Today on World Book Day, students at The Totteridge Academy had a special visit in the form of medieval historian and TV presenter Dan Jones.
Jones, well-known author, Evening Standard Columnist and TV presenter, was invited to the school to deliver some fun and interactive writing workshops on key eras of history.
Across the day, there were a range of sessions designed to complement students’ curriculum topics, giving them the opportunity to write critically and creatively and bringing to life some of the most interesting and impactful periods of British and world history.
Year 7s at the academy were treated to a writing workshop on the Middle Ages, where they got to try on replica chainmail armour and imagine what a typical day was like for peasants and knights. For Year 8s, Jones took them through the history of the Stuarts, who reigned in England and Scotland from 1603 to 1714 – a period which included intense religious debate and radical politics.
In the afternoon, Year 9s had the chance to discuss and write about the 20th century rise of fascism and Nazism across Europe. This followed a quiz and writing seminar for Year 10s on the Cold War.
Chris Fairbairn, Principal at The Totteridge Academy, said:
“We were thrilled to welcome Dan Jones to our school for World Book Day to give our students a very entertaining and engaging storytelling tour of British and world history. As an author and presenter, his approach to the workshops brought to life to some of the most important and defining eras in British history, whilst covering a huge range of historical facts and key concepts. From the Middle Ages right through to the 20th Century, our students thoroughly enjoyed the chance to delve deeper into some fascinating topics and understand the lasting impact that moments in history have had on the world we see today.”
Dan Jones said of the workshops:
“I had a brilliant time leading the history sessions with The Totteridge Academy students today. Throughout the day, I was incredibly impressed by their subject knowledge, politeness and enthusiasm and each year group produced some excellent work.
“Students were really keen to get to know specific details behind the key historic periods that we discussed and got actively involved in asking and answering questions, using this in their writing. From testing out replica medieval armour to writing essays and creative pieces, I hope the sessions were a fun way for students to explore these topics outside their normal lessons.”