SOAS University of London

Dr Yi Li, Teaching Fellow/Programme Development Manager in Online and Distance Learning

18 June 2018

Since January 2018, the Department of History has worked closely with OCR (Oxford Cambridge RSA), a leading awarding body (for qualifications such as A Level and GCSE) in the UK, to develop an online portal of A Level teaching materials. In June 2018, the portal is open to the public for free access at:

The portal aims to be a one-stop site for A Level history teachers teaching a new OCR history module, “From Colonialism to Independence: The British Empire 1857 – 1965.” It lists brief outlines addressing key issues, and links to a wide range of online resources. Both of them are highly relevant to the module teaching; and can be used by teachers for lesson plans. The portal also contains digitalised images and archival materials from the SOAS Digital Collections. 

Over the past few years, a considerable number of new A Level history modules, often on non-British, non-European topics, have been introduced to high school students in the UK. One major challenge to teach non-European history in high schools, however, is the lack of updated and accessible teaching materials on subject matters at appropriate levels. Identifying the knowledge gap and avenues for collaboration, the Department of History and OCR therefore decided to launch this online portal to bring SOAS expertise on world history to high school classrooms.

The Department and OCR will continue to improve the portal upon feedback from teachers and academics. It marks an important step of the Department’s long-term engaging with, and contribution to, high school teaching practice in Britain.

Enquires on the portal and the collaboration with OCR can be sent to Dr Yi Li (

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