Head of History published by the
Sarah Jackson, Head of History at Sawston Village College, has recently had her work published by the Historical Association. Speaking about how this came about, Sarah said: “One of my favourite things about working at Sawston Village College is the freedom we are given as subject leaders and departments to identify and spend time working on areas that we need to work on as a department.
“As a subject leader I felt that one area we needed to focus on and improve on as a department was how we could use our Key Stage 3 curriculum to develop substantive thinking in our pupils: so that their knowledge of the past: people, events, ideas and so on was more secure. This meant thinking about how we could revisit key substantive concepts like ‘Revolution’ or ‘Empire’ throughout a curriculum, to enable pupils to become more comfortable and confident with these terms.”
Sarah continued: “We have therefore devoted lots of department meeting time to developing a shared and common understanding about what terms we want to ensure are secure in our pupils’ understanding and have also discussed in detail how we think pupils should encounter these terms within the curriculum. More practically, I have also created a range of activities to use in the classroom with our pupils to promote more nuanced thinking about these key terms, which have then been trialled and evaluated by the History department.”
As a result of Sarah’s ongoing work on substantive concepts within her department, she wrote a blog post which was posted on the Historical Association’s website ‘One Big History Department’. This has been shared with history colleagues from across the country. On the back of this, Sarah has been invited to talk to a range of schools in London about the work she and her History department are doing on substantive concepts at Sawston Village College.