Berkeley Academy History Curriculum
At Berkeley Academy, we help our pupils develop their understanding of British, local and world history alongside historical concepts and skills to enable them to make greater sense of the world around them. Children are supported to engage in hands-on enquiry-based learning which considers their interests and builds on previous learning. Activities are designed to provoke curiosity and develop creative thinking. Through their interaction and teamwork, children are encouraged to demonstrate school values.
History is taught to all children in KS1 and KS2. In line with the National Curriculum for England, by the end of Year 6 our pupils will have developed: knowledge of people, events, situations and developments; knowledge of chronology and its characteristics; knowledge of historical terms; an ability to confidently pursue informed historical enquiry through understanding evidence, interpretations, cause, change, similarity/difference and significance; and an ability to organise and communicate their ideas and findings clearly. This includes both content history (knowledge) and process history (skills).
This is supported by explicit mapping of the historical knowledge and skills focus in each lesson throughout our curriculum. This provision is balanced, centred around historical enquiry and includes a continual focus on chronology and vocabulary to ensure progression. Units include both a broad overview and a more detailed study, and our local history study focuses on the impact of WWII on the local area of Heston. Our curriculum includes many opportunities to discuss, compare and contrast the many cultures lived by our diverse pupil population. Links are made between topics across the curriculum and knowledge is consolidated through assemblies, termly trips to museums as well as other outdoor learning around the school grounds and local area.
Berkeley Academy is strongly committed to continued professional development. Excellent provision ensures that staff develop expert History subject knowledge. As the foundation of enquiry is asking questions, each of our history topics includes a big question which is addressed by investigating a cohesive sequence of related lesson questions. Exploration of evidence is integral to developing understanding and pupils are guided to ask appropriate questions and make informed deductions from facts. Teachers plan creative units of work which appropriately support and extend pupils’ understanding through differentiation. Success criteria signpost lessons and children are supported to demonstrate their understanding through a range of engaging and creative tasks such as role-play, drama, hot-seating, speech making and debating. Pupils are supported to collaborate respectfully.
Although the primary goal is historical understanding, literacy development is aided by collaborative and individual short writing tasks and by studying historical texts. Formative assessment of knowledge and skills includes regular retrieval practice to identify gaps and consolidate understanding, and self and peer reflection. Summative assessment involves an extended piece of writing whereby children respond to the unit’s big question.
Pupils enjoy learning History at Berkeley Academy. This is evident through their enthusiastic participation in lessons, completion of voluntary home learning tasks, contributions to interactive displays around the school and competitions. Class libraries are stocked with historical fiction and non-fiction and these are popular choices during allocated reading for pleasure time during the school week. Pupils make excellent progress through our curriculum as evidenced in effective formative and summative assessment. The teaching and learning of History at Berkeley Academy is successful in helping our pupils question the world they live in today and prepares them well for secondary education.
Berkeley Academy Geography Curriculum
At Berkeley Academy, we nurture curious and enthusiastic life-long learners of Geography that hold a deep understanding of the world and their place in it. Through the provision of a broad, balanced and innovative curriculum for all children, we develop progressive geographical knowledge, understanding and skills that deepen throughout, and beyond, the course of their education.
In fulfilling the requirements of the National Curriculum for Geography, we aim to inspire in children a fascination about the world and its people. Our teaching fosters knowledge about diverse places, people, resources along with natural and human environments; the earth’s key physical and human processes, as well as the interaction between them; and the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Opportunities to cultivate transferable, cross-curricular knowledge and skills are used to stimulate spiritual, moral, social and cultural development in children. We aim to develop the geographical skills required to collect, analyse and communicate data; interpret and use maps, atlases, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS); and communicate geographical information in a variety of ways.
The Geography curriculum at Berkeley Academy is further enhanced through partnerships with local charities and international schools, deepening children’s understanding of how different views, values and perspectives influence and affect places and environments at different scales. In turn, children are encouraged to explain how places are interconnected resulting in a change over time and why patterns of inequality exist at both local and global levels. The four content areas for Geography are: Locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical Geography and geographical skills and fieldwork.
Geography at Berkeley Academy is taught as part of a termly topic, informed by the attainment targets stated in the National Curriculum. As we believe Geography is an inherently investigative subject, an overarching geographical question for enquiry, and a subsequent sub-question per half-term, is posed to the children for each topic. Questions are then investigated in weekly lessons through a range of approaches such as enquiry, hypothesis testing and fieldwork. Purposeful and meaningful fieldwork is carried out on the school field and within the local area with plentiful opportunities for outdoor learning and educational visits to new and contrasting locations.
The identification of key knowledge, skills and vocabulary within each topic, ensures progression throughout every child’s journey from EYFS to the end of Key Stage 2, providing the building blocks of deeper explanation and understanding. Our Geography curriculum values the development of literacy skills, provided through extended writing opportunities about a subject or stimulus to communicate their personal, emotional and imaginative responses to places and relevant, contemporary issues. Careful consideration is given to differentiation within every lesson to ensure all children are supported in line with our commitment to inclusion. Our subject leader for Geography is supported with curriculum planning by subject specialists from our partner secondary school, Cranford Community College, to ensure children are well prepared for a secure transition to the next stage of their education.
At Berkeley Academy, we ensure teaching and learning leads to memorable moments, created through a wide range of experiences and visits in which the children are valued as geographers in their own right. Our children’s acquisition of geographical knowledge, concepts and skills is evidenced in topic books and on Tapestry through writing, observational drawing, graphs, model-making, role play and other visual representations. Children are able to explain how both classroom and wider experiences enable them to build connections with places, people and environments. Our progressive curriculum, enthusiastic teaching and thorough assessment support pupils in forming a deep understanding of the world and in becoming successful global citizens.