What happened when boys from a Muslim academy went to JCoSS? "If you said to most people we should get a bunch of Muslim students from an Islamic school and a bunch of Jewish students together and sit them down to debate Israel and Palestine," said Michael Davies, "I think there would be a very sharp intake of breath."
The private Abrar Academy is pioneering a groundbreaking method of teaching the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict
Parallel Histories advocates for an interactive approach to studying conflict, presenting studies with competing historical narratives.
In 2014 history teacher Michael Davies took a group of his GCSE and A-level students on a field trip to Israel and Palestine. For the first half of the week they immersed themselves in the story of Israel and the tragedy of the Holocaust; for the second they visited the West Bank and played football with boys in a refugee camp.
London - In the year marking the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, a milestone on the road to the establishment of the state of Israel, British schoolchildren are no longer studying the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that it precipitated.
Last year, I took a group of my history students to Israel and the West Bank. It was a terrific success. We spent three days in Israel visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, meeting a documentary maker and a senior civil servant in prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office, before crossing to the West Bank, where we walked through the disputed areas of Hebron, visited Bethlehem and played football with the boys in a Nablus refugee camp.
It may be the centenary of the Balfour Declaration this year, but how many British schoolchildren could say what it is? Despite extensive media coverage of the Israeli-Arab conflict, teaching of it has declined in the UK. According to the Guardian, three out of five exam boards in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, have dropped it from their GCSE syllabus since 2014.
Michael Davies wants to introduce new way of teaching Middle East based on a new type of history book called Side by Side.