SHP First Plenary

Neil Bates and Richard McFahn on GCSE History. Their hook is a mystery object table – all objects related to Suffragettes. Neil suggests having a box o’crap for every GCSE unit. I can hear my HoD gasping in horror.

Do lessons get boring at GCSE? Too repetitive? We looked at some principles for planning high quality enquiries that have been proved to work across the curriculum.

Picture time! A Canada goose, a microchip, a flaming Korean jet. All connected with near-nuclear war. Enquiry: was the Cuban Missile Crisis the closest the world has come to nuclear war? We looked at cards with various events on and created a living timeline of how serious those events were. Much hilarity that the diminuitive stature of the lady holding the Cuba card meant it was not as serious as the events adjacent to it.

Moving on the drawing something you can’t see based on your partner’s description. Richard says an Ofsted inspector saw this lesson activity and said it was excellent literacy work. The picture we used here was a pre-WW2 German poster; students were instructed to create an audio guide for this source (love this….will do this with year 10 on Tuesday).


Similar to the audio guide, students could write a voiceover for a piece of silent film. We looked at the reasons why prohibition failed and connections were made between the causes using pieces of string to connect people holding causes.


Curiosity is at the heart of SHP, as is enjoyment. Remember that when planning GCSE lessons!

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