Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow by Leon Litwack
The Rebellious Life of Mrs Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis
Whole Period and wider reading:
A Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer
A short history of England by Simon Jenkins
Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan
Centuries of Change by Ian Mortimer
To Hell and Back: Europe 1914-1949 by Ian Kershaw
Island Stories by David Reynolds
A little history of the world by EH Gombrich