Fairmead School

Making memories

Humanities - Geography and History

What Are Our Intentions and Why? 


Through humanities, we inspire, engage and challenge our students to learn about the world around them; locally, nationally and internationally. We promote the British Values. We teach students to develop respect and tolerance of others and the world around them. We encourage them to have their own voice and share their opinions whilst being considerate of the law and rules within different groups of people, cultures and periods of time. 


We provide rich, broad learning experiences that incorporate our local heritage and wider global perspectives. Our goal is to ensure that our students are well informed of the past and the impact it has had on their lives and the lives of others. We aspire for all our students to understand today’s changing environment and the impact humans are having upon it. It is important for them to grasp their role in shaping the future of our planet and contribute to living in a sustainable world. 


Through exposure to different time periods, different environments and different cultures, we teach our students cultural appreciation, respect, tolerance and empathy. Skills which they will be able to take with them into adulthood. They are also taught to be critical thinkers and decision-makers, and to apply enquiry skills. 


The humanities curriculum contributes to our overarching curriculum goal, ‘To prepare students for aspirational, successful and independent futures’. We enrich our student’s communication skills through field studies, discussions and by providing opportunities to work collaboratively. Through the teaching of tolerance and respect we teach our students to strengthen their relationships with the environment and people. Through challenging our own ideas and critical evaluation, we build resilience. We widen our students’ employability opportunities by teaching them new knowledge and skills, and by exposing them to new places and environments. 


How Do We Achieve This? 


In lower primary, where students are not yet engaged in formalised learning, History is taught through daily/ weekly provisions. Students are developing an understanding of the passing of time, using now-and-next boards, timelines, timers and scrapbooks. They are also developing their understanding of changes overtime through activities such as, monitoring seasonal and daily changes in the weather and observing plants grow. Geography is taught through daily/weekly provisions linked to the topic. Students explore story settings and places. They are developing an understanding that places exist beyond their immediate environment and their own experiences.  Through first-hand experiences, stories and wider visuals, they are learning that people experience different things to them, and diversity should be tolerated and celebrated. 


Throughout upper primary and key stage three, students alternate between a term of Geography teaching and a term learning. They follow a cohesive and carefully sequenced two-year rolling curriculum. 


In Geography, students learn about their local environment, the British Isle and the wider world. They are taught geographical skills, such as map reading and navigation, to support their understanding of locations around the world. They study the physical features of Earth overtime and develop an understanding of how humans effect the planet. They learn fieldwork skills needed to gather and interpret information about human activity and natural processes.  


In addition to specific locational studies, students learn about climates, seasons, forces of nature and wider world issues, to ensure they are aware of a broad range of issues and factors that affect our planet and people’s lives.  


In History, students start by learning how things have changed overtime (for example, transport, toys, farming, clothes, food etc). They then explore different time periods, spanning from the pre-historic and Early Settlement times up to the twentieth century. Within each period, students are encouraged to make links to their own lives and develop an understanding of how the past has contributed to today’s world. They learn about key events in history and develop an understanding of how the roles of the Kings and Queens from the past have helped mould the United Kingdom today.  


We strive to bring humanities alive for our students by planning local off-site visits to places that enhance and deepen their understanding and application of the skills and knowledge they learn in the classroom. For example, visiting the Roman baths and inviting visitors into school to share Victorian artefacts. Wherever possible lessons are supported by real-life examples and teachers adapt resources to incorporate real photographs and film footage.  


What is the Impact? 


As a result of the hands-on learning experiences and field study opportunities, students are enthusiastic to learn about the world around them and the events that have happened in history that have contributed to today’s world. Their improving knowledge and skills are evident in their workbooks, through discussion and through observations of their fieldwork studies. They are learning to think critically, analyse evidence, listen to different viewpoints and formulate constructive arguments.  


Through case studies of the planet, students are aware of the damage humans have and are continuing to do to the environment. They are learning to respect, nurture and care for their immediate surroundings. Students have a good understanding of sustainability and play an active role supporting the school to be environmentally friendly, through regular recycling and litter picking. 


Through studying different cultures from around the world and within the UK, students are developing their understanding of difference and are learning skills to be inclusive and tolerant individuals. Which in turn will support them to live successful and happy lives beyond school.