How History and Geography are taught at Church Lench CE First School.
In class 1 history and geography are taught very closely together within the half termly topic. This is important so the children are able to make links between the past and how aspects of the past have changed in comparison with e.g land, settlements, climate and population. There are 6 topics covered within a year on a 2 yearly cycle. Each lesson has a clear history or geography objective and the skills are covered from the Year 1 curriculum and ‘Understanding the World’ and ‘People and Communities’ from EYFS. There are occasions when geographical skills are taught in isolation such as labelling maps or learning about climate in certain areas of the world.
In Classes 2 and 3, pupils are taught a topic over a term and a half under a broad heading, e.g in class 2 the ‘Prehistory’ topic covers from when dinosaurs ruled the earth through to changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age, and in Class 3 ‘Ancient Civilisations’ compares Mayan, Chinese and Egyptian life. Through the class topic pupils cover many skills both geographical and historical. In Class 2 this also includes the study of an important person who has made a significant contribution to their field. Geography and history skills are taught in a lesson called ‘topic’ but the children are made aware of when they are using a historical or geographical skill. In some lessons a specific skill is taught independently e.g. using secondary sources to research a dinosaur or label places on a map while in others questions are used to encourage the children to use their critical thinking skills as well as their specific history or geography skills. For example, the class could be posed the question, is it true to say that Stone Age man was just a simple hunter gatherer only interested in food and shelter? Was it really the slaves who built the pyramids? In order to answer these questions they are finding out about everyday people of the time studied, comparing pictures and representations of the past as well as looking at their reliability. They will have to look at and understand what people in the past used the land for and how this changed over time. Pupils are able to use books, the internet and evidence given by the teacher to come to a conclusion based on their findings. Some historical and geographical skills are repeated in different contexts throughout the 4 topics they will cover over a 2 year cycle (Prehistory, Local History, Conflicts, Significant Events) while some are specific to the current unit they are studying.
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