Human, Social and Environmental Understanding

Geography

Geography asks questions about the natural and human worlds and examines the relationships between these. It enhances children’s spatial awareness and enables pupils to develop a range of investigative and problem solving skills, both inside and outside the classroom. Geography also provides a focus through which children can explore environmental issues relating to sustainable development, both locally and globally. The study of different societies also helps children to understand their own place within an interdependent global community, and to recognise their individual responsibilities both to other people and to the environment.

Cross-curricular topics are used to develop children’s geographical skills and to extend their basic locational knowledge. The use of resources such as maps, atlases, globes, aerial photographs and ICT encourages a practical approach to learning and these help to develop the children’s confidence as active learners. Geographical concepts, skills and vocabulary are reinforced by local field studies and the immediate locality of the school provides a comparison with other places and societies. Above all, by linking the local and the global, geography aims to capitalise on young children’s natural curiosity about places, and encourages them to be thoughtful citizens of the world.

History

Briary School aims to develop the children’s range and depth of historical knowledge and understanding. Pupils are encouraged to be aware of varying interpretations of history and to use historical enquiry to compile evidence, question reliability and make deductions.

In the Key Stage 1 the children begin to develop their enquiry skills as they undertake activities which enable them to learn more about the world around them. The children also gain a sense of time through sequencing daily and weekly events.

In Key Stage 2 children examine the changes in ways of life through the last two generations. Children are encouraged to interview relatives, neighbours or friends about their memories, thereby, developing communication skills and a sense of history as personally relevant. Children also begin to examine the more distant past through cross-curricular topic work on the Great Fire of London and the Victorian Era. This introduces periods beyond living memory.

The older children’s historical knowledge is extended through study units which are related to other areas of the curriculum where possible. These include episodes in Britain’s past, such as invasions and settlements by the Romans and the Vikings, the events of World War II and life in Tudor and Victorian times. A study is also made of the ancient civilisations of Greeks and Egyptians. The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements are also studied. The children are encouraged to develop a sense of chronology and to understand that the past can be divided into different periods, recognising similarities and differences between them.

Religious Education

RE is taught according to the Kent Agreed Syllabus used in Kent schools, which develops a knowledge of Christianity whilst raising awareness of other religions.

Younger children are introduced to religious and moral concepts by listening to and discussing stories with religious and moral meanings. The children become familiar with Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism through stories, videos, pictures, artefacts and symbols. Much work in Key Stage 1 will build on the children’s experience of life, family, friends and important events. In circle time, by praising good work and attitude we develop children’s self-esteem and a positive attitude towards others and towards life in general.

In Key Stage 2 Religious Education aims to help pupils gain knowledge and understanding of beliefs and practices of Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism. We develop their ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious issues, beliefs and practices. Sensitivity and tolerance is encouraged, as well as reflection upon religious and moral issues.

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