Geography & History
Subject Leader: Karen Beck
Our Curriculum Intent
At St. John’s we believe the geography curriculum should inspire pupils to develop a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. Opportunities are taken to make links between our local area and the wider world through comparison, and our pupils are encouraged to develop an inquisitive approach to both human and physical geography topics.
In Reception, geography is part of the ‘Understanding the World’ curriculum area, allowing links to be made with science and history. The children learn about their environment through local visits, their use of the outdoor area and the outside learning area in the school grounds. In Key Stage 1 we look further at our local area, comparing it to other areas in the UK and around the world. Map skills are introduced and children begin to learn geographical vocabulary that refers to both human and physical geography. In Key Stage 2 these topics are further developed with physical and human geography topics including volcanoes, rivers, field work and country-specific study.
At St. John’s we believe that equipping pupils with an understanding of the past and how historical events have shaped and influenced the present, allows them to understand the process of change in society, the relationships between different groups and the social, political, cultural and economic challenges of our time.
In Key Stage 1 children develop an awareness of the past, learning about significant individuals who have contributed to the world, and significant historical events within the local area. Pupils study changes within living memory, as well as events beyond living memory such as the Gunpowder Plot and The Great Fire of London. Historical learning is placed in a chronological context to develop a sense of the passage of time.
In Key Stage 2 this chronological approach is continued with local, British and World History topics being studied. In Lower Key Stage 2 topics include the Stone Age and ancient Egypt, whilst in Upper Key Stage 2 topics include the Anglo-Saxons and Mayans. Pupils look at connections and patterns over time, developing a broad use of historical vocabulary. Knowledge is deepened through the use of a range of different sources, the children learning how our understanding of the past is shaped by these, and that there are differing points of view regarding every historical event.