The second of my starting year 7 resource posts for my son is going to be on History resources. It is another easy post because I really have LOVED the series that I used with my oldest for her KS3 History and I am sticking with in. It is the Aaron Wilkes History series from Oxford University Press. The series is split into 3 books and we used one book for each of her KS3 years and we are going to stick with that for my son. So Year 7 History is Invasion, Plague and Murder, Year 8 will be Revolution, Industry and Empire and Year 9 Technology, War and Independence.
Okay so why do I LOVE this series so much – the book is written in a very logical manner, they include all the facts you need and lots of extra interesting information. They use pictures and diagrams which does bring the topic to life and make it more memorable. So fact wise this book covers everything you need and a bit more. But it is the questions that really elevate this book for me. On every double page they include some quick questions in a box called Over To You – which are basically questions on the text that you have just read. (questions to make sure you have understood what you have read).
Then at the end of each chapter you get a Quick Knowledge Quiz (again testing you understand what you have read throughout the chapter) and Literacy Focus questions (things like note taking, PEEL paragraphs or writing in detail).
And finally you get the History Skill Questions. These are the ones that are worth their weight in gold. These questions are honestly just by themselves enough of a reason to get this book. They are longer writing questions which help to build up the skills required to answer the history questions that you would get later on (GCSE or IGCSE). And they have included step by step guidance on how to structure your answers. When I say these questions are gold I really do mean that because with hindsight after working through all three books with my oldest and now being about to start her IGCSE History course with her I actually feel like we already have a good foundation in place on how to tackle these longer worded questions and I don’t feel that they are as intimidating. I really can not stress it enough how these longer questions and the step by step guidance on answering them are just some of the best stepping stones you will find in terms of helping your kids structure longer answers.
Okay so what topics does it cover.
- 1066 and William the Conqueror
- The Normal Conquest
- Religion in the Middle Ages
- Life in the Middle Ages (and this is what they call a depth study so it includes lots of fascinating detail)
- Power in the Middle Ages
- Health and Medicine
- England at War (Wales, Scotland, Ireland and France) and the War of the Roses
- The start of The Tudors (Henry VII and Henry VIII)
- Medieval Britain what changed
So that is our main History book but we do like to make History come alive, so we tend to watch quite a few documentaries (there is a great 3 part documentary called 1066 A Year to Conquer England), we like visiting places and reading extra books. I often just find these extra bits as we cover the topics but I do already have a few extra books lined up. These are a few of the books that I already have as they are part of the BIG CAT series by Collins (which we love). I use these as a quick read before we start a topic.
And of course we love the Oaka Books Topic Packs for all of our KS3 subjects. I already have these History Topic Packs lined by for my son. With the history packs I often use these as revision after we we finished our topic.
So that is our History. I really cannot stress enough how much a LOVE the KS3 History series by Aaron Wilkes.
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