Northern History Network

New NHN Blog Home!

The Northern History Network blog has a new home:


All new posts and information updates will be put on the new site – follow the link to take you there!



Thanks to…

Thanks to everyone who made it along to Huddersfield University for Monday’s ‘Teach Meet’ style meeting. Particular thanks to Pat, Lyndon and Neil for their presentations!

Honley High won the Glogster competition, which I hope will be of use. Their website certainly seems useful for lessons, and is student-friendly. This link should get you there (until Edublogs lets me upload pictures!) if you want to find out more: Glogster Education free package page or  Glogster info page to get a 10% discount on their premium package (the prize Honley have won).

Also, here are some of the iPad apps that were mentioned/shown.  Search on the name in the app store to find them.

  • John D Clare revision app for Modern World – very useful and 1.99

  • Imperial War Museum WWII posters – free!

  • The Great War 100 – WWI through infographics (seems good but its not free..)

  • Cuba’s days – Role play game for the Missile Crisis (try to avoid blowing up the world as President Kennedy) and a great way into the topic

  • To the brink – documents/video and the narrative of the Cuban Missile Crisis – free and a great follow on from playing ‘Cuba’s days’

  • Equiano’s autobiography – free as an e-book for kindle or iPad or etc!

  • Posterous – I’ve used it as a way of recording useful pages/work/etc

If you know of any other good History ones then please share them with us!

Next up: Mr Ian Dawson at our Feb meeting :-)



PS This was the CPD opportunity I mentioned that has come through from IWM Duxford:

American Air Museum Summer Residency
30 July – 15 August 2012
The American Air Museum Summer Residency Program is a unique professional development opportunity run by the Imperial War Museum, in which teachers from the USA and UK share ideas and practice, immersed in the historic setting of IWM Duxford.
By taking part in this program you will build a transatlantic network of colleagues, learn from others in a collaborative and inspiring environment, and develop your knowledge of Second World War history through close encounters with primary evidence.
You will take part in exclusive tours and special lectures at the museum and significant sites in the local area. Museum professionals, re-enactors and veterans will deliver sessions to deepen your understanding and interest in Second World War history, especially the air war. You will work in teams to draw from the information and primary sources gained to create bespoke best practice learning activities that you will test in on local children in a Summer Camp environment.
The program is demanding, but rewarding. As well as creating material to take back to the classroom, you will have the opportunity for deeper reflection on a core subject than it is possible to achieve during term time.
Participation in the Summer Residency is subsidised and the majority of expenses including accommodation, meals, transport to the AAM and field trips and educational resources are paid for by the museum. Following the 2.5 week Summer Residency, you will need to commit to carrying out a class project with your students at your school.
Applicants should submit their CV, a short statement (no more than a page) outlining their interest in the project, and a letter of support from their head teacher or head of department, indicating that they have the school’s backing to participate and to carry out follow-up project activities in school.
For more information, please contact Jenny Cousins [email protected] or 01223 497209 with any questions or to submit applications.
The deadline for applications is 31 January 2013.


Directions for Monday :)

Huddersfield University NHN meeting

Room: (WG/30)

The room is in the West Building, on the ground floor – and I am assured is easy to find! – for post code etc



Teach Meet presenters:

  • Lyndon Gallagher – sports leadership and literacy in History
  • James Rand – mystery idea
  • Neil Kelly – dirty cash/the wall street crash
  • Dr Pat Cullum – academic update
  • Donald Cumming – Equiano the campaigner: active approaches

See you there!



By the way, this website has some amazing anti-slave trade resources:



 The next NHN meeting will have the added bonus of a competition!  The good folks at the website Glogster have given us two premium licences to give away – the website allows students to make interactive posters and looks to have plenty of potential. 

How to win?  Find out on Monday!




Key info updated

I’ve updated the key info page with:


1) Confirmed locations for the remaining network meetings – with many thanks to Huddersfield University and North Huddersfield Trust School for their support


2) Confirmation of short slots from academics at each meeting who will be giving us updates on research in their areas of expertise – making the school/academic links stronger and more useful!  I hope this will be quite an exciting development…



Equiano campaign ctd

The Equiano campaign idea was recently featured in Teaching History magazine, and the article has now been put onto the SHP website:

Equiano article

Meanwhile there is a lot of activity around about Walter Tull: the footballer/first black British army officer who died during WWI.  Michael Morpurgo has written a book about him, and there is a campaign to get him posthumously awarded the Military Cross. 



NHN mentioned on History Resource Cupboard website!


Its great to see that one of the projects that featured in our Active Citizens session last year has been given a great write up on the excellent History Resource Cupboard website run by Richard McFahn and Neil Bates somewhere in the depths of the south ;-)  They have written about the campaign to get Olaudah Equiano a blue plaque in London and linked back to us – cheers chaps!  Their Twitter feed is always interesting to follow by the way: @historyresource

Lets hope this finally elicits a positive response from English Heritage!  In a related news feature, its great to see the good citizens of Manchester have chosen to put up a plaque for Arthur Wharton, the first black professional footballer in England.


2012/13 NHN sessions!

Here are this year’s NHN network sessions – same price as last year and still with a real ‘by teachers, for teachers’ approach!  Hope you can join us :-)


9th July meeting


Thursday 4th October: ‘Is that the time?! Active approaches to chronology’

A chronology special in conjunction with the Historical Association & Leeds Trinity.  The NHN session will be led by Donald Cumming on making chronology active.  There will be other keynote speakers to enjoy as part of this event. 

Venue:  Leeds City Museum, 4-730pm


Monday 3rd December: Sharing ideas: a NHN Teach Meet

 We need your ideas as we will be running a network Teach Meet!  If you have a Twitter account please bring your smart phones and iPads along ready to use them!

+ ICT at KS4

Venue: tbc, 4-6pm


Monday 25th February: Ian Dawson – the man behind the severed ear…

We are lucky to have Ian join us in what he claims is his last CPD event for teachers… It’s a real honour as his influence on what we do is immense. He is the author of many textbooks, he has constantly fought for the position of History through his work in the Schools History Project, he’s behind the great ideas on the ThinkingHistory website, and he is also a thoroughly nice chap! 


Monday 1st July: Life after the National Curriculum? 

A look at developments and new directions…

This will be a chance for us to explore the implications of any new developments for our subject – and do some practical planning around them.

Venue: tbc, 4-6pm


Like to find out more or sign up?  Why not drop us an email:

[email protected]                      [email protected]

Free presentation at Leeds Trinity!

This looks interesting – Claire Smith has asked me to pass it on to all who are interested:
Professor Ross Dunn – National Center for History in Schools – UCLA
Presentation at Leeds Trinity University College, Friday October 12th 2012 1400-1600 – AG32
It gives us the greatest pleasure to announce that Professor Ross Dunn, from the National Center for History in Schools based out of UCLA in the USA, is coming to Leeds Trinity University College to give a presentation on his work as former President with the World History Association to all local and partnership history teachers, regional history trainees and history education scholars or academics.
As well as giving us vital insights into how world history is taught in the US, his work as a lead scholar in the World History for All project with K-12 US state school teachers will prove exceptionally pertinent for all UK history educators just as we face various imminent changes ourselves in the current UK curriculum review. It is clear that despite valuing the study of the past, our US History teaching cousins face very similar kinds of pressures and constraints as we do: a lack of time in an overcrowded curricula, standardized testing at various ages, and increasing budgetary confinements. Equally Professor Dunn’s work recognises as we do in the UK that the past can often be hard for students to access. His work with with teachers through the US National Center for History in Schools illustrates various tools which can enliven the subject to our youngsters.
Professor Dunn’s philosophy for history teaching stems from a philosophy that planning larger themes of study allows teachers to incorporate a history that is ‘world-based and interconnected, while still adhering to…. teaching standards’. He states that:
‘This approach offers teachers a bridge to what, on the surface, might initially appear as separate historical events happening in certain areas of the world by instead showing how both environmental and human events shape the historical past as well as the present.’
Given the growing interest and practice in our own country on thematic teaching, big picture history and the use of historical frameworks, Professor Dunn’s ideas will be stimulating and inspiring for all local history educators as we enter a year of change at primary, secondary and examination levels in History.
All colleagues are welcome. Tea and refreshments will be served from 1330 prior to the presentation, and there will be a chance for professional discussion and debate following Professor Dunn’s presentation.
There is no charge for attending, the event is being funded by LTUC Secondary Education department and the Big Picture History group based at Leeds Trinity. Unfortunately supply cover costs cannot be provided.
If you would like to attend this special international event at Leeds Trinity, please RSVP by Monday 24th September to:
Parking permits will be available but we would ask that colleagues share cars where at all possible as the undergraduate term will have started by the time of event so parking can be challenging!
When booking please ensure that you request a parking permit if required. This will either be emailed to you directly or available at reception to pick up on the day of the event.
For more info about booking your place, please contact Liz Cairns – 0113 283 7100 extn 556
We look forward to welcoming colleagues, trainees and history educators to Leeds Trinity.
Best wishes for a successful Autumn term,
Claire E. Smith
Frances Blow
Denis Shemilt
Dr. Claire E. Smith

History for all

9th July meeting

It was great to see so many people on Monday for the session with Mike Maddison, Chief HMI for History.  His presentation was absolutely fantastic – he is a real champion for the work we do and his thoughts were interesting, honest and inspiring.   He outlined what works and any concerns that Ofsted have noted, expanding on his report from last year on the theme of 

History for all –

accessible, meaningful & achievable.

He gave some great examples (eg reception class students at infant school discussing crenellations!) and encouraged us to get to know our primary partner schools’ History curriculum, he developed ideas around enquiries and emphasised we need to have a clear rationale for why we teach what we teach when we teach it.  He also talked about the impact of diminished KS3, thematic teaching on standards and other pressures that we face in our schools.   We’re lucky to have someone like Mike in the centre of Ofsted, and it was fantastic to hear him sing the praises of our profession in such detail!

 If you couldn’t make it along he was kind enough to send through his powerpoint slides which have some real food for thought on and which also have pointers to Ofsted best practice and so forth.  If you’d like to know more about Mike’s presentation drop me a line and I’ll happily add some further details.  I’d like to thank Alan and everyone at All Saints for hosting it and for the fine refreshments as well.

 I also went along to the Schools History Project conference last weekend and have attached notes from a workshop run by Christine Counsell about enquiry questions.  The document is something she has put together with her ITT mentors and is a very interesting read.  She did some great, simple, activities where by tweaking the enquiry questions she clearly deepened the learning.  One activity was around ‘who were the victims of the Holocaust’ and the other was ‘why was Beckett murdered’.  I’ll try and write a more useful summary – but both made me think again about how I have approached those topics.    Another highlight was Ian Dawson’s Saturday night role play extravaganza ‘what have the Saxons done for us?’ which would make a magnificent extended assembly for year 7s early in the Autumn term.  I will see if I can get hold of his script – in the mean time it was a version of this activity:  

 If you have a few moments to spare, I’ve recently been pointed to the website below.  Its an open access academic journal spot, where you can find links to academic research and journals for free.  Whether for G&T, A’Level or other puropse (reading for pleasure!) I am sure they will be useful and worth exploring. 

Finally, I’ve updated the webiste with the programme for next year – hope to see you all again in the autumn!


  :-) Donald

9th July meeting