KS1/2 History – Interpreting Wolfgang’s Story

We take a critical look at an unusual way of teaching history There’s nothing like a good story to engage pupils. Graham Hicks at Eastfield School in Middlesex has developed the on-going tale of ‘Wolfgang’, a fictional German soldier to do just that. Wolgang’s story is woven around authentic historical events and uses real sources to build a complex picture of the past.

This unusual approach gets a critical work-out with history expert Bernie Ashmore. Bernie and Graham review footage of the lessons and get to grips with some probing questions: How effective is this approach? What about bias in taking the German point of view? What are the risks of mixing fact and fiction? Are pupils aware of which sources are authentic and which reconstructed? And how much does this method depend on a teachers’ subject knowledge?

Bernie Ashmore’s opinion is that, despite some risks, this is inspired history teaching, producing solid thinking skills and some excellent writing.

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