History and Geography
Geography is embedded into our curriculum through the teaching of cross-curricular units that take an enquiry based approach. This helps to give more purpose to the learning and fosters curiosity and fascination about the world and the human and physical processes that shape it. Teaching of the subject is enriched through physical exploration and practical learning. As children progress through the school our aims are to stimulate the children’s curiosity and fascination through developing their:
- Awareness and knowledge of the world, including distinct locations.
- Understanding the physical and human processes that shape the world, and how these are related to each other.
- Skills in interpreting geographical information through the use of maps, diagrams, aerial photography and globes.
- Understanding of geographical information and processes though cross curricular work including numerical and data handling skills, and writing at length.
- Sense of responsibility and respect towards the world’s natural resources and all its peoples, regardless of race, culture or religion.
Some ideas of how you can help, support and encourage your children at home:
- If you are going on a trip, share the details with your children – have a look on a map to see where it is, and use the site map together to find your way around.
- Talk about news stories about the local area, or even other places in the world.
- Go out and explore! Encourage the children to observe their environment and compare it to other places they see.
Year 1 Topic
What makes up our local community?
Children in year 1 have been discussing the importance of having a local community. They have also been learning to write their own address.
Year 2 Topic
Where in the world do we find treasure?
Children in year 2 have been using maps and atlases to label the oceans and continents. They have also been considering the features of an island.
Year 3 Topic
Where’s the best place to put your rubbish?
Year 3 have been identifying natural and man-made features.
Year 4 Topic
Who do you think you are?
Year 4 have been learning all about America. They have used maps to locate states and cities. They enjoyed a ‘New York food tasting morning’ and researched New York. They imagined what it would be like to travel there and in pairs or small groups they wrote postcards from New York.
Year 5 Topic
Are we nearly there yet?
Year 5 have been working hard developing their mapping skills. They have been studying maps of the local area and using grid references. They also used maps when considering where the Anglo-Saxons came from.
Me2Club – When children join Me2Club they complete a ‘Heritage Matters’ booklet.
Reception – Reception have considered all the different languages that our spoken in the year group.
Year 1 topic – What makes up the United Kingdom? Year 1 considered weather around the UK. They wrote weather reports and identified towns and cities in the UK.
Year 2 topic – How do people and animals survive in cold places?
Year 2 learnt lots about how animals and humans survive in the cold. They researched polar animals and wrote interesting non-chronological reports about them. They compared the weather and jobs we have in the UK with the weather and jobs you might find in the Arctic. To end the topic the children considered if they would like to go to the Arctic and why. They also wrote about what they would need to take with them!
Year 3 topic – Rock on
Year 3 learnt all about volcanoes. They identified geographical features on a map and wrote an information text all about volcanoes.
Year 4 topic – What continent is the Amazon on?
Year 4 have been learning all about the Amazon Rainforest. They have been considering deforestation and they have written a balanced argument. They have also been using persuasive writing when they created holiday brochures. As part of their home learning projects they have created models of the Amazon Rainforest. They are very detailed and they look fantastic.
History is also embedded into our curriculum through the teaching of cross-curricular units that take an enquiry based approach. This helps to give more purpose to the learning and encourages the children to kindle their enthusiasm and curiosity to know more about the past. Pupils will be encouraged to enquire about the past and begin to make their own judgements, based on their encounters and developing ability to interpret a variety of historical sources, both in school and further afield. As children progress through the school our aims are to inspire the children to become curious historians through:
- Developing their chronological understanding.
- Learning about the history of Britain and understand how people’s lives have shaped the nation.
- Investigating and understanding the history of the wider world through ancient civilisations.
- Learning and using historical skills to investigate and interpret historical sources.
- Understanding how to use historical sources to present and justify an opinion.
Some ideas of how you can help, support and encourage your children at home:
- Talk to your children about family history to help establish a sense of the past. Perhaps even try to research your family tree.
- First World War – if you have family connected to the war this is a good place to start to talk about the past
Get out and about! There are many places in and around Cambridge to visit and find out about the history of this area and also the world. In Cambridge the Fitzwilliam Museum has free entry and a wealth of history to explore. Have a look at the www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/things-to-do/Cambridge website for some ideas of places to go.
Year 1 - have enjoyed their history topic focused on various houses from the following periods in history: Medieval, Tudor, Georgian and Victorians. They wrote interesting reports about their learning. They also compared modern rooms and Victorian rooms for example the kitchen and the living room.
Year 2 - enjoyed their Fire of London topic! They were able to recount and create a timeline of some famous from Britain who lived in the past, explaining what they did and why it was important. They chose to look at Samuel Pepy’s life and wrote a biography all about him. They imagined asking him questions and explained how the fire spread through London, using this understanding to write diary entries.
Year 3 - enjoyed their Tomb Raiders topic all about the Ancient Egyptians. They developed their research skills to find answer to specific historical questions like ‘How did the Ancient Egyptians mummify their dead?’ During their research, they used both ipads and books (secondary sources) and discussed which resources were most useful. They also had the opportunity to visit the Fitzwilliam Museum and looked at artefacts from the past.
Year 4 - enjoyed learning about the Romans! They had a fantastic Roman Day in which they enjoyed eating Roman-inspired food! In writing, they have produced some great pieces of work including a biography about Julius Caesar, a poem inspired by the Romanisation of Britain and an argument discussing if and how the Romans improved the British way of life. Year 4 enjoyed creating timelines, looking at primary and secondary sources as well as maps of Roman Britain.
Year 5 - enjoyed learning about the Anglo-Saxons. Through developing their research skills, using ipads and books, they learnt all about the lifestyles of the Anglo-Saxon people and the impact of the invasion on the Britons. They wrote fascinating balanced arguments which discussed the fairness of the Anglo-Saxon invasion. In order to do this, Year 5 identified different reasons for and against the Anglo-Saxons invading and ordered them in importance.
In Spring term, Year 5 have thoroughly enjoyed their Viking topic. They have expanded on their prior knowledge of British history to consider the impact on the Vikings’ arrival in Britain and their consequent raids on Lindisfarne. Through history lessons, the children learnt about Viking mythology and religion, in addition to learning about the ‘Thing’ (the Viking equivalent to government) and compared and contrasted it to the current way our country is governed now. In writing, they have produced some thrilling stories centred on their own Viking character.
Year 5 - enjoyed combining their History and Geography knowledge in their recent ‘Chocolate topic’. They have explored the history of chocolate: finding out about the origins of the cacao bean and the Ancients Mayans with their ‘xocolatl’; the impact of chocolate on the beliefs of the Aztecs and their king, Montezuma; and finally, the journey of the Spanish Conquistadors who brought chocolate over to Europe. They completed some great pieces of historical research whilst exploring the geographical journey of chocolate across the world using atlases and globes. Year 6 even had the opportunity to order various events for a timeline task during continuous learning activities.
In the Spring term, Year 6 have been inspired to write some detailed pieces of writing from their exciting Duxford Imperial War Museum trip including: diary entries as if they were experiencing the Blitz in an air-raid shelter; a letter as an evacuee responding to a family member’s letter; an emotive description of the soldiers on the boats during D-Day; and finally a non-chronological report about different aspects of World War Two. They have even managed to squeeze in a poem and another description of evacuees leaving the train station.
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