Geography & History

During their time at St Margaret Mary’s RC Primary School children are taught both History and Geography through an integrated creative curriculum in all phases. This means that they will learn the skills and knowledge and understanding set out in the National Curriculum through an engaging and exiting approach.

During the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), History and Geography are taught through the area of learning known as “Understanding of the World” as set out in the EYFS curriculum, in which the children are taught skills and knowledge such as “people and communities” and “The world”. This is delivered through motivating and exciting themes and is also part of the creative curriculum.

History is an exciting subject which gives many opportunities to develop those significant key skills. It encourages children to become enquirers and helps them to develop their sense of identity through the content set out in the National Curriculum which includes: comparing and contrasting events and people that have shaped the world today and to question the different sources available to them.

Throughout their time at St Margaret Mary’s, children will learn a number of historical and life skills through the integrated curriculum. They will learn about events, people and changes of the past and how they have moulded our world today. They will have a good chronological understanding of people and events and understand different historical interpretations and the different way history is told and recorded.

In Phase 1 children should be taught about:

  • changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life.
  • events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally.
  • the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods.
  • significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.

In Phase 2, children should be taught about:

  • changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.
  • the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain.
  • Britain's settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots.
  • the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor.
  • a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils' chronological knowledge beyond 1066AD.
  • the achievements of the earliest civilizations - an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.
  • Ancient Greece - a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world.
  • a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history - one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900: Mayan civilizations c.AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300.

 Geography is also taught through an integrated curriculum that allows children to investigate and discuss both human and physical geography through fun and exhilarating themes which will stimulate their interest for the beautiful world which surrounds them. Children will develop a concern and duty about the environmental issues we face and a sense of responsibility for the future of the human habitat. Throughout all phases, children will have the opportunities to ask questions about where they live and the natural world. They will be encouraged to notice differences and similarities between local environments and talk about those features they like and dislike.

In Phase 1 children should be taught to:

  • name and locate the world's seven continents and five oceans.
  • name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas.
  • understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country.
  • identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South poles.
  • use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to:
  • key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather.
  • key human features, including: city, town, village, factory farm, house, office, port, harbour, and shop.
  • use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage.
  • use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language(for example, near and far; left and right), to describe the location of features and routes on a map.
  • use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features; devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key.
  • use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surround environment.

In Phase 2, pupils should be taught to:

  • locate the world's countries, using maps to focus on Europe (including the location of Russia) and North and South America, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities.
  • name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, key topographical features (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time.
  • identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Artic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime / Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night).
  • understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human an physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom, a region in a European country, and a region within North or South America.
  • describe and understand key aspects of:

physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle.

human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water.

  • use maps, atlases, globes and digital / computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied.
  • use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world.
  • use fieldwork to observe, measure and record the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies.

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St Margaret Mary's R.C. Primary School

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