At the moment we have an awful lot of super keen Year 12 historians. Many of these are considering undergraduate History at Russell Group universities. Therefore, my colleagues and I talked about how we could enrich their experience of history and get them something to add on their dreaded UCAS form.
That conversation spawned an idea to set up a History club at lunchtimes. I know many schools do this but until now we have never had the time or inclination to – well times-they-are-a-changing.
Every Tuesday we are now running mini-lectures for the kids on absolutely random topics that have nothing to do with our A-level courses to give the students a chance to learn about something new. All the lectures are limited to 20 minutes and each teacher has so far delivered one topic. I did mine on the history of Berlin, last week we had a lecture on whether we learn from history and today we had one on Bristol’s riotous past. In the long term the plan is that the kids will do some lectures and from September we have some academics from University of Bristol doing a few (they brilliantly jumped at the chance!)
This has been great for the kids who have been introduced to topics they would never have covered in the course of their normal studies. BUT better than that it has been fantastic for the history teachers who have delivered the lectures! We never get the opportunity to just talk about our subject without worrying about how we will structure a task around it. We rarely get to talk about the bits of history we love and are passionate about as these aren’t in our curriculum at KS4 and KS5. We hardly ever get the opportunity to just deliver a bit of narrative history and do some storytelling and this overall has been just ace.
Long may it continue!