Humanities - History, Geography and the Environment

Our humanities curriculum at Old Moat is centred around broad themes that we believe to be important in creating citizens of the world for the twenty-first century:  Fairness; Community and Identity; Power and Government, Health and Education; Environment and Discovery.  Each theme is visited at least once in each Key Stage and is revisited and built on.  Our intention is that through these themes, our pupils in all their diversity will discover who they are and how they can become responsible members of our society.  #All different, all achieving.

There are “Big Questions” that drive the curriculum for science, humanities and RE.  Our EYFS Big Questions are centred around the child, but are linked to our wider themes and have bridging links to the rest of the school’s curriculum.  The sequencing of our Big Questions is built on principles of cognitive science:  there are bridges between the questions and we recall knowledge from previous teaching in order to help the knowledge "stick" and to deepen the understanding of concepts taught. Cross-curricular links are made, where appropriate, to enable children to apply their growing range of knowledge and skills in a variety of ways. We also strive to retain individual subject integrity so that knowledge and skills are progressed intentionally and tangible progress can be seen from year to year. 

The Big Questions we have chosen reflect the National Curriculum but at the same time are carefully chosen to give our diverse pupils the cultural capital they need to navigate the world and to make them young people who can contribute to their community and to society at large. They promote crictical thinking.

Curriculum content is clearly visible in Knowledge Organisers.  There are teacher versions, used as a tool in planning, and child-friendly versions which help children to see and remember the core knowledge and vocabulary from a topic (see downloads for examples).

Central to all that we do is the development of language and reading across the curriculum. Children need to be able to decipher a wealth of information both in print and digitally and well-rounded reading and language skills across all subjects are critical to this.

History at Old Moat

Through a deliberately sequenced history curriculum, we want our children to understand the cause and effects of key historical events on the world they live in now.

Teaching units are informed by the National Curriculum and delivered as a series of linked lessons, underpinned by a Big Question. Every opportunity is made to ensure periods of local, British and world history are relatable to our children from EYFS through to KS2. This allows them to appreciate and enquire about the significant people, communities and events that have shaped Manchester and the North West, both in living memory and beyond.

As children move through the school, we support and embed the progression of chronological knowledge and understanding by establishing links with previous years’ learning. As young historians in KS2, this enables children to make the connections, note contrasts and trends over time that will help them approach depth studies with an informed and critical mind.

At Old Moat, our Geography curriculum aims to inspire curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. We aim for our children to develop a sense of place and understand their surroundings. This is not only in relation to their locality within Greater Manchester, the North West and the United Kingdom, but also further afield in the wider world.  

Geography at Old Moat

Through our Big Questions we investigate how the interaction between physical and human processes affects our changing landscapes and environments. Developing a geography curriculum is not quite as simple as starting locally and moving out further and further:  In EYFS, we start with the question, Where will I go? This explores our locality and transport.  In Year 1, we build on this by asking what an alien would make of our local area but also in Y1 is a topic that talks about hot and cold climates (Why don’t meerkats live with penguins?) and some important geographical concepts such as the North and South Poles are established.  It is important to establish this basic understanding of the globe and some weather patterns, and then build on these as the children move up the school.   

Moving through the school, the UK is studied again in each Key Stage, adding more depth to previous work, and comparisons are made with countries further away as positional and locational language and concepts are developed.  We have tried to represent our school demograph with Africa and Asia featuring prominently. 

The environment features prominently in our curriculum.  Global warming is one of the most pressing issues of our time and our children need to understand it. We want our children to be aware of the local and global challenges that affect the world they are growing up in. Our established Green Heroes team is leading the way in promoting a sense of responsibility that will help our children to become environmentally-conscious young people now and in the future.  We are part of the Youth Environmental Group and work with Manchester City Council on eco-issues. 



"Pupils’ behaviour and attitudes are good. They are keen to do well and meet the school’s high aims."