Wavertree Church of England School

Belong Believe Achieve


0151 7331231

Mrs Anna Brooksbank






Humanities Curriculum


Through the study of history and geography, children immediately get a sense of belonging to their immediate community and to the wider world.  The Wavertree child begins that journey from the minute they walk through the door in to Early Years, where they will learn about belonging to the school community and their immediate environment. They look at how their environment has changed over time and develop their questioning skills by asking ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions.  Children learn about similarities and differences in relation to place, objects, materials and living things.  Children in the early years will develop their communication skills through talking about the features of their immediate environment and how that might differ from other environments and start to use language relating to time.  The early years children also start to develop their geographical skills by starting to use positional language and can describe their relative position such as ‘behind’ or ‘next to.’

As the Wavertree child moves through to Key Stage One, that sense of belonging grows though the study of our local area and our country.  We are in the privileged position of being placed in the middle of Wavertree where children cannot help but be immersed in history, and see, first-hand how their community has grown and changed over time into a diverse, multicultural suburb. By making comparisons of our own environment with that of others, the children develop a sense of what is unique about the city in which we live.

The journey continues further in to Key Stage Two and that sense of belonging grows even stronger as the children delve deeper into the history and geography of our surrounding area. Children learn that their local environment can claim to be one of the oldest settlements in the whole of Merseyside, as a Bronze Age burial urn was discovered in a local park.  Children develop their sense of belonging by making links with the development of their own environment with that of the wider world.


We believe that all children are unique and learn at different paces. Therefore, it is our responsibility to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that meets the specific needs of the individuals and groups of children.

We believe in a classroom where children feel valued and can grow in confidence. Where children are encouraged to use their new found historical and geographical vocabulary to debate, discuss, argue and demonstrate their understanding of the diversities of the wider world.

We believe in providing an environment that encourages investigation and exploration both inside and out. Through research and fieldwork, children develop a deeper understanding of cultural issues, attitudes and the disposition to challenge and improve our world.

We believe that if learning is engaging and enjoyable, children are more likely to reach their full potential in developing the skills to become competent historians and geographers.


Through a positive, caring environment, we provide the opportunity for every child to reach their full potential in the study of history and geography. By making learning exciting and engaging, children are eager to develop their skills in order to learn more about the world in which they live.

End of term and end of unit assessments ensure that all children understand and remember new information and that potential gaps and barriers to learning are diminished. Children are assessed through quizzes, short tasks, a piece of extended writing or an annotated diagram. These extended tasks allow pupils both to further develop and to demonstrate their new knowledge. They also provide children with information about their progress allowing them to reflect upon and celebrate their achievements.

Curriculum of intent for Humanities

Each subject and its associated teaching approach secure the highest possible quality of education for pupils.
To implement the four curricular attributes, scope, rigour, coherence and sequencing, and to use these as a measure of quality.
To ensure a substantive and disciplinary content structure each subject in the humanities programme.
To create a curriculum that is ambitiously broad in scope, meticulous in rigour, highly coherent and very carefully sequenced.
In the study of history, children will:

Use the concept of continuity and change, cause and sequences, similarity, difference and significance, in order to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structures accounts, including written narratives and analysis.
Children will also: practice the methods of historical enquiry, understand how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
In the study of geography children will:

Think about geographical questions using concepts of place, scale, space, distance, interaction and relationships.
Collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experience of fieldwork and deepen their understanding of geographical processes.
Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical skills and through writing.

Long Term Planning

Please find below the Humanities Timetable below.  This will show you the links between History and Geography taught at Wavertree CE School.

Curriculum Links History-Geography 2022-23


Our Curriculum Implementation

Curriculum Implementation

In June 2021, Wavertree C/E School adopted the Opening Worlds Humanities programme as a way of ensuring that all subjects contain the four curricular attributes that are scope, rigour, coherence and sequencing. It is the aim of our school that this programme be rolled out to all year groups over the coming years. The programme is designed to make clear links between history and geography, not only in year groups, but throughout the key stages.   The repetitive nature of the programme allows the children to develop that ‘sticky learning’ and an extensive geographical and historical vocabulary. 

The Opening worlds programme, strongly supports the development in literacy at Wavertree. Through narratives, analysis and arguments, children are given the opportunities for continuous, focused practice in reading and writing, both fiction and non-fiction. Every history and geography lesson plays a part in the improvement of reading, and the range of reading material that children are introduced to is extensive. Children’s extended speaking and writing is transformed by the diverse vocabulary and the secure, fascinating stories that have underpinned the vocabulary acquisition.

Through the implementation of the Opening Worlds programme, children develop a sense of Belonging to their local community and to the wider world, as children develop an understanding of moral values, attitudes and dispositions and a further understanding of how to improve our world.  Our children thrive through informed curiosity about the world and think critically about how to make the world a better place. Our children Believe and understand the value of diversity and the contributions of others who may be very different from themselves, and understand the power of learning collaboratively to learn about the truth of developments to the world in which we live.  Our children Achieve a rich sense of identity and gain the skills and concepts for precise thoughts with which to describe, explain and change the world.

History and Geography are taught through all three key stages.  In the Early Years classroom, history and geography are taught as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year.  We relate the aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early years Curriculum which underpins the planning for children aged three to five. History and geography make a significant contribution to the Early Learning Goals objectives of developing a child’s understanding of the world though activities such as finding out about different places and habitats and investigating our locality, and looking at how it has changed over time.

During Key Stage One, pupils investigate their local area and a contrasting area in the United Kingdom or abroad, finding out about the environment in both areas and the people who live there.  They also begin to learn about the wider world.  They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom.  In doing this, they ask geographical questions about people, places and environments, and use geographical skills and resources, such as maps and photographs. In history, children learn about significant people who have influences our lives and communities.  Children study some key events in our country’s history, such as The Great Fire of London, and also investigate the history of some everyday objects such as the development of toys and how transport has changed over time.

With the introduction of the Open Worlds programme in Key Stage Two, children cover issues such as climate change, multi-culturalism and diversity, and social injustice.  Through the carefully and meticulously planned curriculum, children make clear links between history and geography with topics such as Settlements and Cities (geography) and Indus Valley Civilisations (history) running alongside each other. The principle aim of all these topics is to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in both subjects and to make cross curricular links. Children are encouraged to handle artifacts which makes learning real, and to ask, as well as answer historical and geographically based questions. Children are given the opportunity to develop their ICT skills through both history and geography lessons where it serves to enhance their learning. Children are supported as they develop their fieldwork skills and research skills, for example, researching their local environment and visiting local sites.  Here at Wavertree, we acknowledge that children learn at different rates, therefore, we ensure all children access suitable learning opportunities by matching the challenge to their capabilities.

Programmes of study for Geography

Purpose of study

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. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.


The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils:

develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time.
are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes.
interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.

Attainment targets

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

Subject content Key stage 1

Pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They should understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.

Pupils should be taught to:

Locational knowledge

name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans,
name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas.
Place knowledge

understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country.
 Human and physical geography

identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles.
use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to:
key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather.
key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop.
 Geographical skills and fieldwork

use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage.
use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language [for example, near and far; left and right], to describe the location of features and routes on a map.
use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features; devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key.
use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment.

 Subject content for Key stage 2

Pupils should extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They should develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.

Pupils should be taught to:

Locational knowledge

locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe (including the location of Russia) and North and South America, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities.
name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, key topographical features (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time.
identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night).
Place knowledge

understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom, a region in a European country, and a region within North or South America.
Human and physical geography

describe and understand key aspects of:
physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle.
human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water .
Geographical skills and fieldwork

use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied.
use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world.
use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies.

Programmes of study for History

Purpose of study

A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.


The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:

know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind .
gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’.
understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.

Attainment targets

 By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

Subject content Key stage 1

Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.

 In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching about the people, events and changes outlined below, teachers are often introducing pupils to historical periods that they will study more fully at key stages 2 and 3.

Pupils should be taught about:

changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life.
events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries].
the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods [for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and LS Lowry, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell].
significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.

Subject content for Key stage 2

Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching the British, local and world history outlined below, teachers should combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content.

 Pupils should be taught about:

changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.
the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain Examples (non-statutory).
Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots).
the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward              the Confessor.
a local history study Examples (non-statutory).
a study over time tracing how several aspects of national history are reflected in the locality (this can go beyond 1066).
a study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant in the locality.
the achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China .
Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world.
a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300.

Progression in Geography

Progression in History

Our Curriculum Impact

At Wavertree C of E School, assessment is an integral part of the teaching process.  Assessment is measured against the attainment targets as specified in the National Curriculum in Key Stage one and two, and against the Early Learning Goals in the Early Years. Children are assessed on a continual basis to ensure that all children are making progress and to identify any misconception or gaps in their learning. Book trawls and pupil interviews accompany lesson drop in by the humanities coordinator. Data is then analysed to identify if there is a particular group of children that are not making expected progress, followed by a conversation with the class teacher.

Since the introduction of the Opening World progress, staff have reported that children’s vocabulary has improved as well as their reasoning skills.  They are able to express their thoughts using more historical and geographical vocabulary.  The repetitive nature of the programme is proving successful with helping children with their ‘sticky knowledge’ as children are starting to make natural links between the subjects.

Related Pages 

Breakfast Club


School Uniform

Vision & Values