History and Geography
Humanities is the study of man-made creations and the expansion of mankind. Humanities cover a vast realm of subjects and topics. This broad field is inclusive of art, history, philosophy, geography, languages, music and drama. In a primary school setting (KS1 and KS2) humanities is predominately taught through geography and history.
At Newcomen Primary School history and geography are valued as subjects that, by their very nature, inspire children to become active and independent learners. Therefore, these subjects help form the basis of the school’s ‘Thematic approach’.
The teaching of geography and history encourages children to ask questions and to find answers, to form opinions and develop new skills. Humanities at Newcomen Primary School also enable children to become aware of why the world around them is like it is and to understand and value their part in it.
Aims and Objectives for teaching Humanities at Newcomen Primary School:
- to promote an interest and enjoyment in learning about the past and the world they live in;
- to enable children to ask and answer questions about the past and their world;
- to learn about the development of Britain, Europe and the wider world;
- to develop research and interpretation skills using a range of media and artefacts.
- to develop a sense of chronology and an understanding of how to use of historic terms;
- to enable children to communicate their knowledge and understanding in a variety of ways;
- to address issues of equal opportunities in context, challenging stereotypes, with an awareness of the background and cultural heritage of all pupils;
- to teach historical and geographical knowledge;
- to support or provide a means of enriching other areas of the curriculum.
- to provide opportunities for learning through visits to places of historic and geographical interest, handling primary and secondary sources, bringing visitors into school and partaking in field trips.
- to develop an awareness of their surroundings and the wider world through an appreciation of the variety of physical and human environment;
- to foster a sense of responsibility about the environment and promote an active participation in caring for the environment;
- to help children to develop an informed concern about the quality of the environment and the future of the global environment, including an awareness and understanding of the issue of sustainability.
Cross Curricular Opportunities
The contribution of geography to teaching in other curriculum areas:
Geography makes a significant contribution to the teaching of English in our school because it actively promotes the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Furthermore, it helps play an important role in the delivery of the thematic approach across both Key Stages. As such, we ensure that some of the texts that we use in literacy have a geographical link. For example, in Key Stage 1 we use the Katie Morag books by Mairi Hedderwick to develop childrens knowledge and understanding. In KS2, in addition to reading books with a geographical focus, we organise debates on environmental issues because we believe that this develops speaking and listening skills. Furthermore, utilising the ‘writing checklist’ during the teaching of geography, undoubtedly aids in the development of the children’s writing ability.
Geography contributes to the teaching of mathematics in a variety of ways. We teach the children how to represent objects with maps. The children study space, scale and distance and they learn how to use four and six figure grid references. They also use graphs to explore, analyse and illustrate a variety of data.
Information and communication technology (ICT)
We make provision for the children to use the computer in Geography lessons, where appropriate. Children use ICT in Geography to enhance their skills in data handling and in presenting written work. We also offer children the opportunity to use the digital camera to record and use photographic images.
The contribution of history to teaching in other curriculum areas:
Like geography, history contributes significantly to the teaching of English in our school by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Furthermore, it helps play an important role in the delivery of the thematic approach across both Key Stages. As such, some of the texts that we use in literacy are historical in nature. Children develop their speaking and listening through the discussion of historical questions or presenting their findings to the rest of the class. They develop their writing ability through the use of the ‘writing checklist’ that is utilised by across KS1 and KS2.
History teaching contributes to the teaching of mathematics in a variety of ways. Children learn to use numbers when developing a sense of chronology through doing activities such as time-lines. Children learn to interpret information presented in graphical form, for example they study the impact of the plague by analysing population statistics.
We use ICT in history, where appropriate, to enhance children’s skills in data handling and presentation of written work. Children research information using the Internet. We also offer the opportunity to use the digital camera to record and use photographic images.
At Newcomen Primary School we aim to promote children’s curiosity and leaning through first hand experience and involvement. The use of artefacts, visits and visitors is viewed as fundamental and essential to the teaching of history and geography.
Fieldwork is integral to good humanities teaching and we include as many opportunities as we can to involve children in practical geographical/historical research and enquiry. In KS2 we offer a range of visits including residential visits to Carlton, York and Robinwood. Day trips are also organised to venues such as Wynyard Park, Hartlepool Marina, Eden Camp, Pickering War Weekend, Rydale Folk Museum and Murton Park, where the children are able to use some geographical skills. In KS1 visits are made to venues such as Guisborough Walkway, Saltburn, Foxrush Farm, Seven Stories and Segedunum. Our children in Early Years enjoy a variety of local visits and those further afield such as Beamish.