Tuesday, 16 July 2013

In the news...

As the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War approaches, a lot is currently appear in the media on many aspects of the war. Below are my recommendations on a range of topics from food to fools!

How accurate is the history in Blackadder?

'As fans of Blackadder celebrate the 30th anniversary of the comedy's first broadcast, its stars Tony Robinson and Rowan Atkinson are recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Its fast-and-loose attitude to real events and characters is part of the appeal, but how close is any of it to real history?'


What did soldiers eat in the trenches?

'In the BBC series Blackadder Goes Forth, Baldrick memorably described the finest culinary delight available in the trenches of the First World War as “rat-au-van” – rat that had been run over by a van. In fact, new research suggests the standard of fare on offer to the men on the Western Front was, if perhaps repetitive, at least nutritious, plentiful and, on occasions, flavoursome.'


Trench humour - the story of the Wipers Times

'Before Private Eye there was The Wipers Times, a satirical newspaper which found comedy in the adversity of the First World War’s frontline.'


Generals of the FWW - Heroes not fools!

A very good article which outlines the historiography of the First World War and explains why it is important that the centenary events challenge the accepted myths and set the record straight!


Friday, 14 June 2013

New - Follow us on Twitter!

As part of our continued drive to engage our students and also provide them with support outside of the classroom, we have joined Twitter! You can now follow us; @fcchistory

We aim to provide A Level students with links, news items, ideas and advice, principally targeting the Unit 2 'Experience of Warfare' course and the Unit 3 'From Kaiser to Fuhrer' course (see our Yr13 sister blog - fccfromkaisertofuhrer.blogspot.co.uk). We also provide some ideas about leading academics who you can follow such as Professor Gary Sheffield. The account also allows you to ask questions!

Already we have tweeted about;

Max Hastings' 'controversial' comments regarding the 2014 WW1 Centenary events...
What British soldiers ate in the trenches...
Links to IWM WW1 podcasts
The story of Boy 1st Class Jack Cornwell VC

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Did Kitchener help or hinder the expansion of the army in 1914?

A really interesting article from the Western Front Association regarding Kitchener's role in the expansion of the British Army at the start of WW1.

Was Kitchener the hero who helped raise Britain's New Armies to face the challenge of a continental war, or did he in fact disrupt carefully made plans for the expansion of the army?! Well worth a read as it looks at both the Cardwell and Haldane Reforms as well.

To read the full article click here

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Final preparations for the exam

Every year my students ask me to try and predict what will come up in the exam. Every year I give them the same answer... "I don't have a crystal ball!" But what we do each year is take a look at what has come up in the past in order to help focus revision onto key topics. This table will show you what has been assessed in the past.

As this exam starts its 10th season you can see that a huge amount of the course has been assessed in the past. Therefore, it is anybody's guess as to where the examiner will choose to go next. Therefore, it is very important in this final week that you identify your weaker areas and focus your revision around those. My students have RAG'ed their knowledge and are working hard to turn those ambers 'not so sure' areas into greens 'I am happy with that'.

Also make sure that you know the nature and structure of the two questions. Use the links at the top of this page to find out more about the specific Assessment Criteria for each question.

Finally, remember that Work only comes after Success in the dictionary! Use these last few days to get yourself ready for the exam. Good luck!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

WW1 in the News

In the last few days there have been a number of interesting WW1 related items in the news.

Firstly, there was the report that two WW1 soldiers had finally been laid to rest. Lt John Pritchard and Pte Christopher Douglas Elphick of the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) were killed on 15 May 1917 in an attack on Bullecourt on the Western Front. Their remains were discovered in 2009 and have now been laid to rest in marked graves. More on this story is available from the BBC and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.



Secondly, a recent aerial archaeological study in Kent has uncovered a British Army training ground, which shows that as early as 1915 the British Army were experimenting with trench design and preparing their soldiers for trench warfare. This video tell the story...


Monday, 4 March 2013

WW1 Podcasts from the IWM

The Imperial War Museums' Centenary website continues to add to its podcasts. There are now 26 podcasts available about many aspects of the First World War. Many are directly relevant to the Experience of Warfare course and therefore are a great way of both learning more about the topic and also for revising.


Topics covered include;

Joining Up
Trench Life
The First Day of the Somme
Tanks on the Somme

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Last minute revision

With a couple of days to go, there is still time to do some last minute cramming if you are taking the January exam!

At this point, focus your revision on the areas you are still less sure about. You don't have enough time to do everything; you know the stuff you know; therefore use your time to add to your knowledge in those areas which still have a few gaps. Use the links down the right hand side of the blog to access information to help 'fill in your gaps'.

Also spend a little bit of time reading through the advice in the links at the top of the page on how to answer the questions. No doubt you will have spent a lot of time doing past exam questions this year so just remind yourself of how you should be answering Qa and Qb. Each question has different Assessment Objectives, so make sure you know what you should be looking for in each question. 

Finally, some general tips for the exam...

1. Plan your answers before you start writing. Take 10 minutes to carefully read and review each of the sources and produce a plan. This will ensure you don't rush into your answer. do this for each question.

2. If you allow 10 to plan each question, then the number of marks is proportional to the time you have (20 marks = 20 minutes). Keep an eye on the clock!

3. Use the sources as the basis of your answer. This will help keep you focused. Remember to give examples from the sources to support your argument.

4. Develop inferences (what does the source suggest to you?) and support these with evidence.

5. Always sum up your argument in a conclusion which clearly addresses the question!

Good luck!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Friday, 9 November 2012

Remembrance 2012

This weekend the nation will pause to remember those who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars, and in more recent conflicts. Below are a couple of links about different aspects of remembrance to remind us of why and who we remember.

Search the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's database for those who died in WW1 and WW2... http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead.aspx

You can also search for a local cemetery where you could take a moment to visit the graves of some of those who died from your local area... http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery.aspx

The history of why we wear the poppy at this time of year is explained here... http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/branches/shipston/poppy-appeal/history-of-the-poppy-appeal

An article from the BBC on 'Thankful Villages'. After WW1, there were only 52 towns or villages which did not have a war memorial. By 1945, this number had fallen to just 14. This article looks at the story of those 'Thankful villages' and the symbolic importance of the war memorial.... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15671943

Find you local war memorial here... http://www.ukniwm.org.uk/

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them".

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Military Medicine in the 20th Century

A new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North looks at how medical treatment had changed over the last 100 years. Here the curator, Matt Bronson talks through the exhibition, highlighting the changes in medical treatment from the First World War to today's war in Afghanistan.



The exhibit which opened yesterday will run until September 2013.

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