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Having taught History across KS3, 4 and 5 for seventeen years within state education, I have built up quite an extensive set of resources! I’ve spent several years working as a head of department and also spent a year working as a university subject tutor for Schools Direct. I’m currently out of the classroom and supporting my own children through their secondary experience and keeping relevant by becoming an Edexcel examination marker this summer. Planning for fun and hopefully your benefit.

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Having taught History across KS3, 4 and 5 for seventeen years within state education, I have built up quite an extensive set of resources! I’ve spent several years working as a head of department and also spent a year working as a university subject tutor for Schools Direct. I’m currently out of the classroom and supporting my own children through their secondary experience and keeping relevant by becoming an Edexcel examination marker this summer. Planning for fun and hopefully your benefit.
The early challenges to the Weimar Republic, 1919-23
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The early challenges to the Weimar Republic, 1919-23

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IMPORTANT: Some of the activities refer to the textbook "Edexcel GCSE (9-1) History: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939 (editor Leonard A. and published by Pearson) ISBN 9781292127347 and will not be usable without a copy of this text. This Edexcel 9-1 GCSE unit covers around 3-4 lessons depending upon your class and their overall ability/work rate. Aims and Objectives: To understand the reasons for the early unpopularity of the Republic, including the “stab in the back” theory and the key terms of the Treaty of Versailles. To understand the challenges to the Republic from Left and Right: Spartacists, Freikorps, the Kapp Putsch. To understand the challenges of 1923: hyperinflation; the reasons for, and effects of, the French occupation of the Ruhr. The Power Point leads students through all activities with accompanying worksheets. These include a presentation on the context and terms of the Treaty of Versailles which asks students to consider why these angered the German people, a summary table of reasons why the treaty angered Germans and a 12 mark explanation question on this issue with advice and examples. There is also a homework which asks students to cross-reference a source with their own knowledge to prepare them for future work on interpretations. The Kapp Putsch is introduced through two sources and a problem solving starter. The concept of right and left-wing politics is explored before a summary table of the Spartacist and Kapp uprisings is completed. A card sort is used to explore the concept of hyperinflation and a video activity asks students to summarise causes, events and consequences of the occupation of the Ruhr. There is also another optional 12 mark question on this topic.
How do communism, democracy and dictatorship differ?
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How do communism, democracy and dictatorship differ?

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This KS3 lesson should take around one hour to complete. The Power Point leads students through all activities with accompanying resources included. Feedback/answers are also provided when required. I use this lesson at the start of our scheme of learning on WW2 as it clarifies the political landscape in the 1930s and provides students with the necessary vocabulary and political understanding. Aims and Objectives: To know the different types of political systems and link them to 1930s pre-war politics. To understand how they are similar and different. To consider their strengths, weaknesses and impact on people’s lives. Activities include a video starter which uses a short cartoon to introduce key political concepts. Students use this to match definitions to concepts and then consider what type of political system we live under. They then categorise a series of facts according to the belief system which they describe. As an extension, students list all the differences between democracy and dictatorship and then compare the similarities and differences between communism and dictatorship. Finally, students write a paragraph explaining which system they would most like to live under and why.
Causes of WW1 and Schlieffen Plan failure
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Causes of WW1 and Schlieffen Plan failure

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This Key Stage 3 unit explores the causes of WW1 and then goes on to analyse the reasons why the German Schlieffen Plan failed, leading to trench warfare. It will take around two lessons to complete. The Power Point leads students through all of the activities. There are a number of very nice short video clips on the causes of WW1, including a great Horrible Histories clip (when available) but I particularly like the Blackadder clip attached. Be warned- the final punchline is “bollo**s” and I often censored this with a timely cough much to the annoyance of the class. The lessons start by contextualising Europe in 1914 with some map work and identification of alliance systems. We then identify and analyse the causes of WW1 using the passage provided. The following lesson, the students start by problem-solving Germany’s dilemma and proposing their own war plans- I’ve had some very interesting and intelligent responses to this, along with some quite frankly bizzare/amusing. After studying the Schlieffen Plan, students translate the actual events into a series of annotated maps before analysing the reasons for the plan’s failure and writing this up in an extended paragraph.
The Stuarts: Full Unit of Study
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The Stuarts: Full Unit of Study

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This KS3 unit of study should take around 15 hours to complete. There is a Power Point included for every lesson which leads students through the activities and provides advice and guidance where required. In teaching/loose chronological order, the lessons include: King James I, witchcraft and science The Gunpowder Plot Causes of the English Civil War Events of the civil war and Charles’ defeat The execution of Charles I Oliver Cromwell: Hero or Villian? The Plague in London The Great Fire of London, 1666 There are a great range of activities including discussion, speech writing, pamphlet making and formal assessments. The two formal assessments are the essay on the causes of the Civil War and a source investigation into Oliver Cromwell. Writing frames and mark schemes are included for these. For more details, please refer to individual lesson summaries.
Who was the greatest Tudor monarch?
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Who was the greatest Tudor monarch?

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This KS3 topic covers a single lesson and introduces the course on The Tudors by providing students with a complete overview of the monarchs. It’s simple but effective and I’ve had fantastic justified reasons from students when I’ve used it. Aims and Objectives: To know the Tudor family tree and the order in which they reigned. To know a few basic facts about each of the Tudor monarchs. To compare their reigns and make a judgement on who was the greatest Tudor monarch. The starter focuses on the family tree and establishes the order and reasons for reigns. We then work through each of the monarchs, whilst students rank them on a continuum from worst to best. I’ve always made them note down two reasons for each but the information sheet could equally be adapted into cards for them to order. Students are then asked to make an independent judgement on which monarch was the greatest and we discuss the choices at the end.
Developments in Public Health (19c.)
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Developments in Public Health (19c.)

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IMPORTANT: Some of these worksheets refer to the textbook “Edexcel GCSE (9-1 History, Medicine through time, c1250-present” (editor Leonard A. and published by Pearson) ISBN 9781292127378 and will not be usable without a copy of this text. This Edexcel 9-1 GCSE unit covers at least one lesson, depending upon your class and their overall ability/work rate. Aims and Objectives: To understand the extent of change in care and treatment: the Public Health Act 1875. The Power Point leads students through all of the activities with accompanying worksheets and activities. These include a short video/recall starter giving an overview of changes, comprehension questions, card sorts and class discussion on impact.
Fleming, Florey and Chain and the Development of Penicillin
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Fleming, Florey and Chain and the Development of Penicillin

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IMPORTANT: Some of these worksheets refer to the textbook “Edexcel GCSE (9-1) History, Medicine through time, c1250-present” (editor Leonard A. and published by Pearson) ISBN 9781292127378 and will not be usable without a copy of this text. This Edexcel 9-1 GCSE unit covers around one lesson depending upon your class and their overall ability/work rate. Aims and Objectives: To learn about Fleming, Florey and Chain’s development of penicillin. The Power Point leads students through all activities with an accompanying worksheet. It also provides answers/feedback at intervals. Activities include an introductory overview video clip with questions, analysis and colour-coding of reasons for development of Penicillin, a comparison of Fleming v. Florey and Chain and judgement upon their relative achievements and a thought-shower on continuing developments.
Impact of the NHS and High-tech Treatments
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Impact of the NHS and High-tech Treatments

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IMPORTANT: Some of these activities refer to the textbook “Edexcel GCSE (9-1) History, Medicine through time, c1250-present” (editor Leonard A. and published by Pearson) ISBN 9781292127378 and will not be usable without a copy of this text. This Edexcel 9-1 GCSE unit covers around 1-2 lessons depending upon your class and their overall ability/work rate. Aims and Objectives: To learn about the extent of change in care and treatment: the impact of the NHS and high-tech medical and surgical treatments in hospitals. The Power Point leads students through all activities with accompanying worksheets. It also provides feedback/answers/demonstrations at intervals. Activities include watching the very quaint contemporary promotional cartoon which showcases the improvements offered by the NHS, cloze exercise, thought-shower, analysis of high-tech treatments and discussion/linking of NHS to the introduction of high-tech treatments.
The Great Plague in London, 1665
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The Great Plague in London, 1665

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IMPORTANT: The final revision task refers to the textbook “Edexcel GCSE (9-1) History, Medicine through time, c1250-present” (editor Leonard A. and published by Pearson) ISBN 9781292127378 and will not be usable without a copy of this text. The rest of the lesson works independently. This Edexcel 9-1 GCSE unit covers around 1-2 lessons depending upon your class and their overall ability/work rate. Aims and Objectives: To understand how the Great Plague in London, 1665, was dealt with: approaches to treatment and attempt to prevent its spread. The Power Point leads students through all activities with accompanying worksheets. These include information prioritisation, categorising/analysing information, creating an illustrated table, a 4 mark exam answer and some end of unit revision using the textbook.
The Munich Putsch and the lean years of the Nazi Party, 1923-9
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The Munich Putsch and the lean years of the Nazi Party, 1923-9

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This Edexcel 9-1 GCSE unit covers around 3 lessons depending upon your class and their overall ability/work rate. Aims and Objectives: To understand the reasons for, events and consequences of the Munich Putsch. To understand the reasons for limited support for the Nazi Party, 1924-28. Party reorganisation and Mein Kampf. The Bamberg Conference of 1926. The Power Point leads students through all activities with accompanying worksheets and resources. Activities include a video starter giving an overview of the causes, events and consequences of the Munich Putsch, a card sort/analysis activity on the causes of the putsch, a storyboard task on the events whereby students have to retell the story without reference to their notes, a colour-coding activity on the successes/failures of the putsch, a 12 mark explanation question with advice, worked example and writing frame, a ranking of Hitler’s views from Mein Kampf from moderate to extreme, analysis of written passage to understand how Hitler utilised the lean years to strengthen the party internally and a summary exercise on the reasons for their electoral disappointment at this time.
The Origins of the Weimar Republic 1918-19
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The Origins of the Weimar Republic 1918-19

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This Edexcel 9-1 GCSE unit covers around 2 lessons depending upon your class and their overall ability/work rate: Aims and Objectives: To understand the legacy of WW1. The abdication of the Kaiser, the armistice and revolution, 1918-19. The setting up of the Weimar Republic. The strengths and weaknesses of the new constitution. The Power Point leads students through all activities with accompanying worksheets. These include an introduction to the Paper 3 question types, a timeline/overview starter activity giving context to the entire course, short video on the impact of WW1, an introduction to the inference question with a practice question and sample answer, a factual introduction to the foundation of the republic (matching questions to answers), and a card sort/analysis on the weaknesses and strengths of the Weimar constitution. There is a homework vocabulary sheet exercise.
The Dunkirk Evacuation: Accuracy of film portrayal
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The Dunkirk Evacuation: Accuracy of film portrayal

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This KS3 unit of work should take around 2-3 hours to complete. The Power Point leads students through all activities with accompanying resources included. Aims and Objectives: To know the key events surrounding the evacuation. To understand how and why the event has been portrayed in different ways through studying sources. To reach a judgement on the accuracy of one portrayal (the film “Atonement”). Activities include a quick recap on the key events through questioning and information slides (at this stage in our course we have done an overview of the key events of WW2), an image based starter which considers similarities and differences in portrayal and why? We then move onto the main focus, which is to evaluate how accurately the Dunkirk evacuation is portrayed in the film Atonement when compared to actual source material. I used the beach scene from Atonement (please mute the first minute as there are f-bombs but apart from this it is fine for KS3). However, the lesson could easily be adapted to assess any film clip, such as the new Dunkirk film. Having noted down their summary of the portrayal in the film clip, students then analyse a series of sources, considering what they each show them about the evacuation and whether this agrees or disagrees with the film. A worked example is included. There is an SEN version with fewer/simplified sources- you’d just need to remove some source numbers from the research table if using this version. Students then move on to the assessment stage, where they produce an extended written answer to the following question “How accurately does the film “Atonement” portray the events of the Dunkirk evacuation?”. A writing structure and mark scheme is included. The pack also includes a quick quiz starter for lesson 2 and a model conclusion that I used during “red to react”/“level up”/review time.
The English Civil War: Events and Charles' Defeat
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The English Civil War: Events and Charles' Defeat

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This KS3 unit should take around two hours to complete. The Power Point leads students through all of the activities with accompanying resources provided. Having spent considerable time looking at the causes, I tend not to get too bogged down in the events themselves as I’ve found that the students like the lessons on the trial and execution more. This is why I’ve condensed it into two hours. Aims and Objectives: To know who fought who during the English Civil War and to compare the differences between the two sides. To use sources to learn about what life was like at the time in England. To know the key events of the Civil War and select the main reasons why Parliament won. To consider how King Charles might have done better. Activities include a video starter on fighting in the 1600s which enables students to visualise this period of time. Students then label a Roundhead and Royalist soldier and consider which side was better equipped. They analyse a range of sources including a painting, cartoon and written passage to gain insight into what life was like. In the second lesson, they read a passage in pairs to highlight reasons why the king lost. There is also a card sort on this topic which I use as an extension or with my G&T groups. Students then use their understanding to write a letter to King Charles during the war advising him on ways in which he could be more successful.
Conflict and tension in the American West, 1876-95
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Conflict and tension in the American West, 1876-95

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IMPORTANT: Many of these activities refer to the textbook “Edexcel GCSE (9-1) History, The American West, c1835-c1895” (editor Leonard A. and published by Pearson) ISBN 9781292127309 and will not be usable without a copy of this text. This Edexcel 9-1 GCSE unit covers around 4 lessons depending upon your class and their overall ability/work rate. Aims and Objectives: Specification area: Conflict and tension in the American West, 1876-1895 To understand the extent of solutions to problems of law and order: sheriffs and marshals. The significance of Billy the Kid, OK Corral (1881), Wyatt Earp. To understand the range wars, including the Johnson County War of 1892. To understand the conflict with the Plains Indians: the Battle of the Little Big Horn, 1876 and its impact; the Wounded Knee Massacre, 1890. The Power Point leads students through all activities with accompanying resources. It also provides feedback/answers at intervals. Activities include group discussion on the causes of lawlessness analysis of Billy the Kid and Wyatt Earp using summary written material, card sort on the Johnson County War, video Q&A on the Battle of Little Bighorn, timeline analysis of the battle, Wounded Knee Massacre storyboard and Facebook posts exercise on reaction.
The RAMC, FANY and Four Stages of Evacuation
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The RAMC, FANY and Four Stages of Evacuation

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IMPORTANT: Some of these activities refer to the textbook “Edexcel GCSE (9-1) History, Medicine through time, c1250-present” (editor Leonard A. and published by Pearson) ISBN 9781292127378 and will not be usable without a copy of this text. This Edexcel 9-1 GCSE unit nominally covers 2 lesson but in practice will take at least 3-4 depending upon your class and their overall ability/work rate. Aims and Objectives: To learn about the work of the RAMC and FANY. The system of transport, stages of treatment and underground hospital at Arras. The Power Point leads students through all activities with accompanying worksheets/resources. It also provides worked examples and exam advice. Activities include an ordering of the four stages of evacuation starter, a listening exercise with student diagram, independent note-taking, an 8 mark source evaluation exam question, a plenary of medical scenarios whereby students decide how far to pass the student along the chain of evacuation and when to award the sought after “Blighty” award, a cloze exercise with source extension on the work of FANY, and a four mark follow up question.
The origins and early development of the Nazi Party
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The origins and early development of the Nazi Party

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IMPORTANT: Some of the activities refer to the textbook "Edexcel GCSE (9-1) History: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939 (editor Leonard A. and published by Pearson) ISBN 9781292127347 and will not be usable without a copy of this text. This Edexcel 9-1 GCSE unit covers around 1-2 lessons depending upon your class and their overall ability/work rate. Aims and Objectives: To understand Hitler’s early career: joining the German Workers’ Party and setting up the Nazi Party, 1919-20. The Power Point leads students through all activities with an accompanying task booklet. Following a starter which answers 5W questions about the origins of the party using a short passage, students work in pairs to discuss the steps that would need to be taken to set up a new party. The booklet tasks then work through each stage, charting the early development of the party. Activities include colour-coding of a selection of the 25 Points into nationalist and socialist, making inferences from sources to understand why membership grew, note-taking/table on the impact of the changes Hitler made, an analysis of what key members bought to the party and a series of comprehension questions on the early SA.
Why did William win the Battle of Hastings?
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Why did William win the Battle of Hastings?

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This KS3 unit should take 2-3 hours to complete. The Power Point leads the students through all of the activities with accompanying resources included. Advice on writing technique is also included. Aims and Objectives: To know the main events of the Battle of Hastings. To understand the main reasons why William won. To reach a verdict on which reasons were more or less important. To be able to write up your ideas as an essay. Activities include a starter which asks students to draw inferences from the Bayeux Tapestry, followed by a short video which recaps prior events and then shows the key events of the battle. Students use this knowledge to cut out the jumbled events and match/stick them onto the storyboard. There is an extension on source bias using William of Poitier’s account. Initial on why William won are recorded in a thought-shower. Students then complete a card sort activity, categorising the reasons why William won into William’s strengths, Harold’s weaknesses and luck. There is an SEN version of simpler cards with a sorting grid included. Essay writing and PEEL paragraphing is then introduced with a worked example of poor-good paragraphing using PEEL. Students write their answers in essay style using the writing frame provided. A mark scheme is included.
What was life like for a slave in the Americas?
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What was life like for a slave in the Americas?

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This KS3 lesson should take around two hours to complete. The Power Point leads students through all activities with accompanying resources included (although for the research stage the Power Point refers to school textbooks as one source of information and I’m obviously unable to include copies of pages I’d use. Wikipedia has a very detailed page on this topic and the link is included). Aims and Objectives: To know basic facts about a slave’s life and work. To extend this knowledge and understanding through group research and presentation. To be able to empathise with the psychological impact these conditions must have had upon the people effected, considering coping mechanisms. Activities include an inference starter using “The Sabbath among slaves” drawing which appears at first-glance to to be far less sinister than it actually is. Students then make further inferences with support from a range of images. They begin their research into mental/physical health, work and punishments using a ten minute video before breaking into groups of four to specialise in one area. The class collectively produce an assessment criteria for their poster presentations before researching and creating their posters. The following lesson, their poster presentations are peer assessed using their criteria and I use this as a competition. Finally, students add an entry to their ongoing slave diary about living and working conditions.
How far did castle design improve during the MAs?
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How far did castle design improve during the MAs?

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This KS3 lesson should take around 2 hours to complete. The Power Point leads students through all activities with accompanying resources included. Aims and Objectives: To know the main features of a motte and bailey and stone keep castle. To understand how and why castle design changed over time. To weight up the advantages and disadvantages of each type of castle. To compare both types of castles, considering similarities and differences. Students compare the design of a motte and bailey castle to that of a stone keep, looking for areas of similarity and difference. These are recorded in table and venn diagram format. This then leads into an assessed piece of writing on continuity versus change in castle design. A mark scheme is included.
Medical problems, wounds and injuries on the Western Front
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Medical problems, wounds and injuries on the Western Front

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IMPORTANT: Some of these activities refer to the textbook “Edexcel GCSE (9-1) History, Medicine through time, c1250-present” (editor Leonard A. and published by Pearson) ISBN 9781292127378 and will not be usable without a copy of this text. This Edexcel 9-1 GCSE unit technically covers 3-4 lessons depending upon your class and their overall ability-work rate. However, as this is the point in the course where I introduce the 8 mark source evaluation question and the follow-up question, it could easily take a lot longer if all of the practice opportunities are carried out in full. Aims and Objectives: To learn about the main medical problems, wounds and injuries that were faced on the Western Front and how they were dealt with. To learn how to answer the source evaluation exam question and the source follow-up question. The Power Point leads students through all of the activities with accompanying worksheets. It also provides regular feedback and answers which is useful with so much content being covered. Activities include source analysis video starter, independent note-taking, scenario diagnosis of case studies plenary, a developed analysis of Dulce et Decorum using video, a detailed introduction to the source questions with my technique for answering them (poster and handout to reinforce this), source evaluation work on gas attacks and problems with transport, follow-up source question and opportunities for peer assessment.