What do independent schools gain from working with the state sector?

“What do we get out of this?” is a question that may be asked fairly by an independent school when any form of structured relationship with a state school is proposed. The potential benefits to state schools from such contacts have been well rehearsed - including use of facilities, access to subject expertise for sixth …

Using French journalism in teaching The First World War: (1) The First Battle of the Marne

So much of our understanding of the First World War on the Western Front is derived from areas where the British Army was the predominant presence – notably parts of Picardy and the Ypres salient. The flooded shell craters and sunken duckboards around Passchendaele in the autumn of 1917 have become a visual signature for …

Dunkirk 1947: a forgotten Franco-British Treaty

On 4 March 1947 representatives of the British and French governments signed a treaty of mutual alliance against any future aggression from Germany. Coming a year after Winston Churchill’s famous “Iron Curtain speech” in Fulton, Missouri, and a few days before President Truman’s declaration to the United States Congress outlining his Containment Doctrine, the Dunkirk …

The future of the Humanities in Secondary Education

International competitiveness, the demands of a high-skill, knowledge-based economy, and the global nature of technology-based industries, are all factors that have shaped the increasing prioritisation of STEM in UK government thinking in recent years. This trend has been sharpened by anxiety over international comparative data for pupil numeracy and scientific performance, resulting in significant policy …

The Jäger Report and Holocaust Education: a case study

The Holocaust in the “East” and in the “West” On 1 December 1941, SS Standartenführer Karl Jäger, chief of the German Security Police in Nazi-occupied Lithuania, drafted for his superiors a nine page report detailing the activities of his unit, Einsatzkommando 3, comprising the mass-murder of the overwhelming majority of that country’s Jewish population, with …

Why the Humanities need more subject-based professional learning

The growth of knowledge-focused professional learning in Maths and the Sciences has been a notable and welcome feature of teacher education and development in recent years. This STEM emphasis is hardly surprising given, among other factors, the significant difficulties experienced by many schools in recruiting and retaining teachers with the appropriate degree qualifications in these …

Politics and presents in the age of Richard II

End of year gift-giving was a well-established practice in the middle ages, but was done at New Year rather than at Christmas. For the social and political elites, especially the higher nobility, gift-giving fulfilled several functions. It re-enforced ties of kinship and affinity; it asserted status; and cultivated and rewarded sympathetic behaviour in the invisible …