History - Suffragette suffered

12th June 2009 at 01:00

Britain 1850-1979 is one of the sections taught by David Armstrong, principal teacher of history at West Calder High in West Lothian - so he and his pupils were disappointed when the topics of women's suffrage and Liberal reforms did not come up in this year's exam.

That left them with democracy, probably their third choice because it is a subject area they tend to find "dry", or Labour welfare reforms, which his pupils had prepared for, but perhaps not as well as for the other topics.

The other section studied by Mr Armstrong's Higher class is the United States in the Large Scale State section of European and World history, although the majority of schools tend to study the growth of Nationalism. "We thought the USA section was quite fair. The only surprising question was the last one, about the black radical protest movement, but it was probably due to come up," he said.

For paper 2, Mr Armstrong teaches the special topic of Appeasement and the Road to War, to 1939. He was pleased to see a question on the Spanish Civil War as this area had appeared in the previous two years' exams. "It would have been even better if there had been two questions on the Spanish Civil War rather than just one," he said.

The cartoon source featured an example of David Low's work, but even though this particular cartoon was unfamiliar to pupils, they knew the cartoonist's background and were able to write about the origin and purpose of the source.

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