At St John & St James’, our humanities curriculum is intended to deliver a breadth of knowledge through broad and varied content that shapes the students’ vision of how they perceive the world around them both past and present and how this shapes and impacts on their everyday lives. We also seek to provide a knowledge that takes children beyond their everyday experiences, regardless of their background, in order to promote social mobility for all our pupils. Through a rich exposure to stimulating history and geography topics, discovered through educational visits, visitors, enquiries, workshops and exploration, children develop a fascination about the world they live in. A clear and carefully thought out skills and knowledge progression across the key stages also allows for a rich understanding of concepts and vocabulary which are consolidated and developed as they advance through the school. By guiding the learning through key questions, children build on prior learning and are introduced to new knowledge every lesson that gradually increases their capacity to respond to the key question in a comprehensive manner by the end of the topic.
Our knowledge-based curriculum is implemented through the thoroughness and clarity of the teaching of humanities. We believe teacher subject knowledge is fundamental to the successful teaching of our curriculum and therefore teachers are provided with knowledge organisers which thematically organise the essential knowledge to be taught so they are equipped with the concepts and vocabulary required for the topic. These knowledge organisers are sent home and parents and carers are encouraged to discuss the concepts and vocabulary with their children. The knowledge organisers then become a point of reference for the children in their learning.
The humanities ‘key question,’ which threads through the learning and guides the lesson progression, gives purpose to humanities learning for our students as it is addressed throughout and encouraged discussion whilst addressing prior knowledge and misconceptions
Through humanities key texts, which thread into humanities and writing lessons, literary texts hold a centrality to the children’s learning, increasing their exposure to subject specific concepts and vocabulary in a variety of contexts.
Children are assessed on their ability to communicate a response to their key question by the end of the topic. This means of assessment is planned by the teacher and relevant to the year group ranging from information texts to essays that answer the key question. This allows for teachers to assess the students’ depth of knowledge and ability to answer the key question by the end of the topic.
Humanities Journey Maps
To take a look at the progression of humanities throughout your child’s time with us here at SJSJ, please click on the links below: