St Michael's Primary, DA16

St Michael's C of E Primary School

'Loving learning, learning to love... A small school, part of God's big family.'

History and Geography at St Michael's

Humanities

At St Michael’s, Humanities learning teaches children about the world in which they live and how it has changed over time. Our History and Geography Curriculum focuses on acquiring facts and knowledge as well as developing historical and geographical skills. The teaching of History and Geography at St Michael’s follows the National Curriculum and through our recently introduced Plan Bee scheme of work.

Geography

The National Curriculum states that a high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.

Aims

The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
  • understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time

Are competent in the geographical skills needed to:

  • collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
  • interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.

Intent

At St Michael’s, we want our children to have an awareness of their surroundings; to appreciate the contrast of belonging to a London borough within the garden of England. We are committed to providing all children with learning opportunities to engage in Geography. Geography teaches an understanding of places and environments. Through their work in Geography, children learn about their local area and compare their life in this area with that in other regions in the United Kingdom and in the rest of the world. They learn how to draw and interpret maps and they develop the skills of research, investigation, analysis and problem solving. Through their growing knowledge and understanding of human geography, children gain an appreciation of life in other cultures. Geography teaching also motivates children to find out about the physical world and enables them to recognise the importance of sustainable development for the future of humankind.

Implement

  • To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in geography, we have recently implemented the Plan Bee Scheme of Work which provides a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school.
  • Plan Bee enables teachers to deliver balanced coverage of topics and themes across key stages, providing consistency across year groups, phases and key stages.
  • Geography is taught on a half-termly basis, focusing on the knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. It is taught as a discrete subject with cross-curricular links to other subject areas are made wherever possible e.g. links to the English text, art topic or science unit of work.
  • Each classroom is home to a display reflecting one of the humanities units of work across a term. This may be at the start of the unit to provide stimulus and support learning or at the end of a unit to celebrate children’s outcomes.
  • Key vocabulary is introduced to children within the unit of work and displayed in classrooms to support its use.
  • In order to develop writing across the curriculum, teachers plan an extended piece of writing for each unit of work.
  • Children are given opportunities to show their existing knowledge and understanding, as well as their interests, through the use of KWL (What I Know, What I Want to Know and What I have Learnt) discussions at the start of a unit. These are then revisited at the end of a unit to evaluate children’s learning.
  • At St Michael’s we recognise that local visits, trips and outdoor learning support children’s understanding of geography and help to make greater connections with their lives and try to build these opportunities into topics.

Impact

  • Children are becoming increasingly aware of their value and place in the world, locally, nationally and globally as they move through the school.
  • Children at St Michael’s develop a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context.
  • Geographical understanding, as well as children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is further supported through the school’s Christian distinctiveness, charitable fundraising events and school partnerships.
  • Children are motivated to take care of their immediate environment and are aware of the difference they can make to the changing world.

History

The National Curriculum describes a high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils with the skills to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

Aims

The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
  • gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts: understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales

Intent

At St Michael’s, we aim for a high-quality history curriculum which should inspire in children a curiosity about Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Children will recognise and understand significant aspects of the history of ancient civilisations and empires in addition to changes in living memory and beyond living memory. Children will learn about the lives of significant individuals of the past and in doing so, understand the methods of historical enquiry and be able to ask and answer a variety of skills and knowledge-based questions. We want our children to relish and love learning about history. Children will gain knowledge and skills, through various experiences including educational visits and opportunities which enable them to deepen their understanding of who and what has shaped our world today.

Implement

  • To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in history, we implement the Plan Bee Scheme of Work which provides a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school.
  • Plan Bee enables teachers to deliver balanced coverage of topics and themes across key stages and provides consistency across year groups, phases and key stages.
  • History is taught on a half-termly basis, focusing on the knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. History is taught as a discrete subject with cross-curricular links to other subject areas made wherever possible e.g. links to the English text, art topic or science unit of work.
  • Each classroom is home to a display reflecting one of the humanities units of work across a term.
  • Key vocabulary is introduced to children within the unit of work and displayed in classrooms to support its use.
  • In order to develop writing across the curriculum, teachers plan an extended piece of writing for each unit of work. As well as being an opportunity to consolidate writing skills and reapply them in an alternative and more independent context, this type of activity also allows the children to put themselves in the shoes of the historical characters they are learning about and approach their learning from a different perspective.
  • Children are given opportunities to show their existing knowledge and understanding, as well as their interests, through the use of KWL (What I Know, What I Want to Know and What I have Learnt) discussions at the start of a unit. These are then revisited at the end of a unit to evaluate children’s learning.
  • At St Michael’s we recognise that visitors and guest speakers; local visits; trips and outdoor learning support children’s understanding, help to make greater connections for them and brings history to life and so try to build these opportunities into topics.
  • Children explore topics in our well-resourced library of books and research online in our ICT suite to gather evidence from a range of sources to further support their learning.

Impact

  • Children at St Michael’s are passionate about history and enjoy learning about people and their lives. They speak confidently and in detail about periods in history and historical figures.
  • Outcomes in humanities books evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge.
  • Children’s vocabulary is continually being expanded and embedded, giving them more confidence to tackle new ideas and dig deeper.
  • Our children are curious, like to ask questions and empathise deeply with others; relating the lives of others to their own Christian values.

View document subject_overviews/history.pdf

View document subject_overviews/geography.pdf