Historic England Selects Knowsley Junior School in Oldham for New Heritage Award

Knowsley Junior School in Oldham has been selected for a prestigious new Champion Heritage School Award by Historic England in recognition of its commitment and excellence in teaching pupils about their local heritage.

The school is one of only eight across the country to receive the accolade and was chosen on account of the inspiring work it has undertaken through Historic England’s Heritage Schools programme.

Knowsley Junior School in Oldham, Greater Manchester, has been part of the Heritage Schools programme for three years. The school has embraced local heritage, embedding it across their history curriculum and using the local area to enhance learning in other subjects. Local history displays throughout the school inspire thinking and debate amongst the students about what their area was like in the past.

The pupils have undertaken a variety of thought-provoking local heritage projects on the commemoration of the First Word War and the Suffrage Movement. They champion local heritage through their local network of schools and are delighted to be working with Historic England on the Champion Heritage Schools Scheme.

As a Champion Heritage School, Knowsley Junior School will work with Historic England over the coming year through the Heritage Schools programme to pilot a new school-led scheme, aimed at highlighting the importance of local heritage and how it can be integrated into a range of subjects. As part of the award, Knowsley Junior School will receive £1,000 to support this work.

As this is the first year of Champion Heritage Schools, teachers and pupils at Knowsley Junior School will play a key role in shaping the scheme’s activities and its future development. Such activities could include testing new local heritage education resources, developing a panel of young heritage ambassadors and sharing best practice in heritage teaching.

I’m really looking forward to working with Knowsley Junior School over the next year to shape and deliver this new scheme. They are thoroughly deserving of Champion Heritage School status and will serve as an inspiration to other schools looking to incorporate local heritage into their curriculum.

Daisy Horsley, Local Heritage Education Manager for the North West Historic England

From visiting the remains of roman forts, to investigating the changing nature of building materials and land use in our surrounding area, pupils are consistently engaged with exciting learning opportunities that broaden their understanding and appreciation of history.

The focus on history around us helps children to make connections between local and wider historical events that helps to instil a sense of pride in the area in which they live.

Stephen Potts, History Co-ordinator Knowsley Junior School

Research has shown that knowledge of local heritage gives children a sense of pride and identity about where they live and an understanding of how it fits into the history of the nation. Exposure to local heritage can also have a positive effect on mental and physical wellbeing.

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