This year I have been out to Berlin twice, once with the students and once with a load of other teachers. It is easily one of the best cities for history in Europe, it really does have it all.
However, going with the students it shocked me how little our kids knew about Communism, the wall, the fall or the Stasi. Is it that this generation are too old to remember it first hand (to be fair I only vaguely remember seeing the fall on Newsround) and too young for this to be part of the traditional school history curriculum?
Therefore in Berlin, after a very long day, a colleague and myself decided we would change this. We would go back home and plan a scheme of work that would teach all these missing bits. We would cover the Berlin Blockade, what communism was, why they built a wall, what life was like in the DDR and ultimately why this system fell. After three months hard graft our opus is now finished and its been a joy to teach. Our Year 9 students have been fascinated and engagement has been higher than it has all year making Term 5 and 6 seem a breeze. In theory next year we won’t have any kid asking what the hammer and sickle means or asking “why is the wall a circle?” – well we can hope!
In the spirit of sharing I have put a link on my schemes of work page or its also below, let me know what you think.