History and Geography
History Vision Statement
“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.” Theodore Roosevelt
We offer an ambitious history curriculum, which helps pupils to understand that history is the narrative of the past and that they are the characters in the narrative of shaping the future. Children will gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of British history and that of the wider world. We always strive to inspire children’s curiosity to know more about the past, and to investigate how events in history have had an impact on their lives today. 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. Teaching will equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, examine and interpret evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. We encourage children to think, reflect, discuss, debate and evaluate historical events in order to support their learning; to think and act as historians; and to develop their empathy and global citizenship. British Values are taught within the History curriculum. Children will learn about how people from the past have influenced and shaped the country in which we live, they will learn to value diversity and will explore democracy and the rule of law across various periods of History. We want to equip pupils with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the History National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in History, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the school. History is taught focusing on the knowledge and disciplinary concepts outlined in the National Curriculum. History topics can often be used as a driver for a class topic and lessons are taught either explicitly or where teachers make meaningful links across other subjects.
Key substantive concepts such as religion, empire and government are revisited to ensure retention of knowledge and to build historical schema by making connections across different time periods. Staff will explicitly model the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning and will make links to prior learning to aid the integration of new knowledge into larger concepts. Key knowledge is reviewed by the children and rigorously checked and consolidated by the teacher. All learning will start by revisiting prior knowledge for children to retrieve and revisit prior learning. Low threat retrieval tasks such as quizzes, general questioning and retrieval grids are incorporated into lessons to review learning and facilitate retrieval of knowledge to strengthen memory.
Within a sequence of History lessons, children will participate in both collaborative and independent activities. During these lessons, we use assessment for learning to ensure that we are able to plan for next steps. Teachers’ cater for the varying needs of all learners, differentiating activities where necessary and as appropriate, and ensuring an appropriate level of challenge.
At the beginning of each new history topic, teachers refer to timelines to develop children’s understanding of chronology. Each topic is introduced with reference to the chronology of previous areas of study (including those from previous years). By the end of Year 6, children have a good chronological understanding of British and world history. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Where appropriate, we use historical artefacts, visitors, workshops and visits to excite and intrigue our children to find out more about events and people from the past.
Our Reception class follows the EYFS Statutory Framework educational programmes. The children will develop their understanding of chronology and the concepts of past and present. Opportunities will be provided for children to consider what has changed within their own lifetime and they will also be given opportunities to explore photographs, videos and oral accounts to begin to consider similarities and differences between modern day and life in different time periods. Children will listen to stories and non-fiction texts, which introduce some of the key concepts and vocabulary frequently revisited in KS1 and KS2.
Geography Vision Statement
At St John Bosco, through the teaching and learning of Geography across all Key Stages, we aim to develop a true love and a sense of wonderment about the world in our children, that will ignite their curiosity as they move through their lives in a way that is truly accessible to all. By the end of Key Stage 2, the children are expected to gain a sense of awareness and understanding of their world; from the area in which they live, to an understanding of physical and human environments, as well as how those environments change over time. We spend time focusing on agriculture, land use and trade, as well as how natural features such as rivers and coastlines develop and change over time. Not only this, but we spend time learning and revisiting key Geographical skills and knowledge basis, such as map skills, coordinates and the 7 continents that make up our world. Furthermore, we want our children to grow into well-rounded, considerate and respectful individuals who relish and embrace the natural cultural diversity of our world. This will be achieved through quality-first teaching, from our teaching staff across all phases.
Geography at St John Bosco Primary School allows children to develop their knowledge of their local area, the UK and the wider world. The teaching of Geography follows the National Curriculum and uses a wide range of resources from both the Geographical Association and Royal Geographical Society to ensure that lessons are high quality, comprehensive and progressively throughout the school.
The coverage is planned to ensure that key strands of geography are developed throughout a child’s time in school. As children progress through the year groups, they will build upon their previously learnt knowledge and skills to develop their understanding of the Earth, its interconnected human and physical landscapes, and the processes that develop and drive these interactions.
As part of all geography lessons, children will retrieve previous knowledge from both former lessons and past years (where knowledge is built on previous learning). New vocabulary that will be taught is given to the children and previous vocabulary is revised. Subsequently, they develop new knowledge and skills and apply these into a range of geographical collaborative and independent tasks. Children then record what they have learnt into knowledge organisers. At the end of a scheme of work, children will create a double page spread. This allows the children to look back at previous Geography lessons, retrieve their knowledge and organise it on a double page.
Here at St John Bosco, we use our expansive school grounds and particularly our surrounding area to its full potential and give children the opportunity to extend their learning outside of the restraints of a classroom when possible. We value the importance of fieldwork to help children to respect and understand their immediate environment and setting.