Great Bowden Academy’s Curriculum: Humanities
Please look at our curriculum page for an overview of the way that we have split our humanities curriculum into teaching units across the school.
Geography is about understanding the world by: comparing locations; investigating; researching different sources; writing and talking about places; asking and answering questions. Teaching geography ensures every pupil has a better understanding of our human and physical world. The knowledge, skills and values developed in geography can be used to make a positive contribution to the world through social and environmental action. We aim to provide real and enhanced experiences, to ensure every pupil develops a love for the subject and reaches their full potential. In Geography lessons, the children develop a knowledge and understanding of places and environments throughout the world, an understanding of maps and a range of problem-solving skills both inside and outside the classroom.
In Key Stage 1 the children learn about countries within the United Kingdom, the different continents and oceans as well as map reading and making. We use the starting point of places in our school grounds to begin to investigate key geographical concepts that are then examined later in school in different places and contexts.
In Key Stage 2 the children study geographical features within the UK and in contrasting localities globally. They also learn about rivers, settlements and environmental issues, as well as issues relevant to preserving our planet, our resources and our futures.
Geography-based curriculum themes develop cross-curriculum links with, for example, maths, history, literacy and design and technology.
We have built a coherent spiral curriculum for geography which secures mastery and progression in conceptual understanding and builds knowledge from “novice“ to “expert.” We worked on horizontal, vertical and diagonal links and mapped them out. Our curriculum is also embedded in our teaching of Big Ideas of Geography:
Teachers take account of the big ideas and related threshold concepts in their planning for geography lessons to secure mastery of subject knowledge year on year and over time. Our units of work are based on a series of Key Questions which provide a cohesive but intensive structure to each unit. The geography curriculum is supported by visits out and fieldwork to build cultural capital. The emphasis is on knowing and remembering more.
We aim for our high quality history curriculum to empower our pupils to think and act as historians by nourishing their aspirations on how they can be an agent for change and positively influence their future both in their community and the wider world. We aim to inspire our pupils to enrich their knowledge and understanding about the Britain’s past, and that of the wider world, as well as providing them with a unique set of skills to understand and change the world. Our wish is for our pupils to use these tools and experiences to further enhance their academic pursuits, and to use history with confidence in their everyday life. We aim for our high quality history curriculum to empower our pupils to think and act as historians by nourishing their aspirations on how they can be an agent for change and positively influence their future both in their community and the wider world. We aim to inspire our pupils to enrich their knowledge and understanding about the Britain’s past, and that of the wider world, as well as providing them with a unique set of skills to understand and change the world. Our wish is for our pupils to use these tools and experiences to further enhance their academic pursuits, and to use history with confidence in their everyday life.
History in action at GBA
Our basis is the national curriculum, and we use the Key stages as end points. Our history curriculum is designed to highlight our GBA curriculum themes as often as possible to support children’s understanding of the themes in different contexts and times. We also use our Big Ideas of History to support the children’s understanding of what it is to be a historian, and to identify key ways of thinking that support their understanding of the subject.
- Continuity and change
- Cause and effect
- Empathetic understanding
As we are unable to teach units of history in chronological order because of our 3 year curriculum cycle, these big ideas, along with lots of retrieval and work using timelines, enable the children to develop a cohesive understanding of historical events and gain knowledge and understanding of things that have shaped the world they live in.
Our history teaching centres around key enquiry skills as well as historical concepts that are examined in different contexts and times in history lessons across the school. We base each unit around a central question, and then use a sequence of Key Questions to find out the answer.
RE at our school is a core subject, giving it a prominent and important role in the lives of all our pupils. The RE curriculum is planned sequentially to build upon pupils’ prior learning and to include many rich experiences, where pupils are stimulated and challenged. We want our children to be religiously literate, to have knowledge and understanding of Christianity as well as a range of other religions and world views whilst also considering the big questions of life, so that they are informed and educated adults going out into the world and prepared for life in modern Britain.
As a Church of England Primary School we follow the Leicestershire Agreed Syllabus and the ‘Understanding Christianity’ programme. R.E. at Great Bowden Academy is taught in line with the R.E. statement of Entitlement (see below) R.E. Statement of Entitlement for Church Schools
Our R.E. lessons teach the children about faiths, beliefs and values held across the world and provide opportunities for children of all faiths and none to reflect on key concepts and learn to respect each other.