At the Junior School, we have combined the study of History and Geography into ‘Humanities’. Most historic events can be placed in a geographic context, and, as so much of geographic study involves questions of human activity, these can also be examined through a historical framework. The study of Humanities should provoke students to ask questions about our relationship with the environment in our local area and with other people around the globe. It can do this through both looking at and comparing our actions in the past and at the state of our society today. Such questions, and the varying interpretations of their answers, play an important role in the spiritual, moral and cultural development of our pupils.
Pre-Prep pupils visit Goodrich Castle and trips in Years 4 and 5 respectively have been to the Old House and the Elan Valley dams. Regular visits to the Cathedral and the Year 6 trip to Belmont Abbey encourage strong links between RE studies and Humanities, and many of the Art department trips have had a historical element. Every other year, the ‘History Man’ comes to school to give the Pre-Prep a taste of Tudor life and Years 3 and 4 a day of being a Roman soldier. Cross-curricular themed weeks in the school have included ‘Water’, the rainforest and the Olympics.
Pre-Prep and Year 3 to Year 6
In the early years, History, Geography, RE and ICT are taught under the heading of 'Knowledge and Understanding of the World'. The focus in the Pre-Prep is on developing the knowledge, skills and understanding to make sense of the world and become comfortable with the concepts and vocabulary of historical and geographic study. Skills like differentiating between fact and fiction, ‘now’ and ‘then’, and recognising change over time can be learned from photographic evidence, artefacts, and written sources. In the Juniors, there is more detailed study of specific periods with a focus on interpreting evidence and explaining processes. Specific geographical skills like map work are also developed and individual topics such as water or the environment are approached through project work.