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History & Geography




At Barley Lane Primary School, we believe in developing life-long learners through a broad and integrative curriculum. We feel it is essential for our children to be well-rounded citizens, gaining a coherent understanding of the wider world. Children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it. With passionate teaching of both geography and history throughout Britain and across the world, we inspire children to remain inquisitive about the variety of humanities topics that are covered at Barley Lane Primary School. Our children are encouraged to use their skills to ask questions, weigh evidence, sift arguments, think critically and logically and use their knowledge to make links across different subjects. We thoroughly enjoy making use of our local area and using this as a resource to help advance our pupils’ learning.


At Barley Lane, humanities subjects are a key focus point of our learning. The intent of history and geography coincide well with our wider school curriculum intent as we encourage our children to make links about what they have learnt, part of which is done so by revisiting topics covered to ensure a coherent understanding of their place in the wider world. Our aim is to develop critical thinkers and well-rounded citizens and this is delivered through appropriate, yet challenging and memorable lessons throughout the year. Our key texts, which are carefully chosen for each year group, will provide pupils with the skills to: validate their connections about the wider world, ask questions, weigh evidence and sift arguments, all of which support our core values at Barley Lane.


To best support and engage our children, we believe it is essential that they feel represented in our curriculum. Diversity plays a vital part of our lessons in order to achieve a broad and balanced humanities curriculum. Purposeful links are intentionally made, allowing children to see themselves throughout history and geography. Barley Lane works tirelessly to improve, and reflect, on the purpose of our teaching. This means de-colonising the curriculum, but at the same time encouraging discussion about difficult topics, enabling children to form their own opinions with appropriate resources and education provided.


In accordance with the national curriculum, our lessons are designed to meet the needs of each student, whilst challenging them at the same time. Cross curricular outcomes in history and geography are specifically planned for, with strong links between the history and geography curriculum, and referencing them throughout the other subjects taught on a daily basis. We feel this is the best way for our pupils to gain a deeper understanding and consolidate their learning of the subjects that we teach at Barley Lane.


Although history and geography are taught in blocks, there remains consistent referencing from one topic to the next in order for our children to understand the process of societal change and the relationship between geographical areas worldwide. It is imperative that our pupils have a chronological understanding of history and this is evident through our careful curriculum planning and sequencing from one year group to the next. History and geography lessons are carefully designed, with specific skills and outcomes planned for accordingly and in a purposeful order.


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1.    History

At Barley Lane, we aim to ensure all pupils:

  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
  • gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed History – key stages 1 and 2
  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales


2.    Geography

At Barley Lane, we aim to ensure all pupils:

  • develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
  • understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time
  • are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
  • collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
  • interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length



The impact of our teaching of history and geography is for all pupils to be well-rounded members of society and understand the world around them. They should carry the skills and knowledge provided at Barley Lane with them to further their education and remain inquisitive about the development of history and societies worldwide. With engaging lessons and experiences we provide, we encourage our children to undertake new life experiences both now and in the future, ensuring they are well prepared for the next steps of their education.

Policy Documentation