History at Leiston aims to develop curiosity and interest in the world and people around them. Children are encouraged to question, analyse and problem solve, skills they can then use across the rest of the curriculum.
This begins in the Early Years where pupils begin to establish what is meant by past and present and make simple comparisons; celebrate acts of remembrance and festivals and explore through play.
Children in KS1 and KS2 history are taught through an ‘enquiry’ approach. Each topic or theme begins with a question that encourages the children to research, analyse, debate and evaluate at a level that is appropriate for their age. Wherever possible, a range of sources and experiences will be used to enthuse and engage the children through first hand experience. These may include photos, artefacts, recounts, trips and visitors as well using our virtual reality headsets to explore the places and periods being studied.
Throughout their journey at Leiston, the pupils will also develop an understanding of chronology, through class calendars, sequencing and timelines, providing children with the secure understanding of time and how key events in the past have helped form the world and culture we live in now.
In Early Years learning is a mix of adult led tasks as well as meaningful opportunities to explore, investigate and ask questions through play opportunities in Continuous Provision. Simple comparison skills are introduced and opportunities are provided to develop key vocabulary related to history. Chronology skills are also introduced through class calendars, allowing references to significant events throughout the year and through sequencing daily events.
In KS1 this curiosity is further developed and children are encouraged to ask questions and explore aspects of history that they can relate to or have particular significance for them. Over a two year cycle they learn about significant individuals, explore history in the local area, how key aspects of society, like technology and toys, have changed between their lives and their grandparents, as well as explore an event that happened beyond their living memory. Pupils learn to record their ideas in different ways and begin to develop empathy and understanding for key individuals. Children learn to sequence events in order, and use time related phrases such as before and after, then and now. Each class maintains a class timeline, tracking topics that have been learned to develop a wider understanding of history.
Through a mixture of a rolling 2 year programme for years 3 and 4 and units for Year 5 children KS2 children expand their historical knowledge, wherever possible in Chronological order. There is a mix of world and British history, both at a national and local level. In Year 6 the children are challenged to learn about more abstract periods such as the Ancient Mayan and Egypt civilisations, where they can use all the skills learned about how history is studied and debate and evaluate the accuracies of the sources and information gathered.
Below you can see some evidence of history learning at Leiston...
Below you can see some of our work on display in the corridors...
Reception and Year 1 have been celebrating festivals and remembrance and finding out about Castles in our local area!
Geography at Leiston develops independent learners and provides opportunities to gain new knowledge and skills and generate an understanding of the diverse nature of places, people and environments. It encourages responsible attitudes towards sustainability and motivates children to become caring members of their communities, working together to build a better world. It allows pupils to engage with questions and issues they feel are important and strives to give them a meaningful voice.
All children’s needs are met and using creative strategies each child should be challenged and progress within their learning. Each unit builds on those preceding it, learning new vocabulary, skills and knowledge whilst consolidating and enhancing previously learnt skills. Where possible, purposeful links to other subjects will also be made. Each unit is to be supported by carefully planned map and fieldwork opportunities that give children real life experiences, memorable learning opportunities and motivate them as learners. Where possible skills and knowledge of the world will be further developed and explored through continuous provision, such as monitoring weather patterns and identifying places around the world.
The Geography curriculum focuses on three main concepts:
Place (focuses on the environment, both physical and human)
Space (highlights location and relationships)
Scale (introduces changes in perspective from the local to the global)
Geography is taught creatively. There are times when this is done as a discrete subject because ideas from other subjects can dilute and obscure the thinking which stand at its core. However, when meaningful links can be made geography will be taught thematically, involving other subjects, drawing attention to different perspectives and helping generate enthusiastic and curious learners.
Topics should regularly include elements of fieldwork as this is proven to engage children with the outside world and develop skills in meaningful and current contexts.Real world experiences are also powerful and create lasting memories. Even just going into the school grounds can offer children experiences which stimulate their sense of awe and wonder.
Below you can see some examples of Geography work, lessons and experiences at Leiston...
Geography on display...
Reception and Year 1 have been learning about seasonal changes and Year 2/3 have learned to name the continents and oceans...