As usual, it has taken me some time to process this year’s Schools History Project conference in all its glory. Held over a July weekend at Trinity and All Saints, Leeds, the conference is the premier event in the country for History teachers. Packed with workshops by innovative practitioners, I always walk away with ideas and challenges for the forthcoming year. My personal workshop highlight this year was seeing Johannes Ahrenfelt and Neal Watkin in action. Their session covered making the subject relevant to learners today but with a deep appreciation of pedagogy. I was particularly inspired by the work Neal is doing in school – more to come in a future post…
As always, I ended up missing some workshops due to scheduling and hearing the conversations about how great the workshops were did not make me feel any better! One interesting plenary session that I was able to see was the work of the Black and Asian Studies Association in conjunction with Dan Lyndon and Martin Spafford. The use of academic research in schools is so exciting and as we are rewriting our schemes of work/learning, I hope to get my hands on some of the showcased material.
I did not run a workshop this year but helped organise the second TeachMeet SHP edition at the conference. Last year we had around 30 delegates attend. We were given a much larger room this year and I was very pleased to see that the presenters drew a large crowd!
Once again, I must thank Don Cumming, Mark Stacey, Esther Arnott, Lesley Ann McDermott, Terry Haydn, Neal Watkin, Nichola Boughey, Sally Thorne and Julie Wright for giving such great presentations and putting up with me snapping away on my camera. I hope that for next year’s conference I will not have to twist the arms of people I know and I must give a special mention to Julie Wright for ‘walking the talk’ about a growth mindset and getting up and giving a presentation about Carol Dweck’s work in the context of the History classroom. I also need to thank Pearson for kindly providing sponsorship for the event and Michael Riley for having the wisdom to see what a TeachMeet could do despite my very poor explanation of the format. I believe that the forthcoming London History Network event in October will also have a TeachMeet session so if you would like to come along, please sign up on the website!
One of the best things about the conference is the collegiate atmosphere cemented by many a conversation and Ian Dawson’s saturday evening extravaganza. Unfortunately, not everyone can make it to Leeds so I was very pleased to hear that the ‘SHP Family’ will be making a day excursion to London on the 26th November to hold an event in the British Library. If you would like to come along and gain some of the best CPD ever, please check the SHP website, Twitter feed and Facebook page.