Curriculum – Geography & History (Humanities)

Curriculum rationale

Our curriculums for history and geography are highly ambitious. The content exceeds the scope of the national curriculum ensuring pupils can develop a rich knowledge of the subjects. We offer a highly rigorous curriculum which places significant emphasis on disciplinary, as well as substantive content. The content of the curriculum is extremely carefully sequenced, within and across the subjects, so that pupils use their knowledge gained from earlier material to enable them to access content later in their journey. This helps pupils see connections within and across the two subjects.

In studying history as a discipline, pupils will:

  • use the concepts of continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, in order to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses;
  • practise the methods of historical enquiry, understand how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been

In studying geography as a discipline, pupils will:

  • think about geographical questions using concepts of place, scale, diversity and variation over space, change, interaction and relationships; pupils tackle questions in which they solve problems concerning place, pattern, position and processes;
  • collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that develop their geographical skills and deepen their understanding of geographical processes;
  • interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and digital technologies;
  • communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at

How does our study of history and geography support literacy?

As with all subjects in the curriculum, the humanities provide the powerful knowledge that builds the wide and secure vocabulary acquisition that underpins literacy and all successful communication. The texts we use in our humanities curriculums give pupils continuous, focused practice in reading and writing, both fiction and non-fiction. Every history and geography lesson is therefore a lesson playing a central part in improving reading. Pupils’ extended speaking and writing is likewise transformed by the richly diverse vocabulary and the secure, fascinating stories that have underpinned vocabulary acquisition.

How does our study of history and geography directly foster moral values, attitudes and the disposition to challenge    and improve our world?

Our curriculum and teaching in these subjects foster the knowledge, skills and dispositions for pupils to:

  • thrive through informed curiosity about the world;
  • view human challenges, quests and achievements through the lens of the long traditions that have shaped them;
  • think critically about how to change the world for the common good;
  • gain the language and concepts to notice, analyse and question how power works in society, and how inequality or suffering arises;
  • understand and value the diverse experiences and contributions of others who may be very different from themselves;
  • enrich their own sense of identity as they look across time, space and culture and see many positive versions of themselves;
  • understand the power of learned communities working collaboratively to seek truth in their claims about the world;
  • gain the concepts which give them the tools for precise thought and rigorous argument with which to describe, explain and change the world;
  • build strong standards of truth about the conditions under which valid claims can be made about the world, society, culture and belief, on multiple scales;
  • appreciate and participate in the arts – music, art and literature – through richly diverse artistic outputs within the many sources studied,
  • properly understood in their cultural, temporal and geographical contexts and providing richly informed stimulus for pupils’ own creativity.