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Plotting the future of GCSE

The future of GCSE history will be the theme of the opening session of the seventh Schools History Project national conference, which is being held this weekend at Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds.

The theme will be explored in a talk by Rosemary Rees, assessor for the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority. This will be followed by question and answer sessions with each of the examining groups on their plans for the new syllabuses and a discussion on how teachers would like to see GCSE syllabuses and papers improved.

A series of workshops will be held on Saturday and Sunday to provide opportunities for teachers to look at key issues, share ideas and learn about new resources and materials coming on to the market.

The topics addressed range from issues such as cross-phase liaison between key stages 2 and 3 or bridging the skills gap between GCSE and A-level, to strategies for teaching a particular topic such as the role of black people in the two world wars. A topical workshop, given the imminence of the VE day celebrations, looks at the events of 1945 - the opening up of the concentration camps, the atom bomb and the politics of post-war Britain - through a variety of sources.

Several sessions offer a chance to find out more about how history teachers can make use of information technology - from globally networked resources to CD-Roms.

As well as a strong emphasis on methods of assessment, setting coursework and raising achievement, there are sessions on developing particular skills, such as effective enquiry work.

o SHP national conference, Trinity and All Saints College, University of Leeds, Brownberrie Lane, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 5HD

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