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Humanities

Geography

 

 

 

Intent

 

At St Marks, we believe that children should leave the school fascinated by the wonders of Earth and with a curiosity to further explore its human and physical features. They should recognise connections and seek explanations about how the world works, thinking of alternative futures. We aim to provide children with a wealth of opportunities to apply their skills in both the local area and beyond, leading their own learning through questioning, researching and fieldwork.

We aim for our children to build upon their experiences and prior knowledge, and ensure they retain specific ‘sticky knowledge’ that we wish for them to know in the long term. These are guided by our golden threads of our place in the world (climate change, location similarities and differences) and fieldwork.

 

Implementation

 

Throughout their time at St Marks, children draw on their own experiences and curiosity to shape our geography curriculum. Teachers are responsive to what children want to learn, providing opportunities for them to reconsider their existing understanding. 

Each year, children are active participants and investigators, applying their geographical skills to a range of settings on trips and residentials. Our curriculum projects guide our geographical exploration and learning with carefully considered open-ended questions such as ‘Is exploration always good?’ ‘Where does our food come from?’ and ‘Do we value what we’ve got?’

 

EYFS: Children begin by thinking about their personal geography: Who am I? Where am I? What is the world? They experience the world beyond classrooms through child-led discovery and walks, promoting both learning and personal development. It is through this that children begin to grow their curiosity and start asking questions.

 

KS1: Children develop their geographical understanding further, looking outside of their local area and developing subject-specific vocabulary. They are given ownership over their lines of enquiry and use fieldwork to build on their locational awareness.

 

KS2: Children bring together their previous learning, extending it further by ‘thinking geographically’ about our changing world. They become deeper critical thinkers, challenging different views and adopting new ones.

 

Impact

 

Children leave St Marks as experienced, curious and knowledgeable geographers that understand key aspects of our world and the world we may live in in the future. They are ready to challenge stereotypes, further understand how the world works and use fieldwork in new and exciting contexts.

 

 

 

History

 

 

 

Intent

 

We aim to deliver a high-quality History education with carefully chosen content, details and breadth to ensure pupils acquire a coherent knowledge and understanding of the past both in Britain and the wider ancient civilisations. Our projects, replacing the traditional ‘topics’, will be centred around a key question concept that will encourage the children to relate their knowledge to society today. Our history curriculum will encourage children to think and act like historians by learning how historians study the past and construct accounts of the past through specific examples. As with all subjects, each unit of study will have specific ‘sticky knowledge’ (the things we want the children to know or skills to be able to apply long term). These are guided by ‘Golden Threads’ that weave throughout all History learning and they are: Chronology (understanding key dates within British and ancient history) Similarities and Differences (noting trends, connections and contrast between periods) and Historical Figures (identifying those who shaped society today).

 

Implementation

The History curriculum begins in Reception where children begin to develop a sense of past and present in their immediate community. Children will develop a greater understanding of the world through exploring key concepts such as ‘Why is it good to be me?’, ‘How can we make the world a better place?’ and ‘How do we show kindness to people and places?’.

In Key Stage 1, pupils will begin to expand and develop their knowledge of the past. Projects will be delivered on a two-year cycle, where children are provided the opportunity to build on prior knowledge and develop a critical understanding of key historical concepts.

In Key Stage 2, children will access the History curriculum each week for an hour (or sometimes as a ‘blocked’ period where a half-term’s learning happens over two weeks if this will make a particular unit of study more effective). Children will develop disciplinary knowledge and are taught enquiry skills such as interpreting the past, asking and answering questions and reviewing and analysing sources of evidence.

 

Impact

Outcomes and understanding will be gauged from learner voice conferencing, quality of work produced and end of unit quizzes, along with ongoing formative assessment within and between lessons. Our Golden Threads will inform future planning to ensure children are given ample opportunities to build on prior learning and expand on their understanding of History.

 

 

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