Student Voice within History

The success of the history department is, in part, the result of good relations between teachers and students. To this end the department regularly asks students from all age and ability groups to offer their honest opinions about their learning experiences in history. This is done through informal conversations with students and through the completion of a ‘Student Questionnaire’ containing a number of questions relating to what students enjoy about their lessons to what areas could be improved to enhance the learning experience. The vast, vast majority of questionnaires offer very favourable comments (see below). It is always pleasing to read that students go to their history lessons expecting to enjoy them and feel challenged. However, students have also offered suggestions as to how their learning could be improved, and we aim, wherever possible, to take on board these suggestions and act on them. For example…

Year 10 students said they “struggled remembering key points about Weimar Germany for my exam because it was very political and difficult to understand, especially when we did it first in Year 10.”

In response, the department changed the order of teaching so that Weimar Germany was studied closer to the exam, incorporating a number of teaching and learning techniques into the schemes of work to aid knowledge and understanding of the key points. Hopefully, this will be reflected in the exam results!

Year 8 students said they “wanted to study the British political changes in less detail, and spend some more time looking at what life was like for ordinary people.”

In response, the department reduced the amount of teaching time spent on political change and added a new topic of study – school days in Victorian England, taught before a local study of the Burston School strike.

We will continue to seek the views of our students to improve their chances of success. However, as can be seen from the quotes below, the department already does much that is fantastic…

History lessons are “fun”, “very interesting”, “very enjoyable”, “the best”…

The topics studied “inspire me”, “make me want to find more out”

Even the Formal Assessments are enjoyed by some…(!)

 

History Student Voice

Diss High School

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