Curriculum - Humanities (Geography & History)

humanitiesAt Birchwood Junior School, 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 their learning. We seek to broaden children’s real-life experiences both inside and outside of school through educational visits, visitors, experimentation, exploration and discovery. Within lessons, 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 either history or geography focused to allow our learning to focus on core subject specific knowledge and skills. Links across and between subjects give children a broad base of knowledge, facts, vocabulary, real-life experience and contexts to use for learning. Both history and geography have identified key themes, which support children to make connections and links across the topics covered.

Humanities Overview History Progression Progression Of History Vocabulary 6

Humanities - History

historyStudying History gives children the opportunity to develop an understanding of why the world and its people are the way they are today. Children are encouraged to ask and answer questions, evaluate evidence and present points of view on what they have learnt.

history detectiveBy the time children, leave Birchwood Junior children they will have a chronological understanding of History from Stone Age to present day and will be able to draw comparisons and make connections between different periods and their own lives.


history sourcesHistory is used to develop children’s chronological understanding using appropriate vocabulary and identifying different ways that the past is presented. Each History topic is carefully planned to allow regular opportunities for extended writing too. Based on the historical content they have been focusing on that unit, children will produce pieces of quality writing which are then marked according to our literacy guidelines. This enables them to use the vocabulary they have learnt creatively as well as familiarising them further with the range of writing types and genres they cover throughout the school. This is also an opportunity to consolidate writing skills and reapply them in an alternative and more independent context, this type of activity also allows the children to put themselves in the shoes of the historical characters they are learning about and approach their learning from a different perspective.

To be a Historian at Birchwood Junior School means you have:

•  An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events, and contexts from a range of historical periods and of historical concepts and processes.
•  The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas very confidently in styles appropriate to a range of audiences.
•  The ability to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using detailed, appropriate and accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources.
•  The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry.
•  A passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and their understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
•  A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make robust and critical use of it to support their explanations and judgments.
•  A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics.


Here are some fantastic websites you can visit to help you learn about the past...

BBC Bitesize - History         The British Museum         Museum of the Home         Mummy Maker (Flash)         Viking Quest (Flash)         BBC Bitesize - Famous People         St Albans Museum         Birmingham Museums         BBC History for Kids         Primary Homework Help - History         Horrible Histories

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Humanities - Geography

geographyAt Birchwood Junior School, we offer children a high quality geography curriculum, giving them a sense of place – both where they live and in the wider world. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Geography; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills; and for the children to develop a love for geography. Furthermore, we aim to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. They learn about what our local area has to offer and compare, and contrast that to places in the rest of the UK, Europe and beyond. Our geography curriculum reflects the diversity of our school, ensuring our children learn about a variety of places, people, resources and natural and human environments. They also develop a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their globegrowing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Wherever possible, our geography curriculum is enhanced by trips and visitors, as these bring the curriculum alive to our children and create lifelong memorable experiences. All pupils will be encouraged to ask questions, think critically and develop their own sense of perspective of the world. By deepening our children’s knowledge of geography, we will help them to understand how the world has grown and changed over time, the diversity of people’s lives and the possibility for us to live sustainability for the future.

mapGeography is delivered both discretely and through cross-curricular links. For example, children read and interpret graphs in Maths. They are given opportunities to use grid references, develop map and navigational skills during orienteering in Physical Education. In History lessons, children chart the conflict of World War II in Europe, identifying the countries of the allies and axis powers, and where they are located on a world map. They research geographical regions, identifying human and physical characteristics, and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects changed during the wartime.

As the children move through the school, they follow the age-related expectations set out in the National Curriculum document. Display work stimulates learning and introduces children to key geographical vocabulary.

map2The aims of teaching geography in our school are:

•  To inspire pupils’ curiosity to discover more about the world.
•  To enable children to know about the location of the world’s continents, countries, cities, seas and oceans.
•  To develop in children the skills of interpreting a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
•  To help children understand how the human and physical features of a place shapes it location and can change over time.

Here are some fantastic websites you can visit to help you learn about the world...

National Geographic Kids         Primary Homework Help         BBC Bitesize - Geography         OS Map Zone         National Curriculum in England: Geography Programmes Of Study        

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