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Rickmansworth Park Junior Mixed and Infant School

History and Geography - Hazel Harrison



How long have you been the subject leader?


I have been History and Geography subject leader since I joined Rickmansworth Park in September 2016

What are your strengths as Humanities subject leader?

I have always had an interest in Humanities, especially History. I studied History at university and have a special interest in local History. At university I wrote a dissertation about the affect the Metropolitan Line had on Rickmansworth and was shocked to discover it did not have an immediate impact. I felt I became a real historian investigating why, especially as my dissertation was kept at Rickmansworth Library for a while! I love providing children with opportunities which develop their questioning and investigative skills so they too feel they are real historians, not just learning facts and dates!

I have a lot of experience leading both History and Geography in previous schools and have recently attended courses to keep me up to date with new developments.

In my spare time, I follow social media platforms for ideas to inspire colleagues and children. I am always ready to help and share my ideas with my colleagues.


Give examples of the impact you have had on the quality of teaching and learning/ standards?

I met with the Hertfordshire advisor for Humanities to look at the units of work covered at Rickmansworth Park. As a result I restructured the curriculum and produced a skills progression document for History and Geography which the staff follow alongside their planning.

To further enrich the curriculum, I have fostered links with visitors who come into school to talk to the children, for example an African charity worker and a governor who shares his knowledge of local history with the children.

What are the key strengths in this subject?


Teachers frequently make creative links with core subjects and other foundation subjects to make learning more relevant and fun, e.g. in Art Year 5 look at Anglo Saxon brooches and create their own designs.  Year 4 children learn about deserts when studying ancient Egypt. Year 3 enjoy writing reports about the Romans. 

Teachers plan trips and organise visitors/workshops to excite and inspire the children, e.g. Year 3 visit the Verulamium Museum in St Albans when learning about the Romans and Year 5 go on a trip to Greenwich when studying the Prime Meridian.

What areas for development have you identified in this subject?


I am also going to create a portfolio of History and Geography work with examples of emerging, expected and exceeding pieces.

I am hoping to establish links with a local secondary school in the hope that we can have some access to their resources and expertise.

How do you know how well pupils are achieving?


Formal monitoring takes place every term and as subject leader I have an insight into how children are achieving in History and Geography Geography through an internal tracking grids. Reception children are assessed against the EYFS 40-60 months ages and stages and at the end of the year children are assessed against the Early Leaning Goals.  I have access to this in the Reception Classroom.

Once a year I also interview a selection of children from across the school to find out how they feel about their History and Geography lessons, the results of which I feed back to the staff. Class assemblies also give me an insight into how much the children are enjoying both History and Geography. I also look at a selection of pupils books on a regular basis.


How does the school meet the needs of all groups within this subject?


Planning differentiates and caters for the children’s needs in each class. Therefore provision meets the needs of all our children Boys, girls, SEND, EAL, disadvantaged, EYFS, KS1 and KS2

Also the result of the Pupil Voice interviews further informs teachers’ planning.

What knowledge do Governors have about your subject? How have they been involved in your subject?

Updates are given to governors at Governor Body meetings and governors are invited to attend wider curriculum open mornings and assemblies.

A governor also comes into school to talk to the Year 6 children about The Lion and Eagle, the local war memorial.