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Pupils regularly tell us that they enjoy learning when lessons are related to real-life scenarios, writes Paul Taylor, Trent College Academic Deputy. From a teacher’s perspective, helping pupils to see connections between what they already know and the subject matter can speed up the learning process.
In the second of a series of articles by Trent pupils, Year 7 student Alice Garner explains that what she is studying in History is regularly featured in the news.
History at Trent College is very interesting. I am in Year 7 and have only had a short experience with Key Stage Three history but we have already studied some very interesting subjects such as the peasants' revolt, crime and punishment, attack and defence of castles, and the Black Death. It is important that we learn about all of these things so we can understand why the world is how it is today and also where certain objects and sayings come from. Without history we would not be able to learn from mistakes made in the past, for example the poll tax which caused riots in 1381 (although that didn't stop Margaret Thatcher trying a similar idea again in 1990).
It is estimated that the Black Death killed somewhere between 75 and 200 million people worldwide in the fourteenth century. When you look at a modern parallel you might think of a disease like Ebola but of course since modern medicine is so much better than back then it hasn't killed as many people as the Black Death did.
Luckily there is no modern British parallel you can compare to medieval punishments like ordeal by water or the tithing system because the criminal system today is a lot more reasonable but I still learnt a lot of interesting facts when putting our current system into its historical context.
When we think about how people in the Middle Ages attacked and defended castles it teaches us about strategies in war and we can also use them to compare modern day wars and wars from 100s of years ago.
Personally I think history is one of the most important subjects at school because it seems the world never runs out of lessons to learn about history; after all today is the present but tomorrow today will be history!