The Battle of Waterloo by @Waterloo200org

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Battle of Waterloo Painting


Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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This is a blog to help students, teachers and my blog readers, rediscover the Battle of Waterloo; the 200th anniversary year.

Forgotten History:

From an early age, I studied History up to Advanced Level at 6th form college. Struggling with literacy and lengthy essay-writing, made a love of the subject, much more difficult to achieve and embrace! But, I never realised how much I found history fascinating. We can learn so much from the past to inform our future.

As a technologist, history and the evolution of design informs creative decisions and material manufacture influences the choices I make in my classroom. In any school subject, each specialism has a depth of knowledge to be learnt. Drawing on knowledge from the past, the history of mathematics, or French can offer a source to be shared and analysed in lessons of today. However, our curriculum and restricted syllabus time may restrict what we can and cannot achieve in the classroom …

Subject Knowledge:

I have taught History at key stage three, but I am no expert. One thing I did learn from teaching history, is that there is a (glimmer of) crossover from subject to subject for any teacher who may find themselves teaching a second subject. Using my design technology experience, I was able to use my degree knowledge and skills to combine teaching and learning episodes in the history classroom. But, no matter how hard I had revised, planned and controlled behaviour in the classroom, there was one key area in my repertoire that was lacking, my subject knowledge beyond A-level.

I found myself exposed.

Now, this is not a blog about teachers, unqualified or not, teaching second subjects in schools. Many teachers do find themselves in this position, and many schools often find themselves with no other choice, but to draw on the goodwill of colleagues to teach in unfilled vacancies after weeks and months of supply teachers in classrooms.

If we cannot populate or classrooms with qualified teachers, we leave our students with gaps in their own knowledge. If we do not have a curriculum that can cover key themes – whether this be design history or history – and we do not give our teachers the time to teach in detail, we will cultivate students who are ‘Jack-of-All-Trades’, and a ‘Master-of-None.’

The Battle of Waterloo:

I never had the pleasure of teaching the Battle of Waterloo in my history lessons. Yet, in classrooms across the country, the events of 1815 and the Battle of Waterloo are fast becoming a forgotten relic of history. It is one of the most important battles in British and world history. It ushered in a century of British global domination and it shaped Europe in ways that have endured to the present day.

Battle of Waterloo Painting 1815

Image: Wikipedia


@Waterloo200org would like to rediscover the Battle of Waterloo by inviting schools to find out about a soldier who fought in the battle and more importantly, came from your area. Waterloo 200 will be officially launching this project on February 19th 2015.

Waterloo 200 timeline

Iconic Artefacts:

Secondly, Waterloo 200 would like school students to examine one of the iconic artefacts that help explain the history behind the battle and its era. Leading family history website Find My Past has a great Waterloo archive set up; to provide teachers and students with free access to online records to conduct research on a soldier. Waterloo 200 will provide details of the item.

Waterloo 200 artefacts History

The research into both the soldiers and objects from each school will feature in an eBook that will be sent to every school in the country and will be posted on the Waterloo 200 website. In addition any school that helps us rediscover the battle will be invited to send a student and accompanying adult to the national commemoration in St. Paul’s Cathedral on June 18th 2015. The school will also receive a certificate and facsimile Waterloo campaign medal for their efforts.

At this stage, Waterloo 200 need an email from you if are interested in taking part, please provide a contact name, school address and an email address. If you’d like to find out more, click here to download the letter; Waterloo 200 Letter to Schools.

You can read About Waterloo 200 here.

*this is not a sponsored post; more about a re-discovered love of History.


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