At Heathfield the subject Humanities incorporates the study of both History and Geography. These two subjects are concerned with the lives of real people in a real world with real events both past and present interacting upon them together with the influences of the environment, natural forces and economic conditions prevailing at any given time.

At Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception)

History and Geography are addressed through the learning area – Knowledge and Understanding of the World. Here the children begin to develop the crucial knowledge, skills and understanding needed to make sense of the world they live in. We start with topics very close to the child’s ‘mini-world’, e.g. My Home, My Family, then to My School and its Environment and People in the Community.

The activities are based on first-hand experiences that encourage exploration, observation, problem solving, prediction, critical thinking, decision-making and discussion. Activities led both indoors and outdoors stimulate our children’s interest and curiosity.

At Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)

Our children learn about peoples’ lives and lifestyles. They find out about significant men and women, children and events from recent and more distant past, from both Britain and the wider world. Our topics include:

Florence Nightingale, Grace Darling, Louis Braille, The Great Fire of London, Samuel Pepys, The Gunpowder Plot, Remembrance Day and Children’s Lives in the Victorian Times.

They listen and respond to stories and use information from a variety of sources to help them ask and answer questions. They learn how the past is different from the present.

They investigate their local area and a contrasting locality in the United Kingdom. They find out about the environment in both areas and the people who live and work there. Our studies include:

A visit to Martin Mere, A Trip on a Canal Barge, Barnaby Bear and his visits to a variety of places both fictional and with our children on their holiday excursions, Scotland through the Katie Morag stories and Coastal regions through the story of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch.

They also begin to learn about the wider world through books, videos, photographs holidays and map-work. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom asking questions about people, places and environments. We cover such topics as –

A Local Study, Environmental Issues and Fieldwork Opportunities.

At Key Stage 2 (Years 3, 4, 5, and 6)

Our children continue to learn about significant people, events and places from both the recent and more distant past. They learn about change and continuity in our own locality, in Britain and in other parts of the world. They use a variety of sources of information to help them investigate the past, using dates and historical vocabulary to describe events, people and developments. They also learn that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways. They experience this through the topics –

British History – Saxon and Viking Times, Victorian Times, Tudor Times, Local History Study and Britain Since 1930.

World History – Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks

These topics are supported where possible with fieldwork experiences, oral history opportunities, videos, role-play and I.C.T.

Our children also continue to investigate a variety of people, places and environments at different scales in the United Kingdom and abroad. They start to make links between different places in the world. They find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. They carry out geographical enquiry both inside and outside the classroom and are given opportunities to ask geographical questions and use geographical skills and resources such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and I.C.T.

They experience these opportunities through –

Studies of the Local Area, Climates around the World, Environmental Issues/Change, Studying a Contrasting Locality – Grange-Over-Sands and taking part in a residential visit in Year 5, Studying a Country that is Less Economically Developed than the UK E.G. India and Investigative topics on Coastal Regions, Rivers and Water and its Effect on the Landscape.

Throughout both our Historical and Geographical topics there are many opportunities for cross-curricular links, first-hand experiences and discussions.

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