|Pupils from Bishop
Perowne High School, Worcester, have been regular participants
in the Intermediate Class competition (11 -14) since it started in
1992, winning 1st Prize every year so far. Paul Wheeler, Head of
Humanities at the school, has this to say...
"Young people have a natural curiosity about human experience
in the past. The nature of how life was different in the past from
someone like them, or their parents, is a powerful means of attracting
their interest. The value of being able to relate experiences and
events in history within the framework of their local environment,
enriches their understanding and grounds it in reality, which often
ensures that they retain the information for a lifetime. They also
enjoy the pleasure of instructing others in what they know.
Bishop Perowne, we try to ensure that pupils appreciate the local
dimension of national events. After all, the horrors of the Black
Death may be no more ‘real life’ than the last comic story. However,
seeing the effect on the Cathedral architecture of a generation
of Masons wiped out by the ‘sickness’, brings reality a lot closer.
Year 8 pupils are encouraged to undertake a local history study
of their own choice to extend their knowledge of their local area.
This study is done over a period of several months, in their own
time, with just a small amount of school support time to monitor
history study has the potential to sustain such extended study work.
Alongside the pursuit of knowledge, the task has clear aims of a
more cross-curricular nature. Pupils develop research skills of
locating and extracting information from a variety of types of sources
and formats. They then analyse and synthesise that information into
a coherent and orderly account. Finally, they have to communicate
that knowledge in an extended written format using good English
skills. They are also encouraged to use information technology skills
to draft and present the final product. Local history as a focus
activity to utilise and acquire new skills, makes a positive and
valued contribution to a pupil’s learning experience".
from The Royal Grammar School, Worcester, have dominated the
Junior Class (7 - 10) over the past nine years, driven by their Year
5 Co-ordinator, John Wickson. John has this to say...
For the past nine years I have been involved with the Junior Award
for Year 5 (9 - 10 year olds). The preparation begins with a letter
sent home at Christmas time. This gives parents an opportunity to
generate enthusiasm. The boys now have from January to May to complete
the task. Each week in the Lent Term a class will have a regular
15-30 minutes in a history lesson to discuss progress with each
other and their teacher. They are encouraged to write letters asking
for interviews, to plan the questions they will ask and use their
weekends for fieldwork with their parents. As the weeks go by, replies
to the letters, research photocopies, photographs, documents and
other primary sources appear. The draft and final write-up usually
get completed over the Easter holiday and by May the last projects
are collected in.
is completed by the end of the Summer holidays. After the Awards
Ceremony in September the projects are returned to the school and
put on display on the corridor walls and foyer table. This gives
a sense of achievement to project owners who are now in Year 6 (their
final year before moving up to the Senior School), and also encourages
the new year 5 to produce even better work and so the cycle starts
regular teacher of the year group lists the uses of the History
Encouraging the use of primary sources.
Children have ownership of their work and are in charge of the whole
process of the project.
Development of presentation skills, either in word processing or
Investigational skills - following clues to lead to fuller understanding.
Organisational skills - use of time and resources
Producing work for an audience other than teachers, giving the child
a fresh incentive".