bringing out the best in boys

New Report Highlights Wellacre's Success in History

Posted at 1:57 pm on 22nd February, 2023

Heritage Schools Evaluation Report Released

We are delighted to share the positive feedback from the Heritage England Schools Evaluation report (2021-22).  Wellacre has been working with Historic England and Heritage Schools on a continuous project to develop and share learning resources on local history, and was invited to participate in the external evaluation of their work. 

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In the six years Wellacre has been working with Heritage Schools, the aim has been to create learning resources which bring the school’s local history and heritage to life, to increase a sense of local pride and to use the resources ‘on the doorstep’ to help teach the ‘national story’. 

The evaluation report details the impact of both CPD training and the impact of undertaking a Heritage Schools project has had on a number of partner schools, teachers, and pupils.  Year 9 and 10 students joined Mrs O’Neill, Assistant Principal and Teacher of History, to provide their opinions on Wellacre’s extensive work in the school and wider community.  

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Mrs O’Neill, alongside colleagues, have developed topics about Irlam Locks, Manchester Carnival and World War 1, which are now studied each year by students. The Manchester Carnival topic fits well with Wellacre’s new, more inclusive, curriculum.  2022 was the first year in which GCSE pupils have taken the OCR “History Around Us” module, which Mrs O’Neill created, with the support of the Local Heritage Education Manager and staff at Manchester Central Library, which focuses on St Ann’s Square in Manchester.  

Mrs O’Neill, said:

“Being involved with Heritage Schools has enriched Wellacre’s curriculum, directly and indirectly, because of the training and skills from Heritage Schools. Developing schemes of work around Irlam Locks, makes links to the wider curriculum better than if they were stand-alone history projects. And learning about the lives of local soldiers localises World War 1.”

The students who took part in the case study discussion talked about the value of learning about their local heritage, and of learning about ordinary people rather than monarchs and other people of power. Students can ‘see themselves’ in some of the history they have studied which reinforces their sense of belonging. These aspects make History easier to relate to and have increased the students’ enjoyment of, and interest in, the subject. 

Students’ positive feedback included:

“It makes you appreciate it more, if you understand more about it.”

“Learning History this way is good because we can relate to regular people better.  We can do it (achieve success) because we are regular people too.”

Mrs Sharrock, Principal, commented: 

“It is really important that students from diverse backgrounds here at Wellacre feel included through representation in history. In this way, the subject is reflective of their culture. We are proud of the commitment of our teaching staff and our students to this important work.”

Wellacre has also shared their Local History work by introducing transition workshops, funded by Heritage Schools.  They build on the local heritage topics developed by Mrs O’Neill, and introduce pupils and teachers from the feeder Primary schools to Wellacre and to the local heritage nearby. The workshops which took place in the Summer term 2022 have encouraged two of the primaries to become involved in Heritage Schools, and to have further collaborations with Wellacre for local history projects.

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The Heritage Schools programme is currently in its tenth year. Each region in the programme has a Local Heritage Education Manager (LHEM) who works with clusters of schools to help facilitate the use of local resources to teach the national history.  There were 223 schools new to Heritage Schools in 2021-22 and 321 schools in total (including those who Historic England have worked with on Heritage Schools projects in previous years). 

To read the full report, visit the Historic England website here:

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