Geography and History
At Blair Peach Primary our Geography curriculum is designed to develop children’s curiosity and fascination about the world they live in. This includes the children learning the location of different countries, cities and towns in the UK and across the world and learning about the human and physical geography of these locations. It also includes the children learning what it is like to live in these places by making observations, carrying out research, reading graphs and charts and asking geographical questions.
At Blair Peach we are committed to providing our children with opportunities to investigate their local area, so they can have a deeper understanding of who they are, where they live and what makes our area so unique and special. Within lessons, children use a wide variety of different skills to develop their geographical knowledge.
Our aims are to ensure that our students experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, long-term memory of the knowledge and concepts that have been covered
In Early Years, Geography is taught via the Early Learning Goals linked to the Specific Area ‘Understanding the World’. The majority of learning in this area occurs through adult intervention when the children are in continuous provision. However, during their time in Early Years the children will listen to stories set in different locations, engage in a unit titled ‘All About Me’ and participate in topic led work about the world they live in.
By the end of Early Years therefore, the children should be able to:
Know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things
- Be able to talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.
- Be able to make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
In Years 1 – 6, Geography is taught in a 6-8-week block of lessons, which on average last about an hour each. This timing however in this block is flexible depending on the content being covered and the skills being developed.
Each Unit of Work has been carefully written using the guidance from a range of resources such as the Geographical Association, Chris Quigley Curriculum Champions.
To ensure the full coverage of the National Curriculum and Progression in concepts the school has an overview of the topics coverage and progression in concepts documents, which show how the children will progress in their learning as they move further up the school and into Year 6
To ensure that:
- The children remember the long-term content.
- The children understand that they are systematically learning.
- The children can integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.
At the start of each unit, the children will be given a Knowledge organiser which will have information about the unit they are learning and a list of key vocabulary and definitions
Geography lessons are taught through an enquiry based approach. This allows our children to develop their proficiency in the asking and answering of relevant questions, collecting and analysing data and drawing conclusions. Each year group will have a main enquiry question that they are looking to answer at the end of the unit, with each lesson being based around a sub enquiry question. Through investigations and discussions, children will deepen their knowledge on their chosen topic. As children move throughout the school, they will use and build upon their skill sets. Our lessons are enriched with a range of different outdoor learning opportunities, with children going on trips and carrying out geographical surveys around our local area. Within our lessons we actively make links to the wider world by discussing the sustainability and the UNCRC rights and Sustainable Development Goals.
The intended impact of the Geography Curriculum is that the majority of children in each year group are working at or above the expected level for their age.
Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.
In addition, it is the intended impact that the children:
- are inspired by the Geography Curriculum and want to learn more.
- show the progression in their skills and knowledge, especially in map reading, compass work and locating places on a map.
- can discuss their learning and remember what they have learnt.
- can talk about their first-hand experiences of visiting different places and locations.
At Blair Peach Primary School, we want our children to enjoy history. Through the teaching of History, we aim to stimulate all children’s interest and understanding about the past. Our children learn about aspects of local history in order to develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on the historical heritage of the area in which they live. They learn about aspects of British History to ensure they understand how Britain has evolved over time, contributing to their understanding of their country of residence. They learn about world history to give them a wider awareness and knowledge of historical developments in the wider world in which they live. We believe that by enabling the children to understand the importance of History and how it has contributed to the present day; they will also get a sense of how we can learn from the past to shape the future.
EYFS The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of History through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World’. This aspect is about how children find out about past and present events in their own lives, their families and other people they know. Children are encouraged to develop a sense of change over time and are given opportunities to differentiate between past and present by observing routines throughout the day, growing plants, observing the passing of seasons and time and looking at photographs of their life and of others. Practitioners encourage investigative behaviour and raise questions such as, ‘What do you think?', ‘Tell me more about?', 'What will happen if.?', ‘What else could we try?', ‘What could it be used for?' and ‘How might it work?' Use of language relating to time is used in daily routines and conversations with children for example, ‘yesterday', ‘old', ‘past', ‘now' and ‘then'.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, History is taught in every year group, at least once a week. Topics are blocked to allow children to focus on developing their knowledge and skills, studying each topic in depth. The History curriculum is designed using aspects of The Chris Quigley Companion. Before the start of each new topic, children recap on what a Historian is (what they do and the skills they use) in order to reflect the idea that they too will be exploring the past, as if they are a historian.
In KS1, History involves looking at the children’s own personal history and introduces them to the idea of chronology and timelines. Also, in KS1 History, children learn about significant events and people who have shaped society, on a local, national or global scale.
In KS2, each year group studies aspects of local history and British history. Years 4, 5 and 6 also study world history – through an ancient history topic. UK history is taught chronologically to enable children to place each time period on a timeline. This allows pupils to consistently build on previous knowledge and learning in sequence. In order to support children in their ability to know more and remember more, there are regular opportunities to review the learning that has taken place in previous topics as well as previous lessons.
At the start of each topic children will review previous learning and will have the opportunity to share what they already know about a current topic. Children are given a knowledge organiser at the start of each topic which details some key information, dates and vocabulary. This is used to support children with their acquisition of knowledge and is used as a reference document.
All units will cover key historical concepts: Investigate and Interpret the Past; Understand Chronology; Build an overview of World History and Communicate Historically).
Children are given opportunities to study artefacts and go on educational visits, to enrich and enhance the pupil’s learning experience and the History curriculum. Effective questioning by teachers ensures that children are able to answer the key question and mini plenaries, at different points in each lesson, ensure misconceptions are highlighted and addressed. Support and differentiation will be facilitated by teachers and TAs, to ensure that each pupil can access the History curriculum. Pupils are given the opportunity for Self or Peer Assessment.
Displays that answer key questions help to create a rich learning environment for the History focus.
The impact of this curriculum design will lead to progress over time across Key Stages, relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. Our History curriculum will also encourage pupils to be enthusiastic history learners, evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice and their written work. We want this enthusiasm to lead them into selecting a career in the historian field: archivists, museum curators, archaeologists or research analysts etc.
At Blair Peach we believe history and geography are a valuable part of children’s education. Children not only acquire knowledge but also foster lifelong skills which will allow them to explore and understand the world around them.
History and Geography are becoming increasingly linked and are therefore often known to the children as topic lessons, where Specific Geography skills taught include; mapping; using sources of information; learning specifics about the area of study, such as the names of important rivers and mountains and comparing places.
History teaching aims to develop enquiry and research skills as well as enabling children to organise and convey information in a variety of ways. They consider ways in which the past is represented and handle and interpret artefacts from the period of study. Over the seven years at the school, children will develop a sense of chronology. The periods covered are very varied and include: Ancient Britain, The Romans, Saxons and Vikings amongst others.
Geography Key Stage 1
During Key Stage 1 pupils investigate their local area and a contrasting area in the United Kingdom or abroad; they learn about the environment in both areas and the people who live there. They also begin to learn about the wider world.
They carry out geographical inquiries inside and outside the classroom. Children have the opportunity to ask geographical questions about people, places and environments as well as develop geographical skills using resources such as maps and photographs.
Geography Key Stage 2
During Key Stage 2 pupils investigate a variety of people, places and environments in the United Kingdom and abroad. They start to make links between different places in the world. In addition, they find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. Children develop geographical enquiry where learning takes place both inside and outside the classroom. This gives them the opportunity to ask geographical questions, and use geographical skills and resources such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and ICT.
History Key Stage 1
During Key Stage 1 children develop a sense of chronology by sequencing events and objects in order, using key vocabulary to describe the passing of time whilst recognising that their lives are different from those in the past. Children begin to recognise and understand why people acted the way they did and develop an understanding of the different ways the past is portrayed. They have the opportunity to make simple observations and handle sources of information to answer questions about the past.
History Key Stage 2
At Key Stage 2 children have the opportunity to use their acquired knowledge and skills to look in more detail at past events and people, gaining a better understanding of both British and world history. Children have the opportunity to use a range of sources to make comparisons between different features of the past and discover the way events or people are linked within different periods.
Children are also given the opportunity to make links between key past events and think analytically, about why things happen. They make appropriate use of dates and terms and select and organise information to produce structured work.