History and Geography
At St John’s Church of England Infant School, we aim to encourage children to develop an appreciation and understanding of the past. Our pupils learn about the history of their local environment, community and the wider world. History is taught through a Topic based approach to encourage development of both enquiry skills and historical knowledge. We develop children to become independent and evaluative thinkers who have empathy for how others lived. This will develop an awareness, respect and curiosity for different cultures and societies and the past. Children will have the opportunity to ask questions, conduct their own research and work collaboratively and through the use of trips and other experiences. History is accessible to all learners, regardless of individual starting points.
History is taught through our Topics (alongside Geography). Topics are chosen to ensure there is a balance of History and Geography within the curriculum in each year group. Many units of History work across the school includes a trip, eg: Rochester Castle, Guildhall Museum, Dockyard at Chatham. These opportunities strongly support the children’s learning in the classroom, allows them to experience more of the outside world within their local area and encourages their love of learning. Children work towards completing a quality outcome at the end of the learning journey to demonstrate their learning. This approach encourages collaborative learning and develops communication skills and resilience. Children are encouraged to make cross-curricular links with art, English, maths and ICT. Learning walls are consistently used to support and scaffold children’s learning; this includes vocabulary word banks.
At St John’s Church of England Infant School we can judge the success of our History curriculum in the following ways:
- Lesson observations will show that all children are motivated and engaged and can access the tasks. Children will take ownership of their learning by raising questions and conducting their own research.
- Book scrutiny will show pupil’s learning to be of a high standard and will evidence that all children have made progress from their individual starting points, in line with the History skills progression used throughout the school.
- Through pupil voice, pupils will be able to articulate what they have learnt, which skills they have used and which aspects of the project they have enjoyed.
At St John’s Church of England Infant School, Geography has a clear learning journey across the whole school. The pupils will learn about their local environment and community as well as the wider world. Geography is taught through topics that are inspiring and aim to develop children’s natural curiosity. We want our children to develop skills in recognising, describing, explaining, comparing and evaluating human and physical geographical elements with a high level of technical vocabulary being accurately used and applied. We aim to produce independent and evaluative thinkers who have empathy for how others live to develop an awareness, respect and curiosity for different cultures and societies and the physical world around them. Children should have the opportunity to ask questions, make links, allowing them to make sense of the world around them. They will have opportunities to work collaboratively and through the use of trips and other experiences. Geography at St John’s Church of England School is accessible to all learners, regardless of individual starting points.
Geography is taught through our Topics (alongside History). Topics are chosen to ensure there is a balance of History and Geography within the curriculum in each year group. The Geography curriculum is taught through a geographical enquiry approach. The children will often attempt to answer an overarching enquiry question through a combination of approaches starting with a hook to inspire the children. This will enable links to be developed that support the children’s own developing, local, national and global knowledge. This approach encourages the children to become more independent learners, taking responsibility for their own learning. The children are encouraged to ask questions and develop their own lines of enquiry. We approach learning creatively and understand that there is more than one way to achieve an objective or accomplish a task, in order to make lessons more engaging and accessible to all. We follow a skills progression in order to ensure curriculum coverage and in order to develop the children’s key geographical skills and understanding throughout the school. Our school has a clear focus on the development of speech and language and allowing children to make links and embed the vocabulary. We use working walls, visual prompts and pre-teach some vocabulary to enable children to develop a deeper understanding and apply in different contexts. This also helps children to make links and develop their speaking and listening, as well as their writing, across the curriculum.
At the end of each unit, teachers will assess individual’s progress against the key skills. By the end of Year 2, we expect children to be able to:
- Use a range of resources (including maps, aerial photos and atlases) to find out about different parts of the World
- Collect and record evidence and data to support their learning about the World e.g. temperatures · Draw maps (including key OS features and compass points)
- Talk confidently and demonstrate what they have learnt in Geography using subject specific vocabulary.
- Work should be of a good quality and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and vocabulary that pupils are acquiring.