Next YorkClio Meeting:

Friday 13th July, Kirkgate at The Castle Museum. The theme is ‘Enriching your teaching with local History’. There is now a page on the YorkClio website. Please send us more examples of York History to add to this.

Last Meeting:

Our meeting on  Friday 23rd February at Huntington School focused on assessment by drawing on best research school and Historical Association practice. If you missed this session or would like to look at the materials again here is the power point and resources Hugh has kindly shared: Assessment in History, Hugh Richards. Huntingdon School.

In this meeting we also shared useful websites and updates on some brilliant CPD opportunities:

Go-to websites:

‘Exploring and Teaching Medieval History’ combines academic articles and teaching ideas. A copy has been sent out to all schools and it is available  online at the following address :

Christine Counsell gave a really helpful session on ‘Talking History with SLT’ and the need to provide students with a curriculum that genuinely supports understanding in other subjects and acts as a tool of progression.

History Nerds : next date 21st June 5.30pm to 8pm

Please inform students: Homework for next time…  they need to produce a single side of A4 that gives a narrative summary of the History of York that is accessible to the general reader. It must contain one carefully selected image. They must print it out and bring it. Note the change of time! They will meet at 5.30pm at Bootham. Please ask students to be prompt and wear shoes they can walk in. They must eat beforehand or bring snacks.

Upcoming CPD: (Please see YHEP website for all details)

  • HA Yorkshire History Forum: 18 April, Leeds
  • History Teacher’s Symposium: 25th June, Huddersfield
  • HA Annual Conference : 18-19 May, Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Schools History Project Summer Conference: 6-8 July, Leeds.

Autumn term 2017

On Friday 6th October 4.30-6pm we were delighted to welcome Michael Riley, Director of the Schools History Project to talk on the theme of : Picturing the past: making the most of historical reconstructions. Michael’s powerpoint and handout are in the resources section of the site. It was great to have such a full room on a Friday evening and the consensus was that this is an easier night, with no planning and marking for next day. We  shared the news about the first York History Nerds meeting (see the page on this site). If any other schools would like to be involved, please get in touch with The HA are looking for history teachers with 4+ years’ experience to help them trial their Chartered History Teacher process. We are keen to go through this as a York team, with a view to building up a pool of mentors who can work with colleagues to help them focus their PDR specifically to improve their history teaching. Colleagues were reminded that the HA has an initiative called One Big History Department . This is designed to provide teaching strategy solutions to classroom challenges, while also encouraging colleagues to link to the wealth of knowledge and expertise that exists and can be tapped via the HA website. Contributions are always needed. Please send them to It takes about 20 minutes to put one together and the guidance for contributions is:

  • Make it about a teaching strategy to address a particular challenge that your students have in history.
  • Or about a practical solution that you have trialled with your students.
  • Or alternatively, make it about a solution to a practical problem faced by history subject leaders.
  • It should be max 500 words.
  • It should give the @histassoc Twitter account as a link for comments and sharing ideas.
  • It should be clear that your teaching strategy has a theoretical underpinning and you should briefly outline what it is. (See draft entries for what we mean by this.)
  • It should give specific advice about where people can go for further help on the HA website.

Summer term 2017

We met at the King’s Manor and started with updates on new materials available on the YorkClio website including materials for teaching the latest Domesday Book research by Professor Stephen Baxter. Stephen was talking about the materials on Radio 4   The HA Secondary School Survery was about to go live and people were encouraged to complete it. It provides vital information for lobbying work. ‘One big History Department’ is an idea to make the Historical association more accessible to busy History teachers and also draw more traffic to the HA website. It will provide bitesized, good quality teaching ideas in the form of a blog. It would be great to have contributions from York.

James Walvin gave a lecture on the History of Slavery in small – and not so small objects. His talk was wide ranging and showed how seemingly beautiful objects like sugar bowls hid the cruel reality of the sugar trade. James answered questions on the topic of what caused the abolition of slavery. He made the point that he believed the tipping point in public attitudes was religious conviction caused by non-conformist religions. This is a hard idea to explain in an increasingly secular world.

Annette Aylett fed back on her meeting with the Oxford Schools Liaison Committee. They were keen to use the YorkClio network to suggest improvements to the History aptitude test. The test needs to be impossible to cram for. Hugh Richards has kindly agreed to take on the role of YorkClio Oxbridge liaison.

History Nerds Club is the plan to have a small YorkClio group of able students from year 10-13 who can be brought together to access some challenging History teaching. James Walvin very kindly agreed to provide these students with their first seminar experience and will be talking to them about The Slave Trade in September. Schools need to send names of students to get us started.

Spring term 2017

We met by the statue of the Emperor Constantine to start a whistle stop tour of the Norman Crypt before Evensong. Some of the pictures taken are with their descriptions in the Resources section on this site. There was just time to look up at the Edward I Scottish campaign shields and consider the Minster as standing during the Elizabethan age, as Evensong began and we repaired to the Learning Centre. Minster staff are keen to support teachers via subject updating for staff, visits for students, helping with archival work, supporting design of learning resources for students… whatever would be useful. Please contact Alex O’Donnell via for help with teaching and learning about the church throughout the ages and to any year group. It was good to see such a large number of colleagues, to share news and to gather thoughts for the forthcoming HA Secondary Committee Meeting.

Autumn term 2016

This time we met at the wonderfully historic King’s Manor thanks to the University of York – and for the cake. HA news included that there are more chances coming up to apply for a Historical Association Teaching Fellowship – please see the HA website. Sixth Form schools are encouraged to enter the Great Debate. Our local heat is the 2nd November – please enter via the HA website. There are chances to share GCSE resources – please see the list of who is doing what on the ‘news’ part of this site. The Anne Frank exhibition is going to Millthorpe, and later Fulford. They are keen to get into more schools and there will be a ‘find out more’ session at 4.30pm at Millthorpe on the 19th October. Ian Dawson canvassed views as to what people would like to see in a special medieval publication for the HA that is coming up next year. Please mail Ian with any other views to The main focus of our meeting was to hear about the England’s Immigrants project led by Professor Mark Ormerod and online at England’s Immigrants. The project from 1330-1550 now has learning resources on the site, designed by teachers for teachers, covering the secondary key stages, and including York material. It was a chance to learn some resonant history at the end of a day’s teaching and to learn about the source material, including the records of the tax on foreigners. A book with be published in about 18 months. Mark also recommends: Our Migration Story that has recently gone live and covers 2000 years.

Summer term 2016

Yorkclio had it’s summer meeting at Fountains Abbey. The theme of the evening was making connections to the Medieval World and exploring the familiar and the unfamiliar. Education Officer, Emma Manners explained how the site can be used by schools. Follow this link to find out more: Learning at Fountains Abbey. Ruth Lingard shared ideas for using the Bedale Horde to explore the complexities of Anglo-Saxon and Viking societies. Hugh Richards shared resources (including make-up and jihad!) to prepare Year 9 for thematic study. Ian Dawson took us on a tour of the Pastons, giving us a fascinating insight into the trials of living through a period of civil unrest (bring weapons but don’t forget to buy cloth for the kids clothes!). A fine picnic in the monastery refrectory, withthe place to ourselves, and even a game of tig made it a fitting end to a good first year for Yorkclio. You can find Ruth, Hugh and Ian’s learning materials on other blog posts.

Spring term 2016
We met at the Bar Convent and part of our meeting was viewing the new exhibition there and considering how we might use it in our teaching. There are links to various parts of the KS3 and 4 curricula and there is more info here:  We updated ourselves about what schools are planning to teach for GCSE and agreed to work across schools to share resources and plans. We also shared what each school is doing in a post-levels world.
 Autumn term 2015
At our first meeting, Ian Dawson shared his insights and some thoughts for activities concerning the new GCSE. He specifically focused upon how to ensure students really have a sense of the relationship between, and perspectives of, the many historical characters they encounter in some periods.  He suggested ways to approach thematic topics to ensure that the students are making progress in their understanding of change and continuity from day 1 of the course. Why not sample the germ activity via:  We shared current plans for the new GCSE. It was agreed that it would be useful to work together to create and share resources and ideas for teaching the new specs.