Rawdon teacher is a YouTube hit with Abba history

Wharfedale Observer: Singer, history teacher and Abba fan Rick Rogers Singer, history teacher and Abba fan Rick Rogers

As many a teenager will testify, historical facts and figures can be notoriously difficult to recall.

But one teacher has come up with an ingenious way to keep the past alive in the minds of his students – a system of revision based on Abba songs.

Rick Rogers has posted the reworked songs on Youtube – with apologies to Bjorn and Benny and Pope Benedict XVI – to help his GCSE students remember key facts about Nazi Germany.

The curriculum leader of history at Benton Park School in Rawdon, can be seen singing the pieces whilst accompanying himself on guitar.

The first, based on Abba hit SOS – looks at the SS. The second - sung to the tune of Our Last Summer - sees Hitler at the end of his life looking back on the glory years of Nazi rule “when he wasn’t being shelled by the Russians or on the verge on blowing his own brains out”.

With the obvious sensitivity of some of the subject matter Mr Rogers is careful to make it clear that the videos are for GCSE purposes only and that they don’t aim to glorify, support or validate the events they describe.

A message at the end of the second song says: “We study the Nazis so that we don’t forget the suffering that they brought to countless millions of people.”

The teacher, who used to sing in bands when he was younger, said the Abba-songs based revision had proved successful with his GCSE students.

“The kids who I thought would think it was really naff seemed to like it the most,” he said.

“It is not just simply a case of getting them to remember stuff – it is also about enthusing them, so it works in two ways.”

He added: “I could have been a contender on Top of the Pops, but this is better.”

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