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Princes Risborough Primary School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust



'The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.'

Theodore Roosevelt

'My favourite moment so far in Year 4 was our Roman Day - it was an awesome wow day!' - Benji

*Please note that we are currently in the process of reviewing and updating our curriculum progression documents - finalised versions will appear soon.*



At Princes Risborough Primary School we want to inspire children to be curious about the past and the world around them whilst developing their creative skills and knowledge. We strive to deliver a curriculum which teaches children to create thoughtful comparisons between civilisations, appreciate the diversity of societies and understand their local area and how this compares across the world. We strive to further the children’s geographical and historic knowledge, by developing their skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation, problem solving and research. We also want to inspire pupils to develop an understanding of the history of arts whilst developing skills in this area. These combined experiences will enable children to succeed in these key areas and understand their identity both on a local and global level.


Through our topic curriculum and modelling by staff, we aspire for children to use a range of historical, geographical and artistic terminology and language in the correct contexts. We aim to ensure that topic is spoken of highly amongst all school stakeholders and that staff feel proficient in teaching all aspects of it. We also aim to challenge our pupils by providing opportunities to develop resilience, to work collaboratively and to reflect critically on their learning.





· Closely follow expectations set in the National Curriculum for history, geography, art and DT taught under the umbrella heading of topic which is taught once a week for two hours.

· Whole school skills and knowledge progression document used when planning to ensure correct coverage. 

· Each year group has same termly focus (History in Autumn, taught chronologically, Geography in Spring and Art/ DT in Summer) but skills from each subject are re-visited in all topic areas.

· Skills from other subjects are also interweaved into topic sessions as a further opportunity to use knowledge and skills in a different context.

· Cold task and hot task in the form of a key question – children answer at the start with their prior knowledge and at the end with their new-found knowledge and skills.

· ‘WOW day’ at the start of a topic to immerse children into new topic and inspire and enthuse them about their new learning.

· Termly opportunities for a trip out /a visitor into school to enable learning to ‘come to life’.

· Authentic learning outcome at the end of the unit to give the children the opportunity to experience real outcomes to their work.




Children show both passion and enthusiasm for our Topic curriculum; our wow days are an integral part of this and children speak positively about these memorable experiences. Our pupils have the opportunity to learn key skills and knowledge to be historians, geographers and artists. Our aim is for a high percentage of our children to achieve age related expectations across the Topic curriculum and that they are ready for the challenges of the Topic learning in their next year group or key stage. Our carefully planned skills and progression document allows staff to feel more confident in the teaching of Topic and the children gain a sense of ownership over the learning journey of a unit through the use of a hook, a key question and a meaningful, authentic outcome.

Autumn Term Discover Topics


Reception - Do we all see the same night sky? (An exploration of the natural environment and world around us, linking to the seasons of autumn and winter)

Year 1 - A Blast From The Past (A study of important, local historical moments and how people, places and events change over time)

Year 2 - Horrid Henry and The Troublesome Tudors (A comparative study of the Tudors and modern society today)

Year 3 - Sticks, Stones and Bones (An in-depth study of two ancient civilisations, the Stone Age and Ancient Egyptians)

Year 4 - Raiders and Invaders (An in-depth study of the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings)

Year 5 - Amazing Ancients (An exploration of Ancient Greek and Mayan life)

Year 6 - The Villainous Victorians (A study of the Victorians on a local and global scale)


Spring Term Explore Topics


Reception - How do we change over time? (A discovery of how humans, animals and plants grow)

Year 1 - Let's Travel Around The UK! (A study of location and place in the world including the school, the town, the country and group of countries)

Year 2 - All Around The World (A comparative study of a European and a non-European country)

Year 3 - Our Wonderful World (An in-depth study of the UK and a European country, exploring similarities and differences, and using and creating maps and grid references)

Year 4 - From Raindrops to Rivers (An in-depth comparative study of the Thames and the Amazon)

Year 5 - Extreme Earth (A detailed study of mountains, earthquakes, volcanoes and the effects of natural disasters on communities)

Year 6 - Protect Our Planet (An in-depth study on settlements, natural resources and the effects of human impact on the world)



Summer Term Create Topics


Reception - How can we capture summer? 

Year 1 - Our Natural Talent - What techniques can be used to create a work of art?

Year 2 - Creating Characters - How can characters be developed through art?

Year 3 - The World In A Frame - How can places become paintings?

Year 4 - Abstract Creations - How can artists influence my work?

Year 5 - Pencils or Palettes - How can we bring art work to life?

Year 6 - Testing Techniques - How is atmosphere created through art?


Wow Days 

Progression Documents


Useful Documents
Useful Website Links