At St Francis RC Primary School Humanities education is fully inclusive to every child. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Humanities; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of geographical and historical concepts, knowledge and skills; and for the children to develop a love for geography and history.

A high standard of Geography education will equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. A high-quality History education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world (The 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England).

Geography teaching at St Francis has a wide application to everyday life, teaching the children to enjoy learning about the world and to have a better understanding of how people live in different locations and in History they will enjoy learning about the past and to have a better understanding of the society in which they live.


  • To inspire pupils’ curiosity to discover more about the world and the past and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that history has to offer.
  • To enable children to know about the location of the world’s continents, countries, cities, seas and oceans and significant events in British history and to appreciate how things have changed over time.
  • To develop in children the skills of interpreting a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
  • To help children understand how the human and physical features of a place shapes its location and can change over time.
  • To provide opportunities to embed a cross curricular approach with physical education and mathematics across the curriculum, through orienteering in Geography lessons.
  • To know and understand how the British system of democratic government has developed and, in so doing, to contribute to a child’s citizenship education.
  • To understand how Britain is part of a wider European culture and to study some aspects of European history.
  • To have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world.
  • To help children understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage.
  • To develop a sense of chronology.

To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in Geography / History, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. The Geography/ History curriculum is based upon the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England, which provides a broad framework and outlines the knowledge and skills and taught in each Key Stage.


Teachers plan lessons for their class, which ensures progression of knowledge and skills. In Early Years, humanities is taught through the strands ‘Understanding the World’ and ‘People and Communities’ from Development Matters. The provision to meet these objectives are planned for through a termly text.


In KS1 and 2, the National Curriculum Programmes of Study are met through well planned units of work. The children have one hour lesson a week, where they learn about the relevant knowledge and skills for their topic. Humanities lessons at St Francis, have the same importance as the core subjects, as we feel that it is important to enable all children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences.


In each year group the Yearly overview is planned, so that a half term or whole term is dedicated to either a specific Geography or History topic:


Autumn Spring Summer
Year 1

Our Local Area /

Black History /


How can we improve our local area? /

Houses and Homes in the past

Where in the world is Banaby bear? / Seasides
Year 2

An Island Home: Jamaica /

Mary Seacole/ Florence Nightingale

Great Fire of London / Locational Knowledge- Hot and cold regions. Map work and Compasses / Christopher Columbus
Year 3

Egyptians /

Rosa Parks /


Locational Knowledge: UK River Study: Thames and its basin Prehistoric Britain Iron Age
Year 4

Ancient Greece


Harriet Tubman (BH)


Locational Knowledge: Europe /

Locational Knowledge: Study region of Europe

Romans / Celts
Year 5

Locational Knowledge: The Americas /

Campaigners (BH)

Anglo Saxons / Scots /


Impact of Victorians on Locality
Year 6

Locational (region) Knowledge: Brazil and its basin


Jazz and Blues (BH)


Study beyond 1066:

Battle of Britain

Humanities teaching focuses on enabling children to think as geographers and historians. A variety of teaching approaches are used based on the teacher’s judgement. History / Geography lessons provide excellent opportunities to enhance the learning of more able pupils through the investigations, analysing sources and writing extending pieces. Teachers plan for these lessons themselves using ‘Plan Bee’ scheme of work as a basis and supplementing it from a variety of sources such as The Hamilton Trust.

Within Geography / History, we strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning by providing investigative and enquiry-based learning opportunities. Emphasis is placed on investigative learning opportunities to help children gain a coherent knowledge of understanding of each unit of work covered throughout the school.

Our Geography / History curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills and discreet vocabulary progression also form part of the units of work. Children will deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes and how this affects landscapes and environments.

The teachers assess the children’s progress and attainment through the following methods:

  • Assessing children’s understanding of the different topics before and after the unit is taught using the KWL grid.
  • Use of AFL throughout the lesson.
  • Marking of written work in books.

The subject leaders monitor their subject by:

  • Book scrutinies -books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue to discuss provision for the children by celebrating strengths, sharing good practice and identifying areas of improvement.
  • Planning Audits – planning is checked and again there is the opportunity for a dialogue to discuss provision for the children.
  • Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).

At St Francis we provide a variety of opportunities for geography/history learning inside and outside the classroom. Educational visits are an opportunity for the teachers to plan for additional geography/history learning outside the classroom. At St Francis, the children have had many opportunities to experience geography/ history on educational visits. They have explored the local area including orienteering within the school grounds and conducting river studies along the River Thames Foreshore and explored local museums.

Though our Humanities curriculum, we aim to inspire a love of History and Geography as part of their lifelong journey of learning.

When pupils leave St Francis, it is intended they will have met the attainment targets in the History and Geography programmes of study. It is also intended that they will have a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Each child studies 3 units of geography in Key Stage one (Years 1 and 2) and 12 units across Key Stage Two (Years 3-6)

Children’s geographical learning starts with the familiar and slowly builds outwards, from London, to the UK, to Europe, South America and Africa. Their understanding of how their local area fits into the wider world is therefore gradually accrued. Understanding of physical geography also starts with the familiar: from the seaside in Year 1, to mountains and volcanoes in Year 3 and rivers in Year 4. More in-depth studies allow children to develop their understanding of the interactions between physical and human geography, with units on the Energy and Sustainability, Globalization, Slums and Population in Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6).

Progression within the curriculum is clear and key technical and tier 2 vocabulary is mapped onto each unit, allowing children to build a rich bank of geographical language. With our selection of topics we aim to provide the children with a great range of topics


At St Francis RC Primary School, the history curriculum develops children’s knowledge of historical periods, events and significant individuals. Children learn key facts and concepts alongside skills such as chronological understanding, analysis and evaluation of historical evidence, empathy with people from different eras and how to compare and contrast life in different periods.

Children’s historical learning begins in Early Years with the familiar: their own pasts and those of their families. In KS1 children look at travel and transport in the past , before studying a pair of stand-alone units: How should we remember Pocahontas? and Great Fire of London. History is brought to life through a Great Fire of London walk and trips to the Golden Hind. These help to fire the children’s imaginations and enable them to empathize with the lives of children in different eras.

In Key Stage Two, the history of Britain is interwoven with studies of ancient civilizations. Children explore concepts of migration, empire, civilization, continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance. Studies of ancient civilizations of the Shang Dynasty, Rome, Benin and Greece are supported by visits to the British, London and Horniman museums. In Year 6 children also have the chance to explore recent historical events, such as The Civil Rights Movement, the Industrial Revolution and the Twentieth-century conflict. Children express their learning through drama, art, discussion and writing. Many of our units are built around an enquiry question, giving a clear focus to the learning over the course of the lessons.