Welcome to our Humanities page
At Guru Nanak Sikh Academy Primary, we recognise the importance of a strong History and Geography curriculum informing our pupil’s world knowledge – giving them an understanding of how our world has developed, providing opportunities for them to think about how it will progress in the future, and encouraging them to consider their place within it. History and Geography have never been more important or relevant than in our current society and GNSA Primary has developed a progressive, enquiry-based Humanities curriculum to reflect this. We value the key Humanities skills highlighted in the National Curriculum, which we build on and deepen throughout a child’s Primary journey.
We believe it is our role to give our pupils the opportunity to investigate global situations, the past and different cultures through real-life experiences both inside and outside the classroom. Through such exploration, enquiry and discovery our pupils gain a greater geographical awareness of how the world works, an appreciation of different lifestyles, and a healthy curiosity about life beyond what they see day-to-day.
Humanities is a valuable subject that teaches our children to be empathetic, analytical, questioning curious individuals and independent learners. The curriculum enables children to understand the heritage of their local area in a great deal of depth as they discover how Hillingdon developed and grew through industry, transport, and settlement. By engaging with artefacts, sources and maps, our children also learn about the riches and diversity of the planet, whilst an emphasis on Humanities' vocabulary enriches their language and enables them to compare similar situations across time and place. We hope that through their engagement with our focus topics, our children will leave us with a passion and enthusiasm for celebrating what we have and making a difference to the world.
We have recently introduced a new Humanities curriculum, attached below, which builds progressive links across both topics and year groups in History and Geography and centres each topic around a core enquiry question that the children investigate, pinning their learning together and giving them the chance to apply their knowledge. This allows our children to build their subject-specific skills whilst also making links and comparisons between topics, contrasting different cultural and world developments and understanding why these occurred.
Key vocabulary and concepts are built on throughout the Primary phase and each topic also allows children to tangle with skills including questioning, understanding causes and effects, map work, comparisons, source analysis and fieldwork. We expect our children to leave Year 6 with strong analytical, comparative, presentation and enquiring abilities gained from their experiences in Humanities.
Our Geographical learning links to the four main areas in the National Curriculum which are interwoven throughout each topic: locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography, geographical skills and fieldwork.
In Early Years children study different land types, countries and cultural traditions through high quality, engaging stories. They begin to make simple comparisons between other cultures and their own lives, including thinking about the features of their homes, as well as making their own representations of places.
In Key Stage One children learn about where they live, getting a firm grasp of the key features of their local environment and the wider city, learning which will be consolidated through regular trips and excursions. They also study the main features of each country in the United Kingdom and begin to learn about the location of the continents and oceans, as well as an in-depth study of a country from another continent. Children will begin to build their understanding of what human and physical features are and study a variety of each before contrasting them.
In Key Stage Two children will gain a greater depth of knowledge about the different continents and study different countries from around the world, making comparisons about each regions’ human and physical features. They will learn about different natural and human occurrences which will help them comprehend important global events. Finally, they will consolidate and extend their understanding of their local environment through focused studies on the area’s different facets.
In Early Years our children begin to learn about how the past is different from today by making simple comparisons through the study of illustrations in stories and their connections. Through the setting of these texts, they will learn about the key features and lifestyles from that historical period.
In Key Stage One children begin by learning about events in recent history as a way for them to begin to access the past and link back to EYFS. From there, children go on to learn about significant individuals and events from throughout British history. Our pupils will use different artefacts and sources to learn about these topics and begin to make simple comparisons between both individuals and modern times. They will also start to consider cause and effect and reason about why certain events were significant, drawing their own conclusions.
In Key Stage, Two children learn about early British history and are also able to make comparisons to contemporary civilisations across the world noting the parallels and differences between them. Pupils will develop the ability to sequence and analyse through their study of different themes in British history over time. In this phase we expect children to become more independent learners, completing research, asking perceptive questions and interrogating sources to build up their understanding of a topic.
How can you support your child in Humanities?
Humanities is a fascinating subject area that can be reinforced and practiced at home. Books with geographical or historical themes are great ways for children to follow different topics and interests. There are also many websites that can build and capture your child’s knowledge of different topics and time periods as well as increase their world awareness and locational knowledge, here are some suggestions: