As we approach Armistice Day I thought it would be appropriate to put the spotlight on History. You may have heard about the recent controversy surrounding the contestants on the BBC TV show, The Apprentice. If you are not aware of the issue – the contestants were asked to source a pre-WWII edition book. However, they had a distinct lack of knowledge – no one knew the date when the war began. On the back of this a 22 year old instagram influencer appeared on GMTV to state that the teaching of World War II was not relevant in schools. I have to say that I wholeheartedly disagree.
I have had the pleasure of watching our learners in their History lessons and can honestly tell you I have been impressed by the depth of knowledge and detail that our learners go into. I have found exemplary note taking and a real thirst for exploration. The skills that History develops are transferable across so many other disciplines; they are a vital part of learning. The ability to evaluate sources of information, to be critical, to argue a viewpoint, to tell stories, to understand political shifts and to predict the future, all stem from an understanding of the past. History ignites our interest in stories about an individual, a nation or even a community.
So back to Armistice Day, a day that marks a significant part of our history and the progress we have made as the human race. Learning about and understanding our history is the only way we can learn from our mistakes. Leaving this out of a curriculum is unthinkable.
However you choose to recognise or mark this event I think you would find it hard to disagree on the significance that it holds. Few things have altered the course of history and shaped the modern world as much as the first World War.
I wish you all well this weekend.