Improving subject knowledge

Over the past 6 months, I have made it my mission to improve my subject knowledge across all areas of KS2 in particular (whilst also picking up elements of local history for KS1). I have noticed that by acquiring more and more knowledge, the links that I am able to make with my planning and rationales has improved dramatically.

After the various lockdowns, I had put on quite a lot of weight and I was unhappy with what I was having to wear to feel 'comfortable', so I decided to start walking on a night when everyone had gone to bed. Plus, we had just welcomed our daughter into the world and she would obviously need copious walks to go to sleep! I then started walking to the local Tesco and Aldi instead of driving, buying a few essentials that we needed every few days. However, I couldn't help but feel that I was wasting an opportunity to be doing something whilst I was walking, rather than just listening to music. I was introduced to Audible by a friend and I have not looked back since! Every opportunity I've had, I've gone out for a walk somewhere, whether it be for shopping, to walk the baby or just to go out in the rain (I love a good walk in the rain with my waterproofs on!) I make sure I have my wireless earphones with me (they aren't fancy but the battery life is phenomenal and they have a handy charging case so they never run out of charge) and just listen away! You can see the spikes in 'listening time' on the app around the holidays when I have a bit more time!

So I thought I would present you with a list of audiobooks that I have listened to so far and to give you a quick flavour of what they are about, in case you want to follow suit and do the same thing:

1. Romans in Britain by Guy de la Bédoyère,

I suppose I was quite lucky with the first audiobook that I listened to which is audibly pleasing as it has lots of environmental sound effects and a host of historians and archaeologists chipping in which can break up the sound of a single narrator. Also, the book itself is split into roughly 30-minute chapters and only lasts a total of 2h 55mins which means that you can breeze through it in a few sittings (or even a single sitting if you're enjoying it!) A fascinating look at the impact of the Roman Empire on Britain using archaeological evidence from a number of different places and sources. Well-worth a listen if you are teaching this topic!

2. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilisations of the Ancient Mediterranean by Charles Freeman

This is a really extensive book lasting 32hrs between the 3 different civilisations. Personally, I found the Greek and Egyptian elements more relevant and enjoyable than the Roman part as it talked more about events in Rome itself rather than in Britain, but nonetheless, I was fascinated by the introduction of the Roman section which highlighted a jug that had an inscription of Isis on it (Egyptian goddess) found in London, linking the role of the empire to its impact on Britain. Although this is very in-depth and the narrator can be a little monotonous at times, it is still worth a listen if you want to delve head-long into the subject knowledge of these civilisations.

3. Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome by John Hale