Newstead Wood School

Newstead Wood School

Learning to Fly

Outstanding students of History become so because they are passionate about the subject and are willing to work independently to develop their knowledge and extend and challenge their thinking. 

 Examples of what they do are listed below - do as many of these as you can to attain the top levels at GCSE. If you are considering applying to any of the Russell Group universities, and especially Oxbridge, these habits need to become second nature asap! 

 Remember that just doing what we tell you - in lessons and beyond – will not be enough.

 In lessons

  • Ask questions about what we are leaning and contribute to class discussion
  • Good questions could start with:
    • ○ “Is it a bit like…?”
    • ○ “Can you tell me more about…”
    • ○ “What is…?”
    • ○ “I agree/disagree with… because… What does everyone else think?”
  • Think critically about your own work and find ways to improve it
  • Listen to other students and the teacher and be ready to challenge their ideas!
  • Think about ways in which new knowledge fits in with what you already know

 Between your lessons

  • Look back over your notes and activities after each lesson
  • Review the work - make sure you know what you have or haven’t understood
  • Read ahead or around the topic, using textbooks, articles or websites
  • Make notes of any questions to ask your teachers or look up
  • Contact your teacher, in person or by email, to ask for clarification and guidance

 Beyond your lessons

  • Watch relevant history documentaries or historical films, read historical novels or nonfiction and keep a brief record in your folder of what you’ve seen/read and how it relates to what you’ve been studying
  • Talk to your friends and family about what you have seen/read
  • Listen to podcasts like ‘In Our Time’ on BBC Radio 4 (available on iPlayer) which discuss specific historical events

 We recognise that you have busy lives and that this level of engagement is not always possible all the time - but this is what you should aim for if you want to reach the highest level in the subject. You don’t need to do ALL of these things to improve in History - just doing one or two of them will have an impact.