GIRALDUS - Issue 1

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GIRALDUS For learners and teachers of WJEC History

Issue One – September 2021

Welcome... ... to this first edition of Giraldus, the magazine for teachers and learners of WJEC History. The magazine has been developed in order to facilitate discussions about the study of history as outlined in the various WJEC specifications. We hope to use it to enable learners to reach their full potential in the subject, and also to show how the skills they will develop in History are useful in their everyday lives. We also hope to hear from you: to find out your interests and what you would like from WJEC History. For issues specific to the magazine, you can email us directly at Finally we'd like to thank all the contributors to this first edition, all of whom have given their time and expertise for free.

Cover, above and right: the Neolithic burial ground at St Lythan’s, Vale of Glamorgan. Credit: Neil Evans Opposite: Gerald of Wales, St David's Cathedral, Pembrokeshire. Credit: Wolfgang Sauber – CC BY-SA 3.0 2

Why Giraldus? Finding a name for a new magazine was not so easy – particularly for one that will be published in two languages. Thinking about titles threw up a wide range of possibilities, but one that worked well in both Welsh and English was tricky. We found the perfect compromise in naming our magazine after someone whose name is synonymous with medieval Welsh history: Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerallt Cymro/Gerald of Wales).

Born c.1145 in Manorbier Castle, Giraldus was the grandson of Princess Nest, sometimes referred to as the “Helen of Wales” not only for her beauty but also because she was once kidnapped by an eager suitor. Giraldus was part Welsh, part Norman and, typical of his time, was educated in Wales, England and France. Ordained as a priest, his ambition was to be appointed Bishop of St David’s, and then to persuade Pope Innocent III to elevate the bishopric to the same status as Canterbury. This would have made Giraldus the Archbishop of Wales. To support his case, Giraldus wrote extensively on Welsh history; but let’s say that his recounting of the past was not entirely accurate, although he made much of the lineage of the Welsh princes. He also wrote about the geography of Wales as well as the social and economic conditions of its people. Although he never did achieve his ambition, history has been kind to him in that his name has come down to us across the centuries and we remember him fondly.




Previous page and right: decorative detail and statuary from the Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción y San Felipe y Santiago de Montevideo Credit: Neil Evans

Welcome 2 Why study History? What can History do for you?


An introduction to GCSE


An introduction to A-level


Fake news? 12 Working with sources and interpretations: in AS and A-level history Q&A


History and me 19 How the study of history has shaped the career of Daniela Senés News and updates 21 Including an update on the NEA The Kossuth Connection 22 Developing national consciousness Patterns of migration 26 Focus: Cardiff Bay The view from the classroom 29 Teaching History in light of the Black Lives Matter movement 5

Why study...

History? Dr Roger Turvey Dr Turvey was head of History at a secondary school in south west Wales for 25 years. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, he has written study guides on medieval and early modern English history for several examination boards, and is the author of many books and articles in academic journals on aspects of the history of medieval and Tudor Wales.

‘Historians are dangerous people. They are capable of upsetting everything.' Nikita Khrushchev, 1956


Above right: The salvaged statue of Edward Colston, M Shed, Bristol. © Bristol City Council

Reason enough perhaps to study history to become part of a community whom the leaders of totalitarian regimes (and some democratic ones – think Richard Nixon) fear because they fear the truth. Historians are truth-seekers, the pursuit of which has become ever more complicated in today’s world. We live in an era when phrases such as ‘your truth’, ‘my truth’, ‘their truth’, have entered the lexicon of everyday speak but there is only one truth based on facts, the rest is assumption, interpretation and opinion. What we do with those facts is important, for as the Roman scholar and philosopher, Marcus Tullius Cicero said ‘the first law of historical writing is the truth’.

In the opinion of the distinguished historian, Sir Richard Evans, studying history gives people ‘the skills to look critically at evidence and to distinguish fact from fiction’. In an age of disinformation, misinformation and so-called ‘fake news’, the skills of the historian are, therefore, more important than ever. However, if ‘danger’ and ‘upset’ is not your thing, then fear not for studying history does necessarily make one an historian but the skills acquired through that study – analysis, comprehension, communication, critical thinking, decision-making, research and writing – are intrinsically valuable and easily transferable. It is important to remember that an historical education does not stop when a child leaves school but continues throughout adult life. This can be seen in the upsurge of interest in tracing and researching one’s family.

The relationship between skills and content is a tense one and may never be satisfactorily resolved so it is well to remember that, at its core, History is about stories and storytelling and what makes it compelling is that these are stories that actually happened. It is in the discussion and debating of the values and virtues of these stories that connects us with the past and the people and events involved in their making. Nevertheless, we must be wary of those like Mark Twain who said ‘Never let the truth get in the way of a good story’. Truth is stranger than fiction, and very often more exciting! Thus, History is far more than simply learning and remembering a list of dates and facts – though a good memory helps! – it is about what we do with those facts. Facts may not change

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but our interpretation of them does and this leads to debate – the very lifeblood of History. Clearly, the study of History has much to recommend it and the benefits are, to use a word not universally popular among historians, obvious, but the truth is, the subject is under pressure and its merits are not held in high regard by everyone. In an unguarded moment in 2003 the then Education Secretary, Charles Clarke, is alleged to have said: ‘I don’t mind there being some medievalists around for ornamental purposes, but there is no reason for the state to pay for them’. If true, this would be a disappointing argument as medievalists have much to offer – and there is much to learn from how societies operated and evolved in earlier times of religious, economic, cultural, political and social upheaval. This brings us back to ‘Why study History?’, an oft-quoted question asked of History teachers by parents regarding their child’s options for either GCSE or AS/A-level. Perhaps the question should be Why not study History? Why not avail yourself of the opportunity to study a subject that has the capacity to engage, enthuse and inspire? Why not allow yourself the luxury of being captivated by a good story, to be entertained and transported to another time and place? After all, as the novelist LP Hartley said, ‘The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there’. In a period of pandemic panic that discourages foreign travel, History may provide an escape route of sorts! We do not need to sell History as vital and relevant, and we should be less defensive in our approach to the subject. History teaches us to question, to be sceptical, and to understand that people will often have different viewpoints, many of which may have some validity. History teaches us to look beyond the headlines, to analyse, for example, the reasons for the furore surrounding the toppling of Colston in Bristol or the destruction of Palmyra in Syria against the celebration of the removal of statues dedicated to Stalin or the obliteration of swastikas from Nazi-era public buildings in Germany. In the final analysis, we should study History for the simple reason it is, or has the potential to be, enjoyable, fulfilling and satisfying. The study of History need not be a means to an end, it can be an end in itself. The final word should perhaps go to Robert Heinlein, a former US naval officer, aeronautical engineer and science fiction writer, who said, ‘A generation which ignores history has no past and no future’. 8

Main image: The Great Colonnade and Monumental Arch at Palmyra, Syria. Credit: Pixabay Opposite: Sztálin szobor, Budapest, Hungary in 1953. Credit: Gyula Nagy, CC BY-SA 3.0 Stalin's damaged head following the destruction of the statue in 1956. Credit: Róbert Hofbauer, CC BY-SA 3.0


An introduction to

GCSE History An introduction to

GCSE History

The world is changing. The world is always changing – mostly for the better, but not always. To understand if those changes are progressive ones, we need knowledge of the past: it is essential in understanding and trying to make sense of what is happening now. And that is where GCSE History is beneficial. It helps us to understand the complex world in which we live; teaching us to think critically, to analyse the past and develop the skills needed to discern fact from fiction even today, to understand that there are forces that are constantly trying to shift and shape our opinions – often on an emotional basis that has little to do with the real-world situation. This critical thinking is an essential skill – now more than ever. In a world of 24-hour news, non-linear television and ever-increasing access to technology we need to be careful about what we hear and read as well as what we say and write. In this area, one technological development stands head and shoulders above the others: social media, those channels of instant communication with their sharing of opinions – informed or, invariably, otherwise – that are driven by the desire to gain "likes", even when those "likes" are at the expense of others. And, of course, one cannot think about social media without considering the proliferation of fake news. In a world such as this (and let's not to be too severe on the world - for most of us it is undoubtedly better to be alive today than 100, 500, 1000 years ago), critical thinking isn't a luxury: it is a tool to get us through every day and to make a success of life. Being a thoughtful, rational, critical person will never hold somebody back, instead it will help them to achieve their full potential. Employers are always looking for people who think critically and analytically – the key attributes of the historian. Studying GCSE History will help you develop these attributes, and hopefully, instil an interest in the past, in events, in stories, in cultures and in people.

Dylan Jones GCSE History Subject Officer & Humanities Domain Leader (WJEC & Eduqas) Prior to joining WJEC, I was Head of History for many years in a Cardiff secondary school, teaching both GCSE and A-level. I have taught a range of topics including Nazi Germany and European fascism. Pictured above, a detail from the tiled mural of Picasso's "Guernica", Gernika, Basque Autonomous Community, northern Spain. Credit: Pixabay 10

Through completion of the course learners gain improved abilities in absorbing large quantities of information, sifting content, analysing sources and interpretations, shaping arguments and reaching balanced conclusions. They can do this through the study of a several eras and themes that are drawn from a rich range of options. These include: • Wales and the Wider perspective • History with a European/ World focus • Thematic studies from a broad historical perspective Somewhere in there will be options that spark interest. Find them and use them to shape a progressive world view.

Many, though not all, A-level History students will have studied the subject at GCSE and will have a reasonably good idea what to expect from this subject. Even if GCSE History was not studied, the skills developed in other subjects are easily transferred to this discipline. The course has three aims. To enable learners to:

An introduction to

A-level History

• develop knowledge and understanding, and to prepare them to make analytical and evaluative judgements about that knowledge and understanding • analyse and evaluate evidence and make judgements as to its value (see pages 12–16 for more on this) • explore how interpretations are formed and to make critical judgements about those interpretations. All of these are important skills – their value should not be underestimated. In completing the course, there are a number of pathways that can be followed. For example, it is possible to choose a pathway that focuses on medieval and early modern history, covering: Europe in the sixteenth century (AS Unit 1); the Civil War and its aftermath c.1625–1660 (AS Unit 2 and A2 Unit 4); and resistance, conquest and rebellion in Wales c.1240–1415 (A2 Unit 3). An alternative pathway is to study the history of people and societies, exploring Wales and England c.1880–1980 (AS Unit 1); the US Civil War and its aftermath, c.1840–1877 (AS Unit 2 and A2 Unit 4); and Russia, c. 1881–1989 (A2 Unit 3).

Neil Evans GCE History Subject Officer (WJEC) Before joining WJEC I worked at an international exam board for five years having previously taught A-level History at a sixth-form college for ten years. My main areas of focus were late-medieval and early modern Wales, England and Europe. Pictured above, a statue of the German reformer, Philipp Melanchthon, Lutherstadt-Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Credit: Pixabay

In fact, there are 34 options and over 200 different pathways that can be chosen. While these are usually chosen by centres (i.e. schools and colleges), many of which opt to offer more than one pathway, there is scope for learners to contribute to the direction of their own learning. They may choose a nonexamination assessment (NEA) – or coursework – option that contrasts or complements the pathway they are studying. Many centres offer up to four different NEA titles to help learners do this, but if a learner has an interest in a specific issue of history and wants to study it for their NEA, then they can – via their teacher – submit their own title to WJEC for approval. Whatever pathway is chosen, we hope that learners enjoy A-level history, that they build on the skills developed at GCSE and use them to become an inquiring, reflective and open-minded thinker who makes a positive contribution in life. 11

Fake news? When a source is a source (and when it isn't) Neil Evans Subject Officer, GCE History When is a source a source and when is an interpretation an interpretation? What is the difference and how can they be used to develop a better understanding of events – both past and present.

Credit: Pixabay


When establishing and expressing their ideas, historians are faced with a tough task; they may know some information about an issue but they need evidence to inform, develop and support their ideas. Getting this evidence can be fairly straightforward: they have studied a subject, have access to libraries, museums, galleries and collections of sources, and the internet provides them with vast amounts of information from around the world. In fact, finding information is more straightforward now than it has ever been; but ease of access also leads to problems. Is there too much information? What evidence should they choose? Is the available evidence in a language the historian can understand? Is one side of an argument hidden behind a paywall and the other side freely available? The key word above is “choose”. How does the historian make choices when they are developing their interpretations about events in the past? Do those choices reflect the personal interest – or bias – of the historian? And do we, in our turn, impose our own biases when we read and review those historians’ works and build our own interpretations? There is a great deal of thinking to unpack here, but when it is done it makes the process – and our awareness of our own role in that process – much easier to understand. The three core elements of this thought process are: (1) the nature and context of sources; (2) the development of interpretations (3) is the evidence biased and/or unreliable? Working back to front, so that we can get to the issue of sources with a clear head, we'll start with (3). The concept of bias is overused and misunderstood by many who study History, as well as by many who do not. All the time we make judgements – either consciously or unconsciously – about people and their views, which align with our personal feelings on issues. And sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that Historians are above that. They aren't. Historians may be more aware of bias than some other people, and their work is subject to careful review and criticism by their peers, but they cannot avoid bias altogether, so we should not

assume that everything historians say is reliable. At the same time, we are only too quick to assert that other people are biased, and therefore unreliable, because they are “very bad people”. That their view is somehow worth less. But is that always true? Bad people can sometimes offer valuable information. Let’s take a hypothetical source as an example... Most historians of Nazi Germany accept that Reinhard Heydrich, the “Butcher of Prague” was an evil person. Further, most of us would accept that Adolf Hitler could be described as evil too. If we had a document in which Hitler defended Heydrich, we would likely be unsurprised and think “Well, of course he would defend Heydrich. Evil people!” and then dismiss the source as unreliable – even when some of its content may be clearly correct. But what if, in our hypothetical source, Hitler argued that Heydrich was cruel and unjust? Now, we are a little more surprised and, with our bias challenged, we start to consider the source more deeply, looking for areas of reliability. Hitler, an evil man, thinks that Heydrich is an evil man. Does this sink Heydrich even lower in our estimation? Very possibly, and that is why the content and context of the source affects how we perceive its degree of bias and reliability. Interpretations can be made by anybody – we all interpret information hundreds of times every day. Interpretations are simply accounts of, or views about, an event that has taken place. As such, do not think that only historians make interpretations: an article in a newspaper or magazine could offer an interpretation. So could a book, documentary, television programme or film, especially when that book, documentary, programme or film portrays, or is set in, a time in the past. The 1939 film Gone with the Wind (based on Margaret Mitchell's 1936 book of the same name) is a good example of this. It is a fictionalised account of what life was like during and soon after the US Civil War, but it offers a clear interpretation of how some people in the 1930s viewed events in the southern states in the 1860s. There have long been criticisms of the film’s portrayal of its characters, but the interpretation presented in the film is now very outdated, and in many respects offensive. Nonetheless, the film still has value outside of its cultural impact: historians can use it to study how understanding of the issue of race and slavery evolved over the course of the twentieth century.

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Using the sources and your own knowledge, analyse the value of these three sources to an historian studying the US election of 2020.

Source A US President, Donald Trump, in a speech to his supporters (6 January 2021) Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy. And after this, we’re going to walk down – and I’ll be there with you – we’re going to walk down. We’re going to walk down – any one you want – but I think right here. We’re going to walk down to the Capitol. And we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. And we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness: you have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. Today we will see whether Republicans stand strong. Source B Q-anon 'shaman' Jacob Chansley and other President Trump supporters inside the US Capitol (6 January 2021)

Credit: SAUL LOEB / Getty images


Source C Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, then Senate Majority Leader, in an address to the US Senate (19 January 2021) The last time the Senate convened, we had just reclaimed the Capitol from violent criminals who tried to stop Congress from doing our duty. The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government, which they did not like. But we pressed on. We stood together and said an angry mob would not veto power over the rule of law in our nation. Not even for one night. We certified the people’s choice for their 46th president. Tomorrow, President Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris will be sworn in. We’ll have a safe and successful inaugural right here on the West front of the Capitol, the space President Bush (41) called democracy’s front porch.

Completing source-based questions at AS and A-level If you decide to complete this GCE-based activity, there are a few things to remember: • Avoid trawling through the sources consecutively, i.e. "A says this..., B says this..., C says this..." • Instead, try to value the sources collectively, i.e. Sources A and C suggest that... but Source B counters this by suggesting... However, Sources B and C both imply that..." After all, the question is asking how valuable the three sources are, not how valuable is each source. • Consider – and note – what the sources add to historians' understanding, but think of them in context. • Do not state what the sources don't include, but do mention if they give a skewed or misleading representation of events. For example, writing that a source written on Day One is useless because it doesn't mention something that happened on Day Two is pointless. It couldn't - it was written before that something happened. However, you can argue that the sources' value is limited if they don't give the full picture of an event, or overlook an important aspect. This is a nuanced approach that requires practise. • Think about how far the sources contribute to – or challenge – what you know; for this task, how valuable are these three sources in the specific context of the events surrounding the US election of 2020, and the general context of the Trump presidency? • Finally, make a judgement. The question is, after all, How valuable...? To assist in clarifying your thoughts about Donald Trump's presidency, we have provided a timeline of key events on page 16. As with all history options, however, the content is suggested. You may wish to add additional – or other – material to support the arguments you make. There are further instructions on how to approach this task on page 16. 15

Timeline of events The activity on the previous pages is designed to help AS and A-level History students think about all the things they need to consider when looking at historical sources. It uses a recent event (the US Presidential election of November 2020 and the months that followed) and puts this in context. The timeframe of the sources is much narrower than would usually be seen in an examination, but this has been done with purpose: so that it is possible to look at how events changed (rapidly in this case), put them in their specific and wider context, think about who is responsible for them, why they were created and what is their value in relation to the question.

The presidency of Donald J Trump...

Monday, 12 August 2019 A whistleblower alleges that Trump is trying to gain foreign assistance to help win the 2020 election. Wednesday, 18 December 2019 Trump is impeached, but on 5 February 2020 is acquitted by the Republican-controlled Senate. Friday, 27 March 2020 The US goes into an economic shutdown as the COVID-19 pandemic escalates. Thursday, 30 July 2020 Trump questions the reliability of mail-in voting for the November 2020 election. Saturday, 7 November 2020 US news outlets claim election victory for Joe Biden. In the following days and weeks the Trump campaign file lawsuits alleging mass voter fraud. Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Monday, 16 June 2015 Donald Trump launches his candidacy for Presidency, promising to “make America great again”. Wednesday, 9 November 2016 Trump wins the US election though not the popular vote, which is won by Hilary Clinton. Saturday, 12 August 2017 Trump fails to denounce white supremacists following violence at a white nationalist and Neo-Nazi rally. Friday, 16 February 2018 Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel for the Department of Justice, issues indictments against several Russians for election interference. Wednesday, 20 June 2018 Trump authorises the separation of migrant children from their parents at the US border with Mexico. 16

US Attorney General, William Barr, concludes that there was no widespread voter fraud. This is upheld by the US Supreme Court on 13 December. Saturday, 2 January 2021 Trump pressures the Secretary of State for Georgia to find pro-Trump votes. The Secretary records and leaks the conversation to the media. Wednesday, 6 January 2021 Attack on the US Capitol. Wednesday, 13 January 2021 Trump is impeached. Wednesday, 20 January 2021 Joe Biden is inaugurated. Saturday, 13 February 2021 In his second impeachment trial, 57 senators find Trump guilty and 43 do not. Failing to achieve a two thirds majority verdict, Trump is acquitted.

In WJEC History interpretations will always be an account of a past event that has been created in conditions that have allowed for reflection on that past event. In many instances, these accounts will be by historians; however, they may be visual representations created by artists or filmmakers, or texts written by experts, poets or novelists etc. As is clear, interpretations can change. They can change in line with developments in society, they can change in line with new evidence being found, and they can change when the biases of their creator evolve too. And so to try and tackle this problem, we need to look at the sources of evidence that are available. In WJEC History, sources are materials that are contemporaneous to the period they are about. They may be eyewitness accounts, or they may be the responses of ordinary people, artists, writers, or broadcasters to events that have recently occurred. They could be documents such as Acts of Parliament, propaganda posters, or even novels, poems and songs written at the time of the event. It is important to understand that the value and nature of a source can change depending on how it is used. For example, a source may be a first-hand account for one question, but the same source may not retain that status for another question. This sounds more complicated than it is: to understand it look at the following source, translated from an article by the Munich-based political correspondent Stefan Kornelius in the German newspaper SüddeutscheZeitung (January 2021). The US capital has not seen such scenes since the British attacked the White House in 1814. An angry mob, cheered on by the president himself, attacks the country's parliament and drives the politicians to flight – exactly at the moment when these politicians are carrying out the final, formal act of the presidential election and want to certify the result. Roaring Trump supporters stand in the corridors of Congress and penetrate the Chamber of Parliament, symbolically occupying it. Democracy and its elected representatives are on the run and are putting on gas masks. If the question were "What happened at the US Capitol on 6 January 2021?", is this source an eyewitness account? It was written at the time of the events and

it was based on events that the author saw. But the author did not see them directly. Like many of us, he saw a filtered version of events: a version that was presented to him in television news reports and explained in radio broadcasts or printed in other publications. Is his view as valuable as a reporter who was “on the spot”? Is it as valuable as, or more valuable than, an obviously biased (though not necessarily unreliable) account from one of the members of the “angry mob” he writes about? What if the question were "How did European newspapers view what happened at the US Capitol on 6 January 2021?" Does the source become more valuable to an historian studying this question? It is, after all, an article from a commentator in a European newspaper outlining their view on what happened at the US Capitol on 6 January 2021. We may not argue that it is the most important source, or that it reveals all the answers to that second question (there are, after all, many hundreds of European newspapers, and each may have wildly differing views), but it does tell us that at least one commentator in one European newspaper viewed those events negatively. And, in the context of our knowledge and understanding of what happened in the US in late 2020 and early 2021, this is valuable to our efforts to gain a better understanding. Knowing this, History students can be confident in their use of historical sources: analysing their nuances and evaluating their strengths and limitations. Too often we think of historical sources as different to other pieces of evidence, but they are not: they are just pieces of evidence from a different period of time. Understand that period of time, put the source in its context, and use it in the same way as in any other situation in life when evidence has to be considered and a decision made. Mastering the skill of using historical sources will undoubtedly benefit students’ history studies. More importantly, it will help them to make informed decisions about life and the world around them. It has never been more difficult to make an informed judgement about the world because all of the evidence that is now available can be overwhelming. What we read on social media or in newspapers and what we see on the news has been shaped by other people’s views. We need to cut through that, look at the evidence and make our own informed view. And we need to be willing to re-evaluate that view when we have more information or when somebody else is able to explain something from a different perspective. The key is to be aware, to listen, and – most importantly – to be a critical thinker. 17

Q& A

Here is your chance to ask us any questions that you may have. For this first issue, we will respond to some questions that frequently show up in our GCSE and GCE email accounts; however, in the future, if you have a question that you would like to ask us that you think other people may be interested in the answer to, then please email us at:

evidence. Some responses are concise, well argued and to the point (and score well) and others are brief, They do. Of course they do. And there are pathways limited and lack engagement (and do not score through both GCSE and AS/A-level history that permit well). In the same vein, responses can be detailed, the study of issues related to the Black experience, with lengthy analysis and evaluation or they can the Asian experience, the immigrant experience be descriptive, with lengthy narrative and little and the experience of women and minority groups. focus. There is no preferred format – people write However, it is clear that we can and should do more to in different ways. Some prefer to start with a bold provide coverage of a range of histories. A limitation statement that answers the question directly before on immediate change is that the specifications are – going onto justify and critique that view, others prefer largely – fixed until there is mandated specification to write something akin to a mystery novel with a reform. Nonetheless, we are doing what we can to big reveal at the end. Either method is fine so long as broaden the appeal of the subject and to make it the response engages in a debate and the question is more relevant to all of our learners. One of the key answered. ways of doing this will be in the GCE NEA (see below). In a nutshell, responses should be as long as they need to be to answer the question (within the time When does the Non-Examination Assessment constraints of the examination). (NEA) cycle change and what are the rules? Why don’t Black Lives Matter in WJEC History?

The next GCSE cycle runs from the start of teaching in September 2021 to the submission of the NEA in May 2024. For A-level, the cycle runs from the start of teaching in September 2022 to the submission of the NEA in 2025. This autumn's A-level professional development session for teachers will focus on the NEA in preparation for the release of the suggested titles for the new cycle. The approach taken to these new titles will be different to previous cycles and the guidance relating to them will emphasise (although it cannot demand) consideration of issues such as Black History, women's History, LGBTQ+ history, as well as focusing on Welsh, British, European and World dimensions. More will be revealed later this year.

How important is historiography?

How long should answers be and is there a preferred format?

Ultimately, no. All options and routes lead to the same outcome – a GCSE or an AS/A-level in History. However, the options can affect the enjoyment of the teaching and learning process, as well as be affected by the resources available in schools and colleges.

A frequent teacherly response to this is "How long is a piece of string?" and there is much to commend that answer. Ultimately, the length of the response does not matter provided that the question set has been answered fully and, where relevant, with supporting 18

A difficult question. If you are able to demonstrate a good understanding and use of it, then historiography can add value to your response. However, too often, it is not well understood and poorly applied. For WJEC, all that is really needed is to show an understanding of the existence of different points of view and the ability to explain why there are differences: based on the evidence available to the people making the interpretation and, if known, their beliefs and ideas. Does it matter what options/routes in GCSE and AS/A-level history are studied?

What History means to me: Daniela Senés Daniela Senés is an educator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was educated in Wales between the ages of 16 and 18 and during her time here formed a life-long interest in the study of History and International Relations. She has written several books on 20th-century history, led workshops on History education and is a former chief examiner in the subject. Daniela has a Masters degree in Latin American Cultural Studies and, using her expertise in this field, has started her own business Gossip Well Told, where guests enjoy dinner while exploring an historical issue. The meals served relate to the topic of the evening, for example, An Evening with Che Guevara is accompanied by Bolivian national dishes, including peanut soup – Che's last meal. My first memory of my interest in History is being a primary school student at St Catherine’s Moorlands in Buenos Aires. I interviewed my great-grandmother for a History project. My Nonna Virginia was born under the Austro-Hungarian Empire in a small town near Trieste. I remember her in the kitchen speaking into a tape recorder – in her mix of Italian and Spanish – about events I had never heard of before. She told me about life in the First World War, the days under Mussolini, how the family lost everything in the Second World War and why they decided to emigrate to Argentina. She had a unique ability to make History come alive. I spent many more afternoons in that kitchen, listening to her memories, trying to understand how the family history linked to political events. At the same time, I watched her prepare her special Italian dishes. Before I realised, History had become a passion in my life, and I had developed a love for cooking. Continued on page 20 Left: Daniela provides some Gossip Well Told at the Hilton Hotel, Buenos Aires


At the age of 16, I left Argentina for Wales on a scholarship. It was a life-changing experience. I was fascinated by the possibility of meeting people of different nationalities and backgrounds, all of whom had stories to tell, and I thoroughly enjoyed my History course. I had a wonderful teacher who helped me put the family history into an academic context and find answers to many of my questions. I returned to Argentina to study International Relations and became a teacher almost by accident. When I visited my old school to say hello, I was asked: “How would you like to work here for a few hours a week while you study at University?” Those few hours turned into twenty years and another rewarding life experience. I had the opportunity to ignite in many of my students the passion for and pleasure of studying History. My years at St Catherine’s Moorlands are full of fond memories. I am incredibly grateful for the many opportunities to develop new and exciting projects in my History Department. My MA in Latin American Studies allowed me to delve into the relationship between the Arts and History, particularly how the Arts “told the story” of revolutions in Mexico, Russia, and Cuba. In addition, I developed workshops to encourage teachers to explore the many alternatives transdisciplinary teaching provides when combining History with Literature, Music or Visual Arts. Between 2004 and 2018, I was also a Senior History examiner and workshop leader for an international


exam board and published five textbooks. At the end of 2018, I concluded that what I most wanted was to go back to inspire the passion for History in other people. So, I gave up my job and founded “Gossip Well Told”. “Gossip Well Told” invites participants to approach the lives of some of the people who have shaped the twentieth century while enjoying a three-course meal. We explore how literature, music and visual arts have portrayed Che Guevara, Eva Perón, Frida Kahlo, Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev, among others. Each meal relates to the character of the evening. Participants outside Argentina are welcome to join us virtually (via Zoom) and have a hands-on experience at preparing some of the meals with our recipes! My lifelong passion for History is the most precious gift my great grandmother has given me. As a result, I have enjoyed every stage of my career: teaching, researching, writing and – more recently – developing a new and original way to continue igniting that passion in others. If you would like to know more about Gossip Well Told, you can contact Daniela at: Below: Chef Silvina Blanco and Daniela preparing for An Evening With Frida Kahlo. Credit: Daniela Senés


UPDATES GCSE The new NEA cycle The new NEA cycle will run from 2022–2024. That is, first submission in May 2022, but completion in the 2021–2022 academic year. Adaptations in 2021–2022 Thank you to those who provided feedback on the proposed adaptations. The adaptations for this academic year have now been confirmed. Learners will be required to complete the NEA and to sit two examined units of their choice: either Unit 1 and Unit 2, or Unit 1 and Unit 3, or Unit 2 and Unit 3. Full details can be found on the WJEC website. Professional development sessions Professional development sessions will once again be held online this autumn. The focus of these will be on approaches to teaching and learning in GCSE History and they will provide support for teachers preparing learners for the examinations next year. It is likely that these events, in both Welsh and English, will be held in mid to late November; however, please keep an eye on the website for the confirmed dates and times.

AS/A-level The new NEA cycle The new NEA cycle will run from 2023–2025. That is first submission in May 2023, but completion in the 2022–2023 academic year. The submission of titles for the new cycle will commence from January 2022.

The new cycle will use refreshed (entirely new) resources and materials as well as supporting documents outlining the process for the new cycle. This year's Professional Development sessions will focus on the NEA and there is a some more information on our plans for the NEA in the Q&A section on p.18. Further, if you haven't already seen it, please take a look at the video presentation we put together as a teachers' guide to the NEA . It is available on the website, just follow: GCE History > Training > Webinars. Adaptations in 2021–2022 Thank you to those who provided feedback on the proposed adaptations. These adaptations for this academic year have now been confirmed and full details can be found in the WJEC GCE Adaptations booklet. However, in summary they are: Unit 1 – for each option, one of the concepts and perspectives will not be examined in 2022; Unit 3 – in all options there will be a range of questions focusing on the breadth of theme one and theme two (as had been proposed for the 2021 examination had it taken place). There are no changes to Units 2, 4 or 5. Professional development sessions Sincerest apologies that there were no GCE History professional development sessions in 2020–2021. They had been scheduled for late autumn and were developed to cover the adaptations for Unit 3 that had been devised for the 2021 examination series. And then... Nevertheless, there will be online sessions later this year (likely sometime in early December), so please look out for the exact dates and times. As mentioned above, PD will focus on the NEA, but other areas related to the 2022 examination series will be covered. 21

The Kossuth

Connection Hungary, Wales and the growth of national consciousness

Eunice Price Eunice is a former teacher of History who has taught around the world, including in New York, Hong Kong, Oman and Italy – as well as working for a year in a rare book shop in Los Angeles. Now retired from teaching, she continues to work as an author and examiner from her home in West Wales.

Article links to: GCE 1.3: Politics, protest and reform in Wales and England c.1780–1880 1.7 Revolution and new ideas in Europe c.1780– 1881 3.6 Parliamentary reform and protest in Wales and England c.1780–1885

Right: When Kossuth rode up Broadway "Louis Kossuth, the great Hungarian patriot, received with cheers by 100,000 Americans upon his arrival in New York on December 6th, 1851." The visit was part of his tour of the US and Britain in 1851 where "Kossuth Mania" had taken hold. Credit: The New York Public Library Digital Collections 22


The nineteenth century was one of national awakening. The ideology of the French Revolution, with its focus on the rights and duties of the citizen, had swept across Europe in the wake of Napoleon’s army raising awareness of national identity linked to language, culture, and history. Economic and social revolutions such as industrialisation and urbanisation had shaken people loose from a life defined by the village, the estate and the deference owed to landowners. For those who moved from the countryside to the new towns and factories, life was transformed. New railways transported not only goods but ideas that took root because of rising levels of literacy. Not only the middle classes but workers too saw politics as a way to improve life, demanding enfranchisement and representation. In Wales, politics became the business of ordinary men (and, surely, women), not just the wealthy and powerful, and with it grew a political and a national consciousness.

to the growth of Hungarian nationalism and Kossuth filled his reports with the discontent of Hungarian politicians kept out of the centre of empire in Vienna and unable to carry out much needed economic and political reform. Habsburg officials censored Kossuth’s reports and sent him to prison. Released in 1840, he continued to call for a separate government for Hungary and in 1848 his speeches calling for the abolition of serfdom and independence from Vienna pushed forward the revolution in Hungary. Hungarians (Magyars) were only one of the ethnic groups within the borders of Hungary. As revolution progressed the Croats, Serbs and Romanians feared Hungarian dominance and this lack of unity weakened the cause of independence. The Habsburgs fought back and with the aid of Russia, put an end to the revolution. Defeated, Kossuth fled to Turkey and from there travelled to England. Although the government did not offer him support, Kossuth was immensely popular among the working classes for his liberal ideology and on visits to cities such as Birmingham, he was greeted by crowds who flocked to see and hear him.

Lajos (Louis) Kossuth

The Welsh Connection

I848 in Europe witnessed an explosion of political demands and revolutions that spread like wildfire from France to Prussia, to Italy, to Austria and to Hungary where Lajos Kossuth, an impoverished Hungarian nobleman called for greater autonomy within the Austrian Empire. Born in 1802, Kossuth was brought up as a Lutheran (this would be important later for the Welsh connection), attending a Calvinist college before studying to become a lawyer. His involvement in Hungarian politics began in 1825 when he reported on meetings of the Hungarian National Diet, which was as close as Austrian-ruled Hungary had to its own parliament. The inefficiencies of the vast Habsburg Empire contributed significantly

The mid-nineteenth century was also a time of national awakening within Wales. Moving from a rural, self-sufficient economy to one of cutting-edge industrialisation and urban growth brought about enormous change and the rebellions of the Rebecca Riots and the Chartists. By 1846, education in Wales had come under the spotlight and Parliament determined that state education, through the medium of English, might not only civilise the Welsh but make them less rebellious. A Commission of Inquiry into the state of education in Wales published its damning report in 1848 and this event still resonates in the history of Wales as Brad Y Llyfrau Gleision, (The Treachery of the Blue Books). Central to

National Awakenings

1802 Birth of Lajos Kossuth

1837 Kossuth imprisoned (until 1840) 1821 Greek War of Independence

1800 24





the Commission’s findings was its criticism of the Welsh language that held back the progress of Welsh children (p.138). The Anglican Commissioners also blamed the prevalence of Non-conformity for low moral condition of the country. (GO Pierce in Roderick, 1969). The response of the Welsh-speaking, chapel-going Welsh intelligentsia was predictably irate. Such criticism only emphasised the differences between Wales and England and a growing hatred of the English government was fuelled by reports in the English press that dismissed the Welsh as having, ”habits that were those of animals” (Williams p. 274), speaking a language that was an “anachronism” and possessing a literature that was “barbaric”. It is unsurprising then that, for some, there was a sympathy for revolutionaries who rose up against oppressive governments. The 1848 revolutions taking place in Europe now fed a nascent sense of nationalism. According to the historian, David Williams, it was through Gwilym Hiraethog (the bardic name of William Rees of Denbigh) that the Welsh people became familiar with the nationalist ideologies of both the Hungarian and the Italian revolutions. “He made Kossuth and Garibaldi into heroes for the Welsh people”. (p. 274). Looking outwards to Europe, Gwilym Hiraethog wrote letters to both Mazzini in Italy and to Kossuth, whom he praised for rising up against the Austrian Empire. Long before Kossuth came to England, Gwilym Hiraethog, editor of the Non-conformist (Calvinist Methodist) weekly newspaper, Yr Amserau regularly published articles and gave public lectures in support of the struggle for Hungarian independence. When Ferenc Pulszky, a close ally of Kossuth, came to England in 1849, he became aware of the enthusiastic support of the Welsh who also donated what they could afford to help support Hungarian refugees. A delegation of grateful Hungarians visited Gwilym Hiraethog to thank him in person for his support.

The Bards of Wales Another link between Wales and Hungary came about when, in 1853, Janos Arany, a renowned Hungarian poet, was asked to write a poem to commemorate the first visit of Emperor Franz Josef to Hungary. Instead of a panegyric to the Habsburg Emperor, Arany wrote A Walesi Bárdok (The Bards of Wales), a poem that eulogised the 500 bards executed by Edward I for failing to praise him during a feast held at Montgomery Castle. In his preface to the poem, Arany acknowledged that not all the events in his tale of Edward I and the bards had taken place but, nevertheless, he maintained that they were put to death “to prevent them (the bards) from arousing the country and destroying English rule by telling of the glorious past of their nation.” (Western Mail). A champion of the cause of Hungarian independence, Arany had taken part in the revolution. Although it is unclear if he knew of the support given to the cause by the people of Wales, he clearly knew about the Edwardian conquest of Wales. According to one source, “The idea that the bards refused King Edward was part of the Romantic culture of Britain in the nineteenth century. It was well known even in Europe…”. Another source claims that Arany probably read about this event in Charles Dickens’ A Child’s History of England, a volume of which was found in Arany’s library after his death. Arany used this episode from Welsh history as a metaphor to criticise Habsburg rule in Hungary. In 1867, Hungary was given autonomy with the establishment of the Dual Monarchy, but the poem lived on becoming part of the history of Hungarian independence and taught to every schoolchild throughout the twentieth century. In 2012, the poem was set to music by Karl Jenkins and premiered at the National Eisteddfod reviving a notable link between the history of the two nations.

1847 Reports of the commission of Enquiry into the state of Education in Wales 1848 The Year of Revolutions


1857 A Walesi Bárdok published


1867– Dual monarchy of Austria–Hungary


Acknowledgements Roderick, AJ, (ed). 1960. Wales Through The Ages, Volume 2. Llandybie. Christopher Davies Jones, IG. 1992. Mid-Victorian Wales: The Observers and the Observed. Cardiff. UWP Williams, D. 1980. A History of Modern Wales Henry Jones, M. 1968."Wales and Hungary" The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion Charles-Edwards TM and Evans EJW (eds). 2010. Wales and the Wider World: Welsh History in an International Context. Donington. Paul Watkins Williams, K, 21 October 2017. "The murderous Welsh legend being celebrated in a spectacular light show on Cardiff's central church". Western Mail 25

Patterns of migration Cardiff Bay

Rob Quinn Rob is Head of History and Politics at a school in Wrexham. He has worked as an examiner and is the author of several GCSE History textbooks, revision guides and magazine articles. Article links to: GCSE Unit 3D. Changes in Patterns of Migration, c.1500 to the present day

The development of Butetown Until the mid-twentieth century, immigrants in Cardiff were concentrated in the Butetown district which was to the south of the city centre in the area now referred to as Cardiff Bay. This area was dominated by docks that were developed by the second Marquess of Bute to export South Wales coal to the rest of the world. The Glamorganshire Canal joined Cardiff with Merthyr Tydfil in 1794 and a canal basin was in place at Cardiff Bay by 1798. In 1839 the docks were then built at the end of this canal by Irish immigrant labourers, with the area connected back to the South Wales valleys by the Taff Vale Railway, which opened in 1841. The impact of sea trade Merchant sailors came to the docks on ships from all over the world. Many sailors did not stay in Butetown 26

long as they were only there during the gap between their ships unloading and then taking on new cargo. However, working on ships was not a reliable form of employment and many merchant sailors would get left behind at ports all over the world if their services were suddenly no longer needed. As a result a lot of immigrants ending up settling in Butetown. They built a community together, opened local businesses and intermarried. Butetown was highly unusual in the extent to which men and women from different immigrant groups had families together. Butetown had originally housed many wealthy homeowners who owned businesses related to the trading and transporting of coal. As the nineteenth century progressed, they had moved to greener Cardiff suburbs. The large houses they left behind, especially around Loudoun Square, became more and more crowded as their owners sub-divided them into apartments or families took in lodgers to help pay their rent. Local legend has it that the nickname Tiger Bay comes from a woman who used to walk around with two tigers. Other people say that it was because Portuguese sailors described the conditions in Cardiff Bay as like sailing through a bay of tigers. Some have argued that it was the name given by sailors to any port town where they could find gambling, prostitution and fighting. Names of the 97 pubs that were in the area suggest that Butetown did see its fair share of violence and crime: House of Blazes, Bucket of Blood, Snakepit to name but a few. Even the 1959 film “Tiger Bay”, filmed mostly on location in Butetown, built its story around this reputation for crime. This reputation was part of the negative

Credit: Neil Evans stereotyping of immigrants that had started in the nineteenth century. Increasing multiculturalism By the twentieth century the Somali, Yemeni, Spanish, Norwegian, Italian, Caribbean and Irish immigrants were joined by other people from around the world. The 1911 census showed that there were people from fifty different nationalities living in the area. By this point, Cardiff was second only to London in terms of the concentration of black and Asian people in the UK. However, this did not stop the Chinese community from being attacked in the 1911 “Laundry Riots” when they had worked during a dockers’ strike. The docks themselves were at their peak capacity in the years leading up to the First World War. In 1910, Captain Scott’s fateful Terra Nova Expedition sailed from there, heading to Antarctica and what they hoped would be the glory of being the first men to reach the South Pole. The previous year the Coal Exchange in Butetown had seen the world’s first million-pound cheque being written, illustrating the vast wealth that flowed through the district – even if little of it was spent there. There was a rush to hire immigrant sailors for the merchant fleet when the First World War broke out in 1914. Hundreds of immigrant sailors from Butetown lost their lives in the war but once it was over found themselves facing violence when they returned home. As white soldiers left the army in 1919 to find that there were no jobs available, many of them attacked the black sailors in Butetown. The riots that followed left three people dead. The police blamed the white mob but the authorities responded by

transporting 600 black sailors to the West Indies. The Special Restriction (Coloured Alien Seamen) Order of 1925 made it more difficult for immigrants in Butetown to get work as they were classified as ‘aliens’ (i.e. foreigners). The area went into sharp decline during the Depression of the 1930s as coal exports fell from their peak of 9 million tons a year to less than 5 million, with oil became the dominant source of fuel around the world. As a result there were fewer and fewer ships passing through the docks. This decline was briefly reversed by the Second World War when, once again, Butetown residents went to sea as part of the Atlantic convoys, while the docks and the surrounding area were heavily bombed. Multicultural life in Butetown in the mid-twentieth century After the Second World War, 2 000 Somalis and their families were settled in Tiger Bay... Like other Cardiff residents, in their spare time they liked to drink hot milk and play cards at Ben Ali’s dockside boarding-house. Some also attended a mosque on Sophia Street... Caribbean people would socialise at the Caribbean Café at 185a Bute Road and had built up a local team for their much-loved sport, cricket. They used to worship at the Loudon Square Mission Church... Walking along Bute Road in the 1940s, you would pass the Oriental Café and the Chop Suey Café on Bute Road were where Chinese people would socialise, and by the 1950s there was a Chinese laundry on almost every major street in Cardiff. (from "Cardiff Migration Stories") 27

Butetown since the Second World War Coal exports from the Butetown docks ended in 1964, and unemployment in the area during that decade was high. Further, the condition of its predominantly nineteenth-century housing, built without proper sanitation, was increasingly run down. Tuberculosis and other diseases associated with poverty were rife. Developers moved in and the old buildings were torn down. 45 streets were demolished. The council estate and tower blocks that replaced the Victorian housing were very poor quality by comparison, and residents were scattered to other parts of Cardiff and never returned. Both the buildings and the community were gone, something some believe was a deliberate act of destruction, arguing that buildings could have been gradually replaced, and more investment could have been made to support communities. Instead it was broken up and most traces of it removed. Notable figures born in Tiger Bay Billy Boston’s parents were from the Caribbean and Ireland; he went on to be a star Rugby League player for Wigan scoring 571 tries in 564 games Boxer Joe Erskine’s parents were from the West Indies and Cardiff; he went on to become boxing Champion of the British Empire in 1956 Singer Shirley Bassey’s parents were from Nigeria and England; she went on to become a worldfamous singer best known for her title songs for the James Bond films. The 1990s saw new waves of migrant settlers – refugees escaping conflicts in the Balkans and the Middle East bringing new elements of diversity to the area. At the end of that decade, when the barrage across the bay was completed the area was re-branded as Cardiff Bay. It is now home to the Mermaid Quay leisure development, the Millennium Centre and Senedd Cymru. BBC drama studios were built at Roath Lock in an area now called Porth Teigr. But this nod to the name Tiger Bay is one of few links to the area’s rich multicultural heritage. In the latter half of the twentieth century, new developments erased much of Butetown’s history, and it is to the Marquess of Bute and to Roald Dahl, who was born to Norwegian parents and spent his early years in Llandaff, that areas of the modern Cardiff Bay development are dedicated, and not to the immigrants who had made the area their home.


Credit: Neil Evans Acknowledgements "Cardiff Migration Stories" Runnymede Perspectives Series, 2012 Evans, R. 2007. Immigrants in Wales during the 20th Century. Aberystwyth. CAA Cymru

The view from the classroom

Black Lives Matter

Elin Jones Gareth Jones Bethan Williams

Credit: Pixabay

The History department at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Myrddin 29

In November 2019 the Culture, Welsh language and Communications Committee of what was then the National Assembly for Wales produced its report on the Teaching of Welsh History. It made several recommendations, and two of those particularly resonated with the history department at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Myrddin; they were: Recommendation 3 That the Curriculum for Wales 2022 should have diversity as a core element. There is a risk that the proposed flexibility for schools and teachers may not ensure that all pupils in Wales know the story of our diverse ethnic and religious communities. Recommendation 4 That history is representative of all of Wales’s communities and their international connections, the thematic review of history teaching by Estyn, recommended in this report, should assess how diversity is currently taught in schools As a Welsh-medium comprehensive school, it has always been the case that Welsh history and culture has played a central role in our teaching, as well as in many other aspects of school life. The Welsh dimension therefore has always been critical, and the teaching of local history as well as topics relating to Wales as a nation from Key Stage 3 onwards has been central to our departmental curriculum. Yet, the findings of this report in 2019 echoed the concerns of a report by Dr Elin Jones published in 2013, which argued that there was a marginalisation of Welsh History in some schools, as well as a lack of availability of bilingual resources. The 2019 report, however, added another issue into the mix: an issue that would come to the fore in the wake of the Black Lives Matter campaign, which reached a peak during the summer of 2020. The issue we face as History practitioners is how do we do justice to the rich and diverse story of Wales, while also giving a distinct appreciation of the role that ethnic and religious communities have played in shaping the story of Wales. If we were struggling for resources concerning "traditional" Welsh history then surely, we would be struggling for resources to make sure the history we teach is representative of all of Wales’s communities. History teachers are industrious beings, keeping abreast of recent research. However, an impediment – in some topics – for Welsh-medium centres is the need to translate the latest research. Consequently, we had several frank and open conversations about 30

what we teach at present, and casting a critical eye over the resources that need adapting to ensure our ‘history’ does justice to the diverse nature of Wales and the contribution made by differing ethnic and religious communities. At Ysgol Bro Myrddin we certainly have a duty to develop this aspect of our teaching. Only 0.1% of our pupils describe themselves as coming from a minority ethnic background, and in Carmarthenshire itself the number who classify themselves as Black, Asian or from another minority ethnic group stands at 4%, which is slightly lower than the national figure of 5.2% (Stats Wales). Although Wales has one of the lowest proportions of people of African or Caribbean heritage of any area of the United Kingdom, there is still concern that not incorporating these elements of the diverse nature of Wales will lead to those elements neither being seen nor discussed, and thus further marginalised. As local Carmarthenshire Councillor (now Senedd member) Cefin Campbell – quoting the Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel – said in a recent debate on the issue "Action is the only remedy to indifference" (South Wales Guardian). This is also echoed in a message from Nation Cymru: "Even within our current understanding of Welsh History, black history, and the history of people of colour is, for the most part, still invisible. But we do have a chance to change all of this". With that in mind, the history department has undertaken a detailed review of what we currently teach and there is clearly an opportunity for devoting more time and space to discussing issues that have been brought to people’s minds since the murder of George Floyd last year. A whole unit on Black Lives Matter was developed during the lockdown period with a specific focus on identity and institutionalised racism as well as recognising our own unconscious bias. Acknowledging the fact that much of what we had previously taught as local and Welsh history did not include the role of black and ethnic minorities who have also shaped our communities was an important step in ensuring that these untold stories in Wales are no longer untold. This is an ongoing process but one to which we are committed, working with other partners across schools in Carmarthenshire. The department has already questioned the links between Carmarthen and its colonial past, notably the slave owner Thomas Picton. Following the removal of the statue of the seventeenth-century Bristol slave trader Edward Colston in the summer of 2020, the debate as to whether the Picton monument

Left to right: Elin, Bethan and Gareth at Ysgol Bro Myrddin Credit: Euryn Madoc-Jones in the centre of Carmarthen and the Picton statue in Cardiff should remain has been hotly debated: both in school and within the wider community. Picton’s statue in Cardiff was unveiled in 1916 as part of the Pantheon of Welsh heroes. The monument in Carmarthen has stood in Picton Terrace since 1888, erected in honour of his death at the Battle of Waterloo. Much of the debate around whether monuments and statues such as those of Picton and Colston should remain, centres around the idea that you cannot change or erase history and removing them only reduces these discussions even further. This unit of work also aims to further explore institutionalised racism in Wales and to highlight how historical interpretations evolve over time. We will focus on the anti-slavery campaigner Jessie Donaldson and her key work in the abolitionist movement in Wales. This is only the beginning: as we delve more deeply into our local history, we are finding more and more opportunities to highlight the role ethnic and religious communities have played in shaping the story of our area. There are obstacles, but we are committed to developing our provision and adding to it and revising

it as the year progresses. As teachers in a rural area of Wales, it is important that our learners are aware of the urban history of Wales. By including events such as the Race Riots of 1919 in our teaching we aim to ensure that those learners are aware of the diversity of experiences within the Welsh experience. On which note, it is perhaps best to give the final word to the historian, Professor Dai Smith: "Wales is a singular noun but a plural experience".

Acknowledgements: Smith, D. 1984. Wales! Wales! BBC Snowden, C. 9 July 2020. "Ammanford TV presenter subjected to racism backs calls to remove slave trader monument" South Wales Guardian Teaching of Welsh History. November 2019. Wales’ curriculum should reflect the integral part played by black people and people of colour in our history. 1 July 2020. 31

Credit: Malcolm Price

The “Upping steps” (or “Mounting steps”) at Nevern church. They date back to the eighteenth century and were used by the gentry to dismount and mount their horses when they arrived to attend church services and when they left. If you have any images of local sites that you would like to share, or would like to contribute to the magazine in any way, then please email us at


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