History & Geography
At Cookham Dean C of E Primary School, we aim to stimulate all children’s interest in history and develop their knowledge with an understanding of how people and events in the past have influenced our lives today. We aim to encourage and provide opportunities for all children to develop skills of questioning, speculation, enquiry, analysis and evaluation. We want them to develop a strong sense of chronology and be able to distinguish between fact and fiction. We want them to develop their understanding of society and their place within it so they develop a sense of their cultural heritage and citizenship through an understanding of the British Values.
As a school, we maintain strong links to the National Curriculum guidelines to ensure all aspects, knowledge and skills of history are being taught across all year groups. We implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the school with the use of progression grids to ensure clear skills, knowledge and vocabulary progression from EYFS to Year 6. Consideration is given to how greater depth will be taught, learnt and demonstrated as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
History is taught in blocks throughout the year to enable children to achieve depth in their learning. In EYFS and Key Stage 1, the focus is on laying a firm foundation for history from an early age. EYFS follow the 2021 Statutory Framework which aims for all children in Foundation Stage to have an “Understanding of the World” by the end of the year. In Key Stage 1 the children focus on the world around them and their living memory of history as well as events and people that go beyond living memory. Where possible, British history is taught in a chronological order within Key Stage 2 to enable children to have a clear picture of how topics in both British and World history fit together. Teachers are encouraged to refer to previous topics taught to enable the children to utilise prior learning to draw comparisons with and make connections between different time periods and their own lives.
We have developed a creative curriculum at Cookham Dean which means that each year group (Y1-Y6) has an over-riding theme which changes each term. Cross-curricular outcomes in history are specifically planned for, with strong links between the history curriculum and English lessons in particular, enabling further contextual learning and understanding for pupils.
Throughout the school, learning may be supported through the use of knowledge organisers that provide children with scaffolding that supports them to retain new facts and vocabulary in their long-term memory.
Where appropriate, we use historical artefacts, visitors, workshops (including online) and visits to excite and intrigue our children to find out more about events from the past, to create memorable learning opportunities and to further support and develop their understanding.
Our history curriculum offers high quality and well-planned lessons which encourage progression. Continuity and progression in the curriculum is built around essential knowledge, understanding and key skills within history which are evidenced in topic and/or history books. Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning and children demonstrate a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world.
We may measure the impact of our curriculum through:
- Evidence of work showing a range of topics covered, cross curriculum links and differentiated work where applicable
- Children retaining knowledge that is pertinent to history
- Reflecting on standards achieved against the planned outcomes
- High standards in history that match standards in other subjects such as English & Maths
- Learning walks, “book looks” and pupil voice.
- Data collection and analysis through Insight
As our pupils transition to secondary school, we aspire that they will have developed a historical mind of inquiry. Pupils will also have a strong chronological understanding of historical events, making connection between their influence on the past and their potential influence on future events. They will have the ability to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement.
The Geography curriculum at Cookham Dean inspires children to be inquisitive and to understand and explore the world that we live in and its people. It is important that our pupils develop a genuine interest, a greater meaningful understanding and gain rich vocabulary about places, people, resources, natural and man-made environments. They build on their real-life knowledge about the local, national and international environment and its diversity.
As our pupils’ progress through the school and develop their Geographical skills and their growing knowledge about the world, they will deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes and how this is changing over time. We intend to provoke thought, questions and encourage children to discover answers to their own questions through exploration and research. We aim to make learning purposeful so they will be able to use their learning and apply it beyond the context of the classroom and their lives beyond school. By the end of their primary schooling, they will have an extensive base of geographical knowledge, skills and vocabulary.
In EYFS children learn about their local environment, how to care for living things and their environment. In KS1 they develop knowledge about the UK and their locality and extend this knowledge in KS2 to include Europe, North and South America.
Teachers assess children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before a new unit is taught. Children are given clear success criteria in order to achieve the Learning Intention and l
Children learn not just through experiences in the classroom, but where possible with the use of fieldwork using the school grounds, local area and educational visits to enrich and enhance the pupil’s learning experience. They develop geographical skills: collect and analyse data; use maps, globes, aerial photographs and digital maps to name and identify countries, continents and oceans; and communicate information in a variety of ways.offer opportunities for dialogue between teachers via book looks and share good practice in staff meetings. Teachers use assessment to inform planning, preparation, differentiation and address misconceptions within that lesson, or for the next lesson and input termly data on Insight.
Our Geography curriculum will lead pupils to be enthusiastic Geography learners, evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice, teacher assessment and their work. Children will be confident to explore and ask questions and have developed the geographical knowledge and skills to help them explore, navigate and understand the world around them and their place in it. Children’s knowledge and skills will develop progressively as they move through the school, not only to enable them to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum but to prepare them to become competent geographers in secondary education.