Active Learning on

Activities, Discussions and Background Material for GCSE

This separate GCSE page was created in response to the GCSE changes of 2015-2016 but does not divide material by awarding body specification. There are just too many overlaps and too little time to make that feasible. We have simply divided the existing material into the groupings in the boxes below, based largely on chronological period or thematic topic.

Not all the activities in this section were devised for GCSE but please don’t reject an activity because it was originally devised for KS3. In their original form they may well provide an introductory level of knowledge for you to build on – students learn best when information is provided in layers so they gain knowledge and confidence gradually. Alternatively you can adapt activities to increase the demands in terms of knowledge and understanding. If it’s a good activity, based on sound teaching and learning principles, it will work at GCSE and at A level too – you just need to increase the demands you make of students.

You can see the full list HERE …

Raising Attainment

A series of articles by Dale Banham and myself identifying and exploring key strategies for improving students’ attainment.


Discussions and Issues

Discussions – about teaching particular topics, about ways of tackling particular problems, whatever turns up really.

See the resources HERE …

General Teaching Techniques

A range of teaching ideas and techniques that can be used in a variety of contexts. They don’t fit neatly into the other boxes but that doesn’t mean they’re not useful!

See the resources HERE …

Resources by Period

Activities, discussions and background material divided by period as follows:

• Norman Conquest
• c.1100 – c.1500
• 16th-19th Centuries
• 20th Century

See the resources HERE …

Resources for Thematic Studies

Activities, discussions and background material for two thematic studies:

• Medicine
• Crime

See the resources HERE …


Books for 2016 Edexcel GCSE
and useful for other specs, too!

For books click here.


Latest Additions

Eye Spy Gestapo

The reign of Elizabeth I: A Scripted Drama

"Like Hell With the Lid Off"

Using family history to reveal the people behind 19thC public health statistics

Population: Continuity and Change

The Battle of Agincourt
(HA site)

‘Efficient and ingenious.’ Why is that an accurate description of the Domesday Survey and Norman government?

What does Domesday Book reveal about the Impact of 20 years of Norman rule?

Helping Students with Provenance

Understanding the English Succession: 1051-66

Nationalities and Family Connections: 1066

Why was William able to invade in 1066?

Medieval Public Health

The ideas of Hippocrates and Galen

The Impact of the Normans

Who's Who?

Raising Attainment

York Coin Hoards

Making Magna Carta Personal

My grandfather, the Great War and Medicine