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History and Geography

Why do we teach humanities at Ripley Junior School?


At Ripley Junior School, we aim to teach History and Geography through a cross curricular approach, ensuring that our key themes are embedded within the core curriculum subjects (reading, writing and maths).


How do we teach Humanities at Ripley Junior School?


Each term, classes embark on a new theme, taken from the 2014 National Curriculum programme of study and from elements of local and national interest, including the interest of our pupils. For example, in the Autumn Term, a class may have a geographical focus, exploring where castles were built and why, whilst in the Spring term they may have a historical focus, studying the Roman invasion of Britain.


History and geography work may involve analysing sources from the past, data handling to explore trends or even writing a story to retell a major battle! We believe learning does not end in a history and geography lessons – we must use our pupils' interests across the curriculum and so we embed the skills from other curriculum areas to tap into pupil strengths and interests, whilst developing mathematical and writing skills. 



Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

 Y3 Geography

Castles, Kings and Queens (link to transition)

Where castles were built in the UK and why they were built in these places.

Visit to Bolsover Castle


Rainforests and South America 

Exploring the rainforests of South America: where they are located, why they flourish here, the key features of the rainforest.

Linked to our visit to ‘Tropical Butterfly House’



Y3 History 

Castles and crowns

 Who ruled over the UK and where those rulers lived.

The Mayans

Who were the Mayans, when and where did they live and how did they live their lives?

Early Britain –Stone, Bronze and Iron Age

How Britain changed from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. How people lived in these times.

Linked to our visit to ‘Creswell Crags’

Y4 Geography




Where does our food come from? Focus on Spain/Italy

Typical foods of Mediterranean countries. Exploring which countries we get our food from, what happens to our food before it gets to our plate.


Water, water everywhere! – Rivers, Coasts, erosion and world’s seas (map work)

Rivers and seas around the world and in the UK. Features of a river and coast.

This links with our visit to ‘Holmebrooke Valley Park’

Y4 History

The Romans

Who were the Romans and what they did for us?


Ancient Egypt

How and where the ancient Egyptians lived, what was important in their daily lives, who Tutankhamun was and how mummies were made.


Y5 Geography




Why is the world different? Climates, biomes etc.

Polar regions and the conditions, features of a desert, life in a monsoon climate

Why is the world different? Climates, biomes etc.
Polar regions and the conditions, features of a desert, life in a monsoon climate



Mountains ranges, mountains in the UK, features of mountains and how they are formed. Links to compass work and OS map work.

Y5 History


Who were the Anglo Saxons?

Where the invading troops came from and where in Britain they managed to settle and investigate how life in Britain changed as a result.


Who were the Vikings and when and where did they settle.


Ancient Greece

A study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the Western world.


Y6 Geography


Wonders of the World






Ripley: Past and Present

A local history and geography study


Y6 History  

Crime and Punishment

Comparison of the modern justice system and ancient systems, use of historical sources, experiences of people who committed crimes in the past.



How do we assess Humanities?


Each unit of learning is allocated targets linked to the 2014 National Curriculum. When children are in Year 3 and 4, they are assessed again the Lower KS2 objectives and in Years 5 and 6, the Upper KS2 objectives. Using these objectives, the teacher will consider the work produced and input during discussions to make a judgement against each objective.


The following options are considered:

  • Working Towards (WTS) – more work is needed on this area.

  • Meeting expected Standard (EXS) – the child shows the expected understanding for the key stage.

  • Working Above (GDS) – the child has met this objective and has shown a greater understanding of the area, often making wider links.


This assessment data will then feed into class teacher’s reporting and identification of next steps for the class. Teachers also use their ongoing assessment (AfL) to adapt and adjust planning to ensure children have a sound understanding of each objective.

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