What Your Year 6 Child Needs to Know

Fundamentals of a Good Year 6 Education (Core Knowledge UK)

Editor: E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
UK General Editors: Robert Whelan and Tanya Lubicz-Nawrocka
February 2014

What Your Year 6 Child Needs to Know is the sixth in the series of six books—one for each year—for parents, home educators, teachers and children to enjoy. See below for a selection of the varied topics and activities it includes.

Language and Literature:

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  • Poetry, including: a wide range of old and new poems from The Tiger by William Blake and If by Rudyard Kipling to T.S Eliot and Road Dahl.
  • Literature from Around the World, including: Don Quixote from Spain; The Samurai’s Daughter from Japan, as well as extracts from great classics of literature like Oliver Twist, The Secret Garden and Le Morte d’Arthur.
  • Learning about Literature and Language, learn the basics building blocks of language and literature including figurative language, imagery, metaphor; parts of speech; how to use a comma and other punctuation and grammar.
  • Familiar Sayings, including: ‘Chip on your shoulder’; ‘The grass is always greener’; ‘Out of the frying pan and into the fire’; ‘Take the bull by the horns’ and ‘A penny saved is a penny earned’.

History and Geography:

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  • World Geography, including: Map projections and time zones; American Geography.
  • British Geography, including: Wales; Scotland; North West England and North East England.
  • History, learn about British history from the Industrial Revolution to the death of Queen Victoria and about the American Civil War that abolished slavery in the USA.

Visual Arts:

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  • The Renaissance, Renaissance masters Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo; Renaissance in Italy; perspective; The Harmony of the Body; shading
  • Victorian Art, Augustus Welby Pugin’s Contrasts; Gothic Revival; William Morris; Gothic Architecture.


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  • Elements of Music, including: high and low notes; short and long notes; dotted and tied notes; time signatures and the treble clef.
  • Listening and Understanding, including: polyphonic music, canons and rounds and lute music.
  • Songs for Year 6, including: Swing low sweet chariot, Widecombe Fair, Food glorious food, Lean on me.


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