History and Geography at St. Amand's
History encourages all learners to discover the truth of the past and to have a deep understanding of the present, which in turn will enable them to make informed and wise decisions for creating a better future. History helps students find their place in the story of humankind. Students are helped to develop critical thinking skills as they delve into the rich variety of available sources. Learning to analyse and critique information and data encourages the ability to discern facts and reach conclusions, matching evidence with truth. Learning from the past helps to facilitate a better future for the common good of all God’s people.
Geography enables all learners to experience the beauty, awe and wonder of God’s world and to develop an awareness of their place in it. All places and spaces have a history behind them shaped by humans, location, climate, and politics. Geography gives us a spatial awareness of the globe and serves to form respectful attitudes that serve to remind students that we are stewards and not masters of creation.
Theological influences help to shape the cosmological understandings of the world as we recognize that we are a global community with a global interdependence, accountability, and responsibility for the common good of all people. Our Stewardship must reflect our understanding that the planet is our irreplaceable home.
How is the History and Geography Curriculum delivered? (Implementation)
- They are both taught from EYFS to Year 6 and is a foundation subject. It is taught for approximately one afternoon every week.
- The curriculum is delivered in small steps within a topic unit where knowledge and skills are continuously revisited and built upon as children progress through school.
- Within History, there is coverage of both knowledge and skills in chronology, range and depth of history, interpretations of history and historical enquiry. Whereas within Geography, there is coverage of both knowledge and skills in locational and place knowledge, human and physical geography and field work.
- Planning is developed by class teachers from the two-year cycle within EYFS & KS1 and within the four-year cycle within KS2. There is a clear progression of skills that each teacher follows.
- All lessons have the opportunity for children to be challenged through historic or geographical enquiry. Children are provided with opportunities to lead their learning in mini projects and autonomy as to how to present a piece of work.
- Where possible, cross-curricular links are made for instance, the use of historical maps of the locality and evidence that can be observed in a painting.
- First-hand experiences are crucial to the lessons with the emphasis on learning through asking relevant questions.
- Children are taught a wide range of skills including: asking questions, making observations and taking measurements; engaging in some practical enquiry; recording and presenting evidence they have found; answering questions and developing opinions and raising further questions.
- Through the course of the year, children are introduced to a range of significant historical figures. These historic figures are from a variety of different ethnicities and genders. Plus, children are introduced to a range of countries through our global work and look at many different aspects of that country from locality to culture, trade, music and art.
What difference are the History and Geography Curriculums making? (Impact)
- Underlying our approach is the belief that children should understand that the past has many different facets. Each era is different from the next, as well as our own.
- History builds children's understanding of society and provides real-life accounts of how to deal with situations in their own lives (such as) when two versions of the same event or two incompatible interpretations of a famous person occur. Whereas, Geography builds children's understanding that we all should work together to become informed and active future citizens.
- We believe that pupils leave St. Amand’s equipped to understand how their lives are connected to others and are both shaped by and impact on the environments they inhabit so that they are to make responsible choices for the future. We provide the pupils with opportunities to explore artefacts and question sources to discover the answers to their own historical questions.
- From their different starting points, all children will make at least good progress and achieve their potential academically, emotionally, creatively, and socially. Knowledge, understanding and skills will be secured and embedded so that children can progress.
- Pupils will have good communication skills and will listen respectfully and with tolerance to the views of others using evidence to support or refute ideas or arguments.
- Pupils will take pride in all that they do, always striving to do their best.
- Pupils will be able to explore their own investigations, respectfully sharing their own thoughts and opinions whilst understanding that they may differ from others.
- Pupils will demonstrate emotional resilience and the ability to persevere when they encounter challenge.
- Pupils will develop a sense of self-awareness and become confident in their own abilities.
- Teachers plan to ensure that children are accessing work at age related expectations, with regular opportunities to be challenged through higher-level questioning.
- Pupils will competently use and know the meaning of agreed vocabulary correctly when talking and writing about events or processes.
- Children are assessed according to age related expectations in line with curriculum requirements. This is done in line with the school assessment calendar.
How to Help Your Child at Home
Talking about past events is key to the development of history in young children. We are extremely lucky to have a small museum (https://www.hendredmuseum.org.uk/ ) and their website is full of interesting facts and photographs. As part of our wider and neighbouring counties we are lucky to have access to historical places of interest, many of which coincide with our history curriculum – Uffington White Horse Hill, Avebury and Didcot Railway Centre.
We live in and around geography - from the streets we walk to the weather we endure - so supporting your child’s geography may not be as daunting as you may first think. The principle here is to know your local area and explore it with your children. Walk to school if possible rather than go by car. Touch the outdoor world, keep a record of what you see on the way.
Play "I Spy" on the way to school. What a way to investigate the features of places! Point out the range of maps that we can use to help us unravel the mystery of places. Be map collectors in places that you visit that give out free maps - shopping centres, country parks, town centres and museums. Read and explore them with your children. Let older children investigate route maps and help them to plan the route to places that you visit. Look at the food items that you are purchasing, note where they come from and look for the countries together in an atlas at home, or on internet maps. Look at the labels in clothing items, where are the items made? Go for a walk in a local wood or forest at different times of the year e.g. springtime or autumn (leaf kicking time). Seasonality is a very important pattern in their lives. Watch the weather forecast - even better listen to different radio channel forecasts. Did they get it right? Watch items on dramatic world weather events. Talk about topic issues highlighted by news programmes such as News Round.
The list is endless – you will have many ideas of your own. In a nutshell, you can help your children learn by offering them exciting activities and by encouraging them to ask and to try to answer questions about the world in which we live.
History and Geography in Action
As a school, we strive to utilise the outdoors, where possible. We have an extensive school grounds which the children use regularly. Futhermore, we have local links with our village musuem and Hendred House, with its vast grounds, which includes a private chapel called St. John the Baptist and St. Amand. Within walking distance of the school, there are various Geocaches, which the older children have found using GPS.