Humanities subjects at Eliot Bank foster a sense of wonder about the world. Children understand their place in the world by learning about histories, cultures and religions. We encourage the children to question, investigate and think critically.
We use a range of strategies to achieve this vision, including: enquiry-based learning; consultation with pupils about what and how they would like to learn; a range of stimulating resources; and enriching trips and visitors throughout the year.
History and Geography are taught as topics and we make meaningful links to other subjects.
Sarah Bridgman, Humanities Team Leader
Toys and Inventors
We love playing with toys and now we love learning about them, too! We begin this exciting topic by sharing our own favourite toys and then go on to compare them with the toys children played with in the past. We get the chance to handle and look closely at many different toys, observing how they work and the materials they are made from. This is supported by a fantastic visit to Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, where we are able to ride a rocking horse and stand next to a giant robot.
Homes and Architects / Inventors
We go through the keyhole in our second history topic to discover what homes were like in the past. We start by looking at the features of our own homes and the homes in our local area by going on a local area walk. Once we are equipped with the vocabulary we need, we begin to learn about and compare the homes, both inside and outside, that people would have lived in a long time ago. We even get the chance to step inside some of these homes from the past, on a trip to the Museum of Kent life.
Food Around the World
Have you ever wondered where all our food comes from? Well we have and this is exactly what we find out in our Year one geography topic. A visit to Sainsbury’s shows us just how much food is sent to the UK, while a trip to Horton Kirby helps us to see how some of this food is grown in our own soil. This topic gives us the chance to explore how weather across the world affects what food is grown where and what conditions fruit and veg needs to grow. We even get the chance to grow some of our own!
Great Fire of London & Famous People
Who burnt the buns? This is the question put to us at the beginning of year 2 as we embark on the first history topic that looks closely at a historical event. We begin by exploring the London of 1666 and comparing it to the London we know now. This helps us to understand why the fire started and spread so quickly. Throughout this topic we have the opportunity to look at a variety of sources and artefacts, including the diary of Samuel Pepys and a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral.
We are transported to the beautiful and diverse country of India in this exciting geography topic. We begin by getting a sense of what India is like through its food, dance, wildlife and culture. We learn that parts of India are very different and focus in on the city of New Delhi and the village of Chembakolli. A trip to the small village of Horton Kirby and a local walk around Forest Hill, help us to think about how the city and the countryside are not only different in India, but also in the UK. Through these experiences, we begin to identify the human and physical features of contrasting environments and also start to focus on mapping skills.
Seasides and Famous Explorers
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside! Year 2 ends with this perfect summer topic, which combines both historical and geographical learning. Throughout the summer term we compare seaside localities with our own city locality, thinking about the human and physical features of both. We have the opportunity to carry out local fieldwork and go on an exciting trip to the seaside at Herne bay. As well as focusing on the geography of the seaside, we also discover what seaside holidays were like in the past and compare them with the holidays we take now.
Our Local Area in World War II
Imagine having to leave your home and everything you know. In year 3 we think about what it would have been like for the children of London to leave their city and be evacuated to the countryside. Using a range of primary and secondary sources, including fieldwork and recollections of people alive at the time, we find out about the effects of World War II on the children and families in our local area. An evacuation to Horton Kirby really makes this topic come alive.
This is the first history topic where we will begin to think about and celebrate the achievements of an early civilisation. The wonders of Ancient Egypt will come to life through a variety of sources and activities, including conducting our own archeological digs and handling artefacts at the Horniman museum, as we imagine opening an Egyptian tomb. By the end of this topic we will be able to describe the features of life in Ancient Egypt and answer questions such as why and how the pyramids were built.
The Amazon Rainforest
This term our classrooms are filled with the sights and sounds of the amazing Amazon Rainforest. We will become explorers as we find out about the rich variety of wild life and plant life that the rainforest is home to. We will be able to describe key aspects of the Amazon’s physical geography and give reasons for its climate. We will focus on environmental issues and suggest possible solutions in a class project.
Celts and Romans
What was it like to live in Ancient Britain? We go back in time to answer this question, by first focusing on the Celtic tribal kingdoms. We discover the Celtic world through their art, homes and culture, before moving on to the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain. We develop our historical enquiry skills by using a variety of sources as evidence to describe the ways of life of the Celts and Romans. We also look at differing accounts of the infamous Boudiccan revolt and begin to explain why there may be different accounts of history.
The recent Olympic games show us how the achievements of the Ancient Greeks continue to influence our lives more than two thousand years later. We use a wide range of archeological and written sources to discover the lives of the Ancient Greeks and all the ways their achievements have impacted on today’s society. Through drama and literacy we also explore the exciting world of heroes, monsters, gods and goddesses in Greek mythology.
It’s carnival time in year 4, as we find out that there is more to the Caribbean than white, sandy beaches and hot weather. Through the use of maps and photos we discover the geography of the Caribbean and compare it with our local area. We discover Caribbean life through food, dance and art, and realise just how much of this culture is around us all the time in South London.
Invaders and Settlers: Anglo Saxons to Vikings
In this history topic, we learn about where Anglo Saxons and Vikings came from and where and why they settled in Britain. Using a range of sources, including archaeology, we learn about and compare the homes, customs and culture of these fascinating civilisations. To help us learn, we visit a museum and have a theatre company come to school to bring the Anglo Saxons and Vikings to life.
What’s so marvellous about the Maya?’ is the question we ask in Spring term. This exciting history topic gives us the opportunity to learn about an ancient non-European society and compare it with British history. We discover what daily life was like for the Mayans, focusing on aspects such as religion, art and food. This is brought to life by a visit from a theatre company who take us back in time and allow us to visit many different people who teach us about their lives, from religious sacrifices to binding of babies’ foreheads and even the game of Pok-A-Tok. Throughout this topic, we develop our skills as historians by questioning different interpretations of history and using sources to ask and answer questions about the past.
Mountains, Rivers and Coasts
Where do rivers come from? What is a mountain? Why is Great Britain the shape it is? These are all questions that are answered in this geography topic. We learn how physical processes such as erosion, deposition and transportation shape the landscape. To see for ourselves how rivers affect the land, we get very wet doing fieldwork at Horton Kirby.
We travel through time in this history topic which gives us an overview of some significant British monarchs since 1066 before focusing on the reign of Henry VIII. Using drama, we find out how the Tudors came to power and how they maintained their rule. Then, we learn about different aspects of Henry VIII’s reign, including significant social and religious changes. During a trip to Hampton Court, we find out more about the six wives of Henry VIII and what kind of king he was.
Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
Now we go back in time to the origins of man in the United Kingdom. We follow the path of the hunter gathers they foraged for food using only the most basic stone tools. As homosapiens travelled forward in time through the Mesolithic period and into the Neolithic period we will look at how the Stone Age man’s life changed. He became a settler, farming his land and building houses. We will look at where these early settlements happened and consider the reasons why these sites were chosen.
In this explosive Geography topic, we discover how natural disasters, such as volcanoes and earthquakes, occur and the impact they can have on the environment and humans. This leads on to work investigating the role people can play in preventing and worsening disasters. We also continue to develop our map reading skills and locational knowledge by researching where disasters happen and why they are more likely to happen in certain areas of the world.