Welcome to History at Richmond Hill Primary Academy
Led by Gemma Knott
At Richmond Hill a huge priority is to encourage the children to develop their understanding and knowledge of the world and for them to ascertain their place in it. The aim of the history curriculum at RHPA is to ensure that all of the children have access to high quality first teaching which will enable them to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of British history and the wider world. The rationale behind this is to inspire the children’s curiosity about the past and to understand how life has changed up until the present day. To help them appreciate how people lived, the challenges they faced and how this has all impacted on the modern day. The curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills which are not only transferable to different subject areas and year groups at RHPA but also into secondary and beyond.
At Richmond Hill, the children are taught about different subject areas using the Cornerstones programme of study. The idea is that each year group studies 3 different ‘knowledge rich projects’ (KRPS) each year. Although each project has its own ‘subject driver’ i.e. history, geography, art and DT etc … there are sessions within the projects which focus on other subject areas which makes learning more cohesive and purposeful for the children. These projects all start with a ‘memorable experience’. This could be anything from a school trip, to a dress up day to inviting someone into school to share their knowledge and experiences (virtually – of course!). The lessons are well-structured and sequential and the children are encouraged to develop, innovate and express their learning in a variety of ways.
History is taught with high expectations through these knowledge rich projects and learning is sequential. This means that children will come across the same areas of learning i.e. settlements in different projects and in different year groups for example ‘settlements’ appears in the ‘Childhood’ project in Year 1 and again in year 3’s ‘Through the Ages’’ project.
This allows the children to retrieve their prior knowledge and apply it to their new learning while simultaneously building upon it to achieve a greater depth of understanding. The rationale behind this approach, according to our own research-based evidence, is that learning is more effective when ‘spaced’ rather than ‘blocked’.
Our local area is also utilised as much as possible as there are some important historical sites within Doncaster which provide an invaluable insight into how people used to live here and give the children a new appreciation of where they live. In fact, Conisbrough castle is one of the best preserved examples of a Norman keep in Europe and has, in previous years, been a well-loved school trip.
We always welcome parents and carers to take part in learning and experiences and really appreciate it when their knowledge and experiences are shared with the children.
Early Years explore historical themes and content predominantly through the Understanding of the World strand of the EYFS curriculum. The history curriculum all starts by giving the children opportunity to explore their own life-story and their family’s history. This links to their prior learning in nursery where they look at themselves and their community. The children then move onto looking at figures, events and settings from the past through stories.
Throughout KS1 the children will continue to build on the learning from EYFS, where the children begin to compare the past and the present, by taking part in projects such as childhood in the 1950’s which they look at similarities between now and then. During their time in KS1, there will be a focus on changes over time and the children will be introduced the concept of timelines which will be revisited in different projects throughout year 1 and 2. The children will investigate settlements, look at historical artefacts and learn about significant people and events (this will include looking at important local people). They will also compare and contrast schools today (including our own school) and schools in the Victorian era in year 1 and will then move onto looking at historically significant people in their ‘Movers and Shakers’ project.
Throughout Lower KS2 the children will continue to build on their understanding of chronology from EYFS and KS1 and will revisit their knowledge of timelines. The children begin in Y3 looking at prehistory (Stone Age, Bronze Age and the Iron Age) and will again look at types of settlement. The children then move onto looking at the Roman Empire and its origins.
This learning is then picked up again in Y4 where the children develop their understanding of the Roman Empire and investigate its impact on Britain. We then move onto the invasion of the Angles, Jutes and Saxons from Europe and their assimilation with the native population to form the Anglo-Saxons before moving onto the Viking and Anglo-Saxon era. Throughout these projects the children are reintroduced to significantly important individuals i.e. Boudicca and Alfred the Great. In the final project ‘Ancient Civilisations’, the children will begin to explore ancient Egypt. This will provide them with a broader understanding of world history.
Throughout Upper KS2 the children continue to build on their prior knowledge of chronology from KS1 and Lower KS2. They carry on using timelines to map out significant events and are encouraged to develop their independent research skills further. The theme of looking at significantly important people from history is carried into UKS2 where they children continue to explore the impact these individuals have had on our understanding of the world.
The children continue looking at Ancient civilisations moving on from ancient Egypt in year 4 to looking at ancient China in the first term of year 5 and ancient Greece in term 3.
In Y6, the children will continue to explore history from around the world focusing on ancient African kingdoms in term 1. They then move onto looking at significant people involved in the polar explorations in ‘Frozen Kingdoms’. Finally, they will focus on learning about WW1 and WW2 in Britain at War which picks up some themes they have already explored in ‘Sow, Grow and Farm’ in year 5.