Teaching Exchange

Teaching WW1 across the pond (contributed by Prof Troy R. E. Paddock)

While our project focused on schools in England, research on how the First World War is taught is of course happening elsewhere, too. Professor Troy Paddock, Professor of Modern European History at Southern Connecticut State University, has kindly agreed to make available an article he co-authored with Dr Catherine K. Shortell for the journal The History Teacher in 2011. You can download the article below.

The article, entitled ‘Teaching the Great War through Peace’, looks specifically at teaching the war in a US context. With all of the time constraints and institutional pressures that teachers face, it argues, it may seem odd to suggest using an anomalous event such as the Christmas Truce to study the First World War. + Read the full post…

Beyond the Trenches: Researching the First World War

Contributed by Al Golding, Communications Co-ordinator AHRC

worldwaroneanditslegacyBeyond the Trenches is an online resource reflecting a variety of perspectives on arts and humanities research into the First World War in the year of the centennial commemoration.

This blog is run by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), one of the First World War Centenary partners. Enter your email address here to get updates about the blog. The AHRC would particularly welcome teachers getting involved in the discussion which can be done by contributing comments underneath each blog entry.

Trench Brothers – First World War Primary Schools Project

Contributed by Tertia Sefton-Green, Creative Director,  HMDT Music

Trench Brothers is HMDT Music’s new primary school project commemorating the achievements and contributions made by ethnic minority forces, which combines a wide range of curriculum-linked, arts and skills-based activities with a new music theatre work. Delivered in partnership with the National Army Museum and the Little Angel Theatre, the project includes artefact handling sessions, composition workshops, puppetry workshops, access to a cross-curricular teaching resource supporting the new National Curriculum across all subjects, and an interactive staged performance. + Read the full post…

Using period cinema to teach 1914 context

Contributed by Thomas Humphrey, British Film Institute

On the 1 August 2014, visiting cinemas across the UK, the BFI National Archive will release a collection of films from 1914 which will recreate for audiences what a trip to the cinema would have been like 100 years ago.  From aeroplane stunts to original footage of the Suffragettes, this collection of films will present an interesting glimpse of everyday life in 1914 and Europe’s descent into the First World War. A Night at the Cinema in 1914 - Daisy Doodad's Dial + Read the full post…

Using a school blog to discuss the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Contributed by Matt Oswin, Shaw Ridge Primary School, Swindon

We have recently started a blog with our Year 6 children. In addition to sharing examples of their work and activities in school, each week on a Monday, a ‘Question of the Week’ is asked. This question can be about any subject, but does not have a ‘right’ answer that can just be Googled. To mark the centenary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28 June, the question of the week was: If the Archduke had not been assassinated, would World War I have happened? We recorded the opinions of some of the class and received comments from around the world; these can be heard and read here.

Imperial War Museums – First World War Remembrance

Contributed by Charlie Keitch, Digital Learning Officer, IWM

IWM (Art.IWM ART 2884)

IWM (Art.IWM ART 2884)

First World War Remembrance is a new online learning resource for teachers from IWM. The resource looks at how the act of Remembrance developed during the First World War and features highlights from across IWMs collections. These include objects, photographs, maps and artworks for teachers to download and use in the classroom. The resource also includes a video featuring Mark Beautement, a historian working with the Ministry of Defence featuring footage of Remembrance during the First World War.

IWM is developing a range of resources for teachers which will be released throughout the centenary of the First World War. These will be available from the Learning Resources section of IWM’s website as they are released.

Free Historic Newspapers WW1 teaching resource

Contributed by Thomas Walker, representative of Historic Newspapers

If you’re looking to teach students about the significance of the First World War, you can now do so with a free educational pack of historic newspaper materials. The UK’s largest private archive of old newspapers, Historic Newspapers, stock more than seven million genuine original newspapers in their ever-growing collection and have decided to select interesting and important coverage from significant historical dates – all in the name of learning – with a view to teach others about the past, as it was reported at the time.

Historic newspapers image + Read the full post…

British Library World War One Portal

In early 2014, the British Library launched this new portal, which is linked to the Europeana 1914-1918 project and offers a staggering wealth of digitised source materials, succinct articles by leading experts and researchers, and a large array of lesson plans and teaching resources for pupils aged 11 to 18 that cover a wide range of new and exciting topics, such as the colonial experience of war, recruitment and conscientious objection, tactile experiences of warfare, etc. The resources are adjustable for different age groups and suitable for a range of subjects.

Kendal at war: The development of a year 9 project

Contributed by Stephen Roberts, Queen Katherine School, Kendal

In our department, we take the Great War very seriously indeed. It has been a strong personal interest of mine since 1990 when I first taught it to secondary school students. We paid a visit to the National Army Museum in Chelsea. Andrew Robertshaw was the education officer. He answered a question I asked about Robert Graves. That was when I realised that most of our understandings about the Great War were based on myths. I became determined thereafter to teach the subject in a critical way, enabling students to question traditional interpretations. + Read the full post…

Mini research project on local impact of war

Contributed by Priya Atwal, Heritage Project Co-ordinator, John Hampden Grammar School

At JHGS, I have recently been working with Year 7s to do a research project on war memorials, similar in some ways to what has been done at Gresham (see post by Simon Kinder). Our school was lucky enough to receive a Young Roots grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund last year, which we are currently using to build a new archive, and to research and write a publication about the school’s past. + Read the full post…