Humanities Intent

The study of humanities involves acquiring an understanding about the world. At Waterfield, we aim to enthuse and inspire children with the passion and motivation to enquire about the world, its people, and the significance of our collective history. We aim to promote children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, cultures and events by providing stimulating and challenging learning opportunities that require critical thinking and an enquiry-based approach.

At Waterfield we want our pupils:

  • To develop excellent subject vocabulary, knowledge and understanding of people, places, events and contexts;
  • To think critically about what they learn and to communicate ideas clearly;
  • To develop and utilise fieldwork and research to support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views;
  • To maintain a passion for humanities and enthusiastic engagement in learning which develops their curiosity to find out about the world and people who live there.

At Waterfield Primary School, children are encouraged to engage in stimulating and thought-provoking learning opportunities across a wide variety of contexts. The humanities are an important driver of our ‘Vehicles for Learning’ which offers the opportunity to increase children’s cultural capital. Teaching and learning of these subjects are implemented and viewed from different perspectives and is cross-curricular where appropriate. This learning is consolidated and expanded upon through pertinent experiences including:

  • Launch days
  • School trips
  • Arranged school visits

Geography Implementation

The teaching and learning of Geography are underpinned by key concepts that serve as a foundation to develop knowledge and enquiry-based skills. Utilising Chris Quigley’s progressive ‘milestones’, based on the National Curriculum, learning across the school is structured in a way that ensures previous learning is revisited and built upon to create links and deepen understanding. Our local environment is used to provide practical learning opportunities such as the forest school, Gatwick Airport and the Mill Pond. As geographers, children view the world using the key concepts as a lens to focus their learning. These key concepts are:

  • To investigate places
  • To investigate patterns
  • To communicate geographically

In EYFS, children follow the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ in which key characteristics underpin learning through play and allow children learn to observe, think critically and explore the world around them. Children explore places and all the things within them such as trees in the natural environment and roads and traffic in the built environment. They are encouraged to ask questions, consider similarities and differences between locations, and explain their thinking.

In KS1 children investigate their locality by asking questions and using fieldwork including observation. Children identify the countries and capitals of the United Kingdom, exploring these further by using maps and aerial photographs to identify key physical and human features. Understanding geography on a global scale, children learn about the world’s continents and oceans, and compare and contrast the United Kingdom with a non-European country. All the while this cumulative knowledge is building and rooted in our very own locality – with core facts and vocabulary building upon one another.

In KS2, children expand their geographical vocabulary and world knowledge by identifying the geographic zones and locating the world’s countries. They explore geographical similarities and differences of physical geography such as rivers, mountains and volcanoes, and human geography including settlements, land use and economic activity. They utilise maps, globes and computer mapping, and study these in greater depth. Alongside this, children use a range of sources and fieldwork to observe, measure and record the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods.

History Implementation

Chris Quigley’s ‘milestones’, based on the National Curriculum, sequentially build on learning throughout their school journey. Children explore key concepts that equip them with the skills and tools necessary to interpret, analyse and evaluate ideas about the past. As well as improving subject knowledge, children develop the ability to think critically. They learn to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using appropriate and historical evidence derived from a range of sources. The breadth of study has been carefully re-imagined to ensure that our children learn about relevant events to them and compare historically significant people/events with the world as it is today. As historians, children progressively apply the key concepts which are:

  • To investigate and interpret the past
  • To build an overview of world history
  • To understand chronology
  • To communicate historically

In EYFS, children follow the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ in which key characteristics of learning offer opportunities for children to observe, think critically and explore the world around them. Children learn about the past and the passage of time by investigating and exploring family trees and asking questions about family members.  They develop an interest in their own story as well as the stories in their family and explore the concepts of past, present and future.

In KS1, key concepts are applied to learn about the lives of significant individuals in Britain’s past who have contributed to our nation’s achievements. They explore key events from the past such as ‘The Great Fire of London’ and ‘The Gunpowder Plot’ and gain an understanding of chronology by adding people and events to timelines. Children investigate the past using artefacts, pictures and online resources, and compare modern day living to that of the past, communicating using appropriate vocabulary.

In KS2, key concepts allow children to deepen and acquire a broader understanding of national and world history. Understanding of chronology is developed as they learn about changes in our local area from the Stone Age to the Iron Age, as well as explore the settlement of Anglo Saxons and Scots. Knowledge and understanding of world history are developed through the study of the Ancient Civilisations – where upon parallels and influences are drawn with our own modern world.

The historical breadth required by the National Curriculum is carefully woven into the Vehicles for Learning – so children explore each significant time period multiple times to become true historical enquirers. At Waterfield children will not study the ‘Egyptians’ as a topic – instead this is woven into our ‘Ancient Civilisations’ ‘Vehicle for learning’ where upon children will draw upon their prior knowledge of Ancient Greece (which was explored as Global Monster Hunters in Year 4), their exploration of the subterranean secrets of London  (and therefore the Roman Empire in Year 6) – ultimately answering the big question: ‘Are Historians Tomb Raiders, Investigators or Curators?’

Children investigate using sources of evidence including artefacts and written accounts to deduce information about the past. They are encouraged to be critical in their approach when referencing evidence to support their thinking and to communicate ideas using historical vocabulary, whilst all the time being given a bank of knowledge that allows them to know more, remember more and apply more!