‘A high quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.’
At Lyminster Primary we aim for our Geography curriculum to be just that: a subject packed with excitement where children learn about aspects of the world and helps them to better understand its people, places and environments, and the interactions between them. We want our children to understand how and why places are changing. For example; when Years 2, 3 and 4 study the Rainforests they can see how changes brought about by humans are affecting climate, the environment and the living things within it but also how the lives of human beings are being affected by these changes. In both key stages, children have the opportunity to study our locality and see the changes that have happened in their own area, why they have happened and how this has changed the way people live. Children have the opportunity to take part in local fieldwork, study maps (including digital maps) and photographs to aid in their understanding of these changes. Within topics about the wider world, such as the year 5 and 6 topic of ‘Pole to Pole’ children will be encouraged to do their own research and learn about these environments and the changes taking place.
At Lyminster, we seek to develop enquiring minds and within Geography they will find answers to such questions as:
Where is this place?
What is it like? (And why?)
How and why is it changing?
How does this place compare with other places?
How and why are places connected?
It is also imperative that the children don’t just answer questions but also ask and debate them:
What could/should the world be like in the future?
What can we do to influence change?
Children will identify and name places, the features within them and the human and physical processes at work there. Such knowledge provides the basis of deeper explanation and understanding; providing entry points to geographical conversations about the world.
Geography is a ‘living’ subject that contributes to and enhances the wider curriculum. That is why, at Lyminster, we teach Geography through the context of a larger topic focus that has cross curricular links.
The knowledge gained through our topics, as well as the understanding and skills to apply it, is built up year on year in progressive step. The 3 strands (taken from the National Curriculum) are: Place and Locational knowledge, Human and Physical Geography and Geographical skills and fieldwork. You can see this progression in our Subject Overview below.
Here at Lyminster Primary School we know that History is a subject that sparks the curiosity and excitement of many of our pupils, and this is why we use it as a driver for many of our cross-curricular topics – from the earliest civilisations of the Mayans and Egyptians, all the way to the magnificence and misery of Victorian Britain. Learning is immersive and made real and relevant for the pupils, as well as inspiring awe-and-wonder, in-line with our overall curriculum aims.
We follow the National Curriculum, and enhance this with an emphasis on our rich local history, such as when our youngest children visit Arundel Castle, or when our older children get stuck in at a working Anglo-Saxon farm. As the oldest surviving school in Littlehampton, there is fascinating history in the fabric of our very building, and the children study in-depth how both our school and the local town have changed since Victorian times to now. During Black History Month in October, whole-school assemblies focus on key values such as confidence and community, whilst we learn about influential figures from history such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. Democracy – the struggles and the victories – continues as a theme close to our school’s heart as our older children study the history and workings of the Houses of Parliament, and debate the complex issues surrounding the Gunpowder Plot.
Debate is key to the types of historians we want to see graduate at the end of their time at Lyminster – historians who can use their skills of enquiry, judgement and communication to reach an informed point of view and put across their opinion with convincing evidence. Was the Victorian era really a high-point for Littlehampton? Were the Vikings really as vicious as the Anglo-Saxons believed, or did our Saxon fore-fathers have their own skeletons in the closet? Was polar discovery and exploration worth the human cost? These open questions drive our learning, and as a (UNCRC) Rights Respecting school we believe passionately in the children’s right to form their own opinion, having applied their historical knowledge, understanding and skills gained from high-quality instruction.
This knowledge, as well as the understanding and skills to apply it, is built up in small progressive steps year by year and in the six main strands we have agreed: Chronology, Key Features, Cause and Consequence, Interpretation, Enquiry and Communication. The aim is to continually build on what they have learned before as they move gradually from history topics that are very personally real and relevant, such as toys and the seaside, to more abstract history and increasingly complex or multi-layered issues. You can see this progression in our Subject Overview below, and in the topic planning for each year group. If you want to explore all this History learning more at home, check out the fun-filled links in our Parents’ and Children’s Hubs!