‘The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future’
– Theodore Roosevelt, previous American President, author, explorer, soldier and naturalist.

‘Geography is the study of earth as the home of people’
– Yi-Fu Tuan, Chinese-US geographer

At St John the Baptist we aim to give our children a humanities curriculum which enables them to become confident, creative and independent learners who can explore the use of different knowledge and skills throughout topical learning. We seek to broaden children’s real-life experiences both inside and outside of school through trips, experimentation, exploration and discovery. Within lessons and clubs our children acquire a range of knowledge and skills in both history and geography which they can then apply to other subjects and in a variety of situations.

Furthermore, it is our aim that through historical and geographical learning, children will become accountable citizens, understanding their role in protecting our world and environment and knowing how they can cause positive change and development as they grow.

Across the course of a year, each year group studies a variety of humanities topics. These are a mixture of history and geography and are linked to writing and other subjects where possible. Links between subjects give children a broad base of knowledge, facts, vocabulary, real-life experience and contexts to use for learning. Some key topics are re-visited throughout children’s school-life in varying forms in order that they may deepen their skills, knowledge and understanding.

Within each topic, lesson progression follow a similar structure, almost always beginning with a KWL (what you know, what you want to know and what you have learned) in order that teachers may assess children’s prior knowledge but then can also utilise the children’s own questions in order to inform further lesson development. Identifying at the end of each topic what has been learned ensures progression in humanities while also ensuring that children grow in their confidence of the subjects and topics. In addition to the KWL, each topic is framed by a question which is addressed throughout. These questions encourage discussion and are another way to highlight prior knowledge and misconceptions.

Both history and geography lessons take various forms. Throughout each topic there is a balance of practical, hands-on learning and written recording of knowledge.

Useful Links

Geography – National Geographic Kids – Primary Games Arena, Geography Games – BBC Schools Geography Games – World History Atlas (mapping the world from 3000 BC to today) – World Atlas & facts about places

History – Horrible Histories Gory Games – BBC Schools Primary History – BBC Schools History Games – Primary Games Arena, History Games – Mapping the WW2 Bomb Census in London – This Day in History