The challenge | There was a whole school initiative for pupils to find their “voices”. Following the removal of Government & Politics as an A level option, the department sought to raise political awareness to help develop expression of ideas.

The method | A range of initiatives were put in place to develop pupils’ skills of argument:

  • Enhanced debating skills were developed in ‘Here I Am’ lessons at Key Stage 3 fed into pedagogy in History lessons
  • Enquiry-led lessons were developed at Key Stage 4, providing opportunities for debate
  • The use of no-hands-up policies and lesson plans which encouraged debate led pupils to structure their arguments more powerfully
  • Pupils participated in debates at Wirral Youth Parliament and the Historical Association Great Debate competition
  • The school hosted training for the Anne Frank Trust Ambassador Programme
  • A Twitter feed linking historical events to current affairs was started

The impact | By the end of the project 20 students opted to take History at A-level (compared to 9 at the beginning of the project) and there were 4 classes in Year 10 for the first time (in the last 10 years there have been only 3 classes).

At Key Stage 5, students have become significantly more confident in articulating ideas one student was made Young MP for Wirral in 2018. Another is currently Deputy Young MP. Student voice suggested that the Unit 1 at A Level had become more interesting and relevant now that current debates were used.

Contact | Sarah Davies