Knowledge-Rich, Diversity-Led Curriculum
"The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together." Barack Obama, President of the USA 2009 - 2017
In line with the 2014 National Curriculums for History and Geography, the humanities curriculum at Stoneydown is designed to progressively develop children’s knowledge, understanding and skill set and both subject areas.
In geography, it is important to us that children have an understanding of global changes that affect the world in which we live. We aim that by the time children leave Stoneydown, they will understand the world and their place in it, develop children’s understanding of where they are in the world and know what their local area and the city of London is like. Our children use maps, globes, atlases and digital mapping to find out about the world, comparing different climates and terrains, and understanding how different parts of the world are connected. They raise questions about how humans impact the natural and physical world. We want pupils to recognise their contribution to, and responsibilities for, their locality, country and global community. We also aim to promote knowledge and inspire fascination and interest about diverse places. Geography at Stoneydown will help pupils to become knowledgeable citizens, concerned about the future of the world, able to understand key geographical concepts and skills and aware of the connections that exist between people and places.
Our approach to this involves practical, creative learning, which encompasses geographical skills and enquiry.
Our history curriculum does not simply view the subject as the memorisation of facts and dates. It is a chance to become a detective and explore the past in an exciting way, whilst also being sensitive to the interests of our children and the context of our local area, Walthamstow. Children compare and contrast different periods of history, examine and understand change, expand their research skills and learn about historical characters from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures throughout history. We want our children to be open-minded and enquiring thinkers, who ask perceptive questions, think critically and make links between the past and modern times. Chronology is explicitly taught with children devising whole class timelines to understand the recent and more distant past.
Teachers at Stoneydown have devised engaging, diverse and equality-driven humanities curriculums, drawing upon high quality training and support from leaders. This curriculum is topic based and aims to cover all areas of the geography and history curriculums. This enables them to plan engaging learning experiences that develop geographical and historical understanding and knowledge. Leaders have ensured that there is a progression of knowledge and skills across year groups, with a focus on Sticky Knowledge (i.e. the knowledge that children must acquire in order to move on in their learning). This ensures there is a balanced coverage across the strands in history (chronological understanding; historical interpretations; historical enquiry; and knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past) and geography (locational knowledge; place knowledge; human and physical geography; and geographical skills and fieldwork). Children will complete all strands in every year group.
Teachers complete medium term overviews for each topic, showing the objectives, aims and outcomes for the humanities curriculum. Alongside this, teachers use prior knowledge and future learning to inform their weekly planning. Teachers use a variety of resources and artefacts to support this. Many of these exist in school, but may be ordered in from companies such as Vestry House. Teachers create personalised learning experiences for all learners, whilst stimulating and challenging those who may be working at a greater depth in each subject area.
At the beginning of each new topic, teachers refer to classroom timelines and maps to develop children’s understanding of chronology and their place in the world. Each topic is introduced with reference to prior knowledge. Children complete concepts maps about a given topic, which is then amended and revised throughout the topic. This process informs a programme of study that is responsive to children’s interests. Key knowledge is reviewed by the children and rigorously checked and consolidated by the teacher.
Each term, teachers review pupil work and outcomes to feed into their future planning, revisiting misconceptions and knowledge gaps. This once again considers future learning: teachers use this to ensure that children do have the sticky knowledge that is needed for the next topic or the next phase of their learning. Any gaps are addressed whilst teaching humanities or other curriculum areas. This ensures all pupils make good progress.
Stoneydown is made up of teachers who demonstrate high expectations, enthusiasm and passion about humanities, inspiring and motivating pupils. As a result, pupils demonstrate excellent understanding of important concepts in all strands in the humanities and are able to make connections within the subject. Learning is fun, engaging and high-quality. They have developed transferable knowledge, skills and understanding. Teaching and learning empowers pupils to be archaeologists, historians and explorers.
We use a variety of strategies to evaluate the knowledge, skills and understanding that our children have gained in each half-termly unit. This includes:
- CPD to ensure that teacher pedagogy and assessment is secure.
- Regular Marking and feedback.
- Subject monitoring, including book looks
The quality of children’s learning is showcased in a variety of forums: in topic books, English books, on classroom and corridor displays, on Google Classroom, through class assemblies and in the school Newsletter. All demonstrate a broad and balanced humanities curriculum.
Children at Stoneydown are given many enriching and memorable experiences to maximise learning in history and geography. Relationships with local companies and people in our local community allow us to invite specialists in to meet with children and inspire them to consider future careers in history and geography professions. We encourage first hand experience wherever possible and visits play an important role in all year groups, including visits in the local area (e.g. the Park, Wetlands etc), as well as to the many museums that London has to offer. History and geography may also be brought alive through drama activities which also act as stimuli for writing.
Click here to see the National Curriculum History Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2.
Click here to see the National Curriculum Geography Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2.