History - Time to form an alliance

24th February 2012 at 00:00

Across the divide

My smile is fixed on my face, but my heart sinks. I've just been approached by a young science teacher eager to "do something cross- curricular" with the history department, writes Steve Mastin.

I would love pupils studying the Renaissance to have more exposure to the music of the period - could the music department help? Or perhaps the art department could advise my Year 11s (S4s), studying the Spanish Civil War on the story behind Picasso's Guernica. Renaissance art emphasised the true human form and experimented with perspective. Could the art teacher also give guidance on which paintings would best complement historical study of this period of change?

We look at some of the great discoveries and inventions of the Industrial Revolution in Year 8 (S1), but we history teachers are not experts on "how". The science department could advise us on ways of adapting a lesson to reveal the science behind the invention. How, for example, does a steam engine work?

With the 2012 Olympics around the corner, it could also be a good time to join forces with your PE colleagues. History could look at some of the ancient events of the Greek Olympics, and PE could experiment with some of them, comparing them with today's events.

With a little thought, cross-curricular teaching can be beneficial - as long as the history is rigorous and not bolted on to tick a box.

Find out more

Turn pupils into time travellers with an interactive Industrial Revolution resource from NGfL Cymru.

Reminisce about Renaissance wonders with Gemma Lindsay's Taboo cards or discover the period's great artists in Birdy78's visual presentation.

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