"This is History!" is the Schools History Project's Key Stage 3 scheme of work for National Curriculum history. Through a combination of in-depth and overview units, it offers varied, relevant and challenging diet for the whole Key Stage 3 history programme of study, "The Norman Conquest" is a depth study for the start of Y7 investigating the Norman Conquest of 1066 and its impact on England. Section 1 investigates why William was successful in invading and conquering England. Its primary focus is on the use of sources - explicitly tackling the problem that pupils can identify simple bias in sources but then struggle to explain the usefulness of those sources effectively. Pupils are shown how to write about untrustworthy sources such as the Bayeux Tapestry or the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and then can explain in their own words how the sources can be both useful or problematical depending on the question. Section 2 looks at the impact of the conquest on England. The work in this section also deals with sources, showing how the absence of sources makes it difficult to reconstruct the viewpoints of people at the time.
It also maintains a theme about rebellion: who rebelled against Norman control; how were they treated; who did William gain control of England. This book sets up many of the investigative angles which run throughout the whole of the series. How to handle sources; how to write clear explanations; how different political events through history have affected the way Britain is governed and the way they have affected the life of ordinary citizens.
Christopher Culpin is current Director of the Schools History Project. Ian Dawson is former Director of the Schools History Project. They are the series editors for This is History!