Geography & History - Ms Swaine



At Oldfield Park Infants School, we expect our children to be inquisitive and to question the information they are presented with, in order to further their geographical understanding. We want children to understand where they are located within the world as well as within the British Isles; to be able to use a range of tools to understand their location and the landscapes of contrasting environments; to appreciate, describe and have a desire to conserve the differing environments of the world. Geography is an exciting, enquiry led subject that helps us better understand the people, places and environments in the world. The programme of study for Geography states “a high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.” It is a subject that seeks answers to fundamental questions such as: Where is this place? What is it like? How and why is it changing? How does this place compare with other places? How and why are places connected? Geography draws on its vast range of vocabulary to identify and name places, the features within them and the human and physical processes at work there. Such core knowledge provides the building blocks of deeper explanation and understanding; providing entry points to geographical conversations about the world. We describe this as ‘thinking geographically’ and explicitly teach this to our pupils through exploring maps and atlases, photographs and aerial images and exploring our local area.


To ensure this happens, we deliver a geography curriculum that focuses on developing a sense of place that is underpinned by a core knowledge of facts, locations and vocabulary. Our curriculum is designed to allow children to build on their geographical knowledge and skills as they progress through the school. Teachers have a clear understanding of the progress of knowledge referring to past learning and making links with previous knowledge. Our children will access their immediate environment and to gather first-hand experience to enhance their learning and develop a deeper understanding of their local area and to be able to make accurate comparisons with contrasting locations. Some of our children do not experience the world outside of their immediate locality. As a staff, we aim to share our own experiences and provide as much knowledge of the outside world as possible; children are aware that there are many countries and places of interest to visit! Our curriculum is enquiry based and this leads to much of discussion of the natural world and all its wonders. At Oldfield Park Infants, children learn to discuss the features of their immediate environment and talk about why processes and changes happen. In EYFS, there is no specific learning for Geography, but there is an area of learning called Understanding the World. The children are taught to make sense of their physical world and community by visiting local areas such as parks and museums. Listen to stories broadening their understanding of different cultures and world diversity. In Key Stage 1 children develop knowledge about their locality, the United Kingdom and the wider World. They develop an understanding of basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation through both ‘in person’ and virtual fieldwork. They apply these skills each year to undertake a comparison of a specific locality with our locality here in Bath.


At Oldfield Park Infants School, children can record their Geography understanding and learning in a variety of ways. Evidence of learning and progress is dependent on the lesson outcome; year group and the skills and knowledge being developed. Evidence could be in the form of: photographs of practical activities, work in topic folders, English books/folders also through displays showcasing their knowledge and understanding through their learning. The children’s learning will show evidence of a broad and balanced Geography curriculum. Geography assessment is ongoing, which informs teachers with their planning, lesson activities and adaptive lessons. Summative assessment is completed at the end of each year. Our aim is for all children to achieve age related expectations in geography at the end of each key stage and that they will have a good understanding of the world around them.



At Oldfield Park Infants School we have designed our History curriculum to ignite our children’s curiosity about exploring the past. There is a focus on developing the children’s specific historical skills, knowledge and language. Our aim is to deliver high quality teaching and learning opportunities in History; taught through a topic-based approach and often integrated into English lessons. Our History curriculum is ambitious yet inclusive, ensuring children of all backgrounds and abilities, including those with SEND and the more able can make the best possible progress. In EYFS there is no specific learning for History, but there is an area of learning called Understanding the World. Children in EYFS:

  • Talk about past and present events in their own lives and the lives of others.
  • Look closely at similarities, differences, pattern and change.
  • Use vocabulary relating to time.

All Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2) pupils follow a program of historical study informed by the National Curriculum. Children learn about:

  • Significant events within and beyond living memory. How have these changed national life and impacted children today?
  • Lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. How do aspects of life compare in different periods?
  • Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
  • Time related vocabulary.
  • Where people and events fit within a chronological framework.
  • Compare similarities and difference between different periods

At Oldfield Park Infants School we want our children to develop a curiosity about the past, to gain knowledge and to be able to ask and answer questions in order to develop their inquisitive minds. We want our children to become ‘History Detectives’ by providing them with a hands on experience wherever possible, including the use of artefacts, visits and workshops. With enriched cross-curricular links to ensure their History learning is memorable, fun and engaging.


At Oldfield Park Infants School, history is taught through historically based topics. Children are encouraged to develop their knowledge and skills through historical enquiry. They learn to gather and process information, draw conclusions, refine their thinking and demonstrate their understanding in a variety of imaginative ways. Children find out about past and present events in their own lives as well as developing their understanding of time within and beyond living memory. We teach our children to think like historians as they interact with sources and think critically about the validity and providence of sources. We aim to make history as relevant as possible to the children in our school, making links to other subjects where possible and appropriate.

To support children’s understanding and interest we use a range of teaching strategies suitable for all ages and abilities including:

  • Using visual aids such as video clips, photographs, illustrations and real objects. We aim to use a range of sources and evidence to help children to construct a picture of the past.
  • Learning through experience- Using drama, role play, storytelling and simulations to create immersive moments. This creates exciting and memorable experiences for the children.
  • Teacher questioning and higher order questions are used to extend children’s thinking and develop understanding. Children are encouraged to pose questions and think about how they can find out the answers.
  • Expose children to and model historical language both verbally and visually through classroom display and visual prompts.
  • Use of internet and books.


At Oldfield Park Infants School, we aspire to develop historians that have an enquiring mind and an eagerness to find out about the past and the world around them. By engaging children’s curiosity and independence they develop their own questions and are given the resources and support to investigate and find answers for themselves. The children will be able to link their historical knowledge to their own lives and consider how the past has influenced some aspects of life today. All children make the best possible progress from their starting points in History and through an inclusive curriculum that provides challenge and engagement for all. Children will be able to talk about significant events in time and historical figures, identifying their importance and impact. Using appropriate vocabulary, they will be able to discuss change over time, identifying similarities and differences when comparing aspects of life in different periods. Children will have an understanding of where people and events they have studied fit within a chronological framework and will begin to understand and make connections between local, national and international history.

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