The Department of History engages with the wider community of Nottingham in many ways. Some of these are detailed below.
If you would like to learn more about these or to discuss other ideas for engagement please contact our Widening Participation and Schools Liaison Officer Dr Joe Merton:
Email Joe Merton
T: +44 (0)115 951 5938
History Society schools volunteering project
History Society schools volunteering project
Every year more than 50 History students volunteer in primary and secondary schools across Nottingham, delivering History lessons and afterschool clubs, through the History schools volunteering project.
This scheme is organised by the student History Society, the Department of History and the University’s Widening Participation team. It runs in two six-week blocks each year (October-December; February-April) and is designed to give students valuable experience of working in a classroom environment, and to develop aspiration and enthusiasm for History among local students and schoolchildren. Student contributions are tailored to meet the curriculum needs of the participating school.
Download a description of the project
The children loved working with the students. They hot seated characters from Goodnight Mr Tom; they worked out clues about the owners of various bags of belongings; they acted as reporters using WW2 photos and they devised their own rationing. This was hands-on history and the children loved it.
This was a very valuable project from which the children learned a great deal.
The students were very professional and well prepared.
The volunteers were down to earth, great role-models and gave some very effective one-to-one individual attention to all our students… It was a brilliant success… I have no doubt that there were some conversations about university going on between our students and their families as an additional consequence.
Schools and teachers interested in the project should email Joe Merton in the Department of History or telephone 0115 951 5938, or email Hannah Millwater, Outreach Officer (Primary Schools) in the Widening Participation team.
Teachers’ development workshops
The Department of History offers an annual programme of workshops for secondary and sixth form History teachers, designed to offer opportunities for professional development, training and support, to develop networks between History teachers and academic staff from the Department of History, and establish lasting contacts between schools and the University of Nottingham.
Running for the first time in spring 2014, the workshops have covered topics such as the British Civil Wars, Nazi Germany, and post-Second World War Britain. Areas for discussion and development have included:
- Improving expertise and subject knowledge
- New developments in the historiography and secondary literature
- Developing primary source skills
- Bringing historiography into teaching
- Broadening access to resources and source material
- Making use of online resources and technology
Generally found them all really interesting and useful. The historiography was particularly helpful and it was quite reassuring in that the message I'm giving to students at A-level about History, seems to be similar to the ones that are being given at the university.
The handbooks/teaching material… [offered] a really interesting insight into how History is now taught at university level. This is really useful in terms of preparing/advising students regarding skills for university study.
A huge thanks for all involved as they were really helpful and brilliantly organised. Enjoyable and effective, so thanks! Would definitely recommend and attend again.
The workshops are open to all secondary and sixth form History teachers from across the East Midlands, and it is expected that another programme of workshops will run again in 2016–17. For more information, please email Joe Merton or telephone 0115 951 5938.
Public lectures and events
The Department of History organises a number of public lectures and events each year.
Past highlights include a Black History Month public lecture given by activist JoNina Abron-Ervin on the Black Panther Party, which attracted more than 120 visitors from local schools, community groups and the wider university, and a public exhibition organised by Dr Karen Adler and her Year 3 students to mark the 75th anniversary of the November Pogrom.
This year we have welcomed
- Professor Robin Law, Emeritus Professor of African History at the University of Stirling, who discussed the 17th-century slave trade;
- local historian Norma Gregory, who discussed the history of the Jamaican community in Nottingham; and
- Professor Jefferson Cowie, James G Stahlman Chair of History at Vanderbilt University, who discussed the power of American conservatism.
See details of upcoming events