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“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.”

- National Curriculum 2013.

“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.”

- National Curriculum 2013.


It is our intent at Lowbrook Academy that our Place and Time curriculum will inspire pupils with 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 and the complex interconnection of the human footprint on the world.

This principally includes how history shapes culture, events, consciousness and identity and the lessons which it offers to our understanding of present and future; and geographical study of location, other people, other places and human interdependence, locally, nationally and globally.

Like the arts, this domain and its contributory disciplines stand in need of proper public and political recognition of their importance to children’s understanding of who they are, of change and continuity, cause and consequence, of why society is arranged as it is, and of the interaction of humankind and the physical environment. In opening up children’s understanding of these matters the domain may range beyond the boundaries of what is conventionally included.

This domain is central to the advancement of a number of proposed aims, notably, respect and reciprocity, interdependence and sustainability, local, national and global citizenship and culture and community.

The principals of historical and geographical skills and concepts are underpinned by an understanding of historical and geographical knowledge children are expected to learn, remember and understand. Getting better in this domain requires all aspects of the discipline to be developed together. We may be able to set out separate summaries of the “geographical and historical knowledge” and “geographical and historical skills and concepts” in describing a course, but they need to be carefully blended in all planning and teaching

At Lowbrook we teach children to develop contextual knowledge of location through the study of historical milestones. As the children complete their studies here, they will have amassed a wealth of global knowledge through human history. Our approach starts this journey with education focused on the local, providing children with relevant access to the subject. The concept of children understanding that they are a part of history and also part of the geography of our local area is the stimulus of our Place and Time curriculum. All classes begin with a study of the local area around us, be that Cox Green, Maidenhead, Windsor or the River Thames. Skills are repeated and expanded upon, such as The River Thames aspect in each year group. Knowledge starts in Early Years by learning about water safety and progresses to understanding the physical geography of The River Thames and comparing it to other major UK and world rivers in Year 5. This in turn develops the skills necessary to make comparisons and analyse and understand communities separate from ours.

Place and Time is taught as part of a topic-based approach where children are encouraged to:

  • Research independently,
  • Use and evaluate artefacts and historical documents (Primary and Secondary sources),
  • Record information in a variety of forms,
  • Develop opinions and attitudes towards historical events,
  • Recognise the influence that history has had on the present,
  • Investigate the human and physical features of their local area and contrasting localities,
  • Ask questions about the world around them,
  • Experience purposeful fieldwork studies,
  • Use a range of technology and digital equipment,
  • Find important links between Place and Time and core curriculum subjects,
  • Use their own school setting as a resource for sustainability.

It is our intent that Place and Time not only provides links to other curriculum areas but lies at the heart of the children’s everyday lives, showing how the past can impact upon the present and ultimately, the future. This domain area aims to equip children with the skills required to be confident and capable members of the community, as well as appreciate the importance of the role they play in respecting and preserving the society they are a part of.

Lastly, it is our intent that Place and Time provides a platform with which children can communicate their ideas and query the existing world around them.


The allocation of time set out below is the starting point for planning, however the art in teaching is not determined by time and it is expected that teachers will act professionally within these guidelines to allocate appropriate and effective amounts of time to each area as they feel fit. 

Some subjects or units of work may be taught in blocks; or more frequently during themed weeks, therefore the weekly figure is nominal only. In the Foundation Stage, the overlap of Areas of Learning makes hourly time allocation inappropriate. Pupils at Key Stage 1 have opportunities for child-initiated or directed play.

The curriculum will be planned and delivered by the class teachers, specialist teachers, higher level teaching assistants, teaching assistants and where appropriate, experts within this field.

The curriculum overview ensures the programme of study addresses all the aims of our curriculum.

The Cambridge Review emphasises the importance of equipping the children with skills needed to become confident and capable members of the community, as well as appreciating the important role that they play in respecting and preserving their society. Young children are initially unaware of the role that they play in society; for them, life revolves around a small radius that includes their home, family, friends, and school. Place and Time builds on this and teaches children that their actions and choices can affect the world around them. The concept of social responsibility is embedded within our teaching and how their actions impact the environment and the society that they live in, it creates an awareness of their actions and the consequences of their choices.

In line with the recommendations outlined within the Cambridge Review, each class works towards 30% of the curriculum being designed around our own distinctive locality. Knowledge of the local area is an important part of the learning process. At Lowbrook, we feel strongly about teaching children about the local area. This has been built into the curriculum overview in all year groups. This has been progressively planned with Year One children researching and exploring the Cox Green area to year six looking closely at the River Thames and its many uses, comparing it to a river in China. This develops children’s understanding of the local area and how this links globally to other countries.

Trips are progressively planned throughout the school and are carefully linked to each year group’s topic and learning intentions. Trips are highlighted on curriculum overview and booked at the start of the year, with workshops and activities carefully planned. Examples are Early Years visiting Oxford Museum of Natural History during their dinosaurs’ topic, Year One trip to Windsor Castle when looking at famous buildings, Year Four trip to Hampton Court Palace during the study of Tudors to look at the hierarchy within the palace and Year Six visiting Bletchley Park during their study of World War Two and looking at the important work of Alan Turing.

Topics, skills and knowledge are outlined in the termly progression matrices for each year group. Each term has been given a focus across the whole curriculum. The children will develop an understanding and appreciation of historical influences that have shaped our heritage. They will gain an understanding and appreciation of geographical features (both physical and human) and will take part in practical activities to enhance and complement their learning.

Term 1 - Local Area

Studies of the local area begin with an overview of the community, progressing to a study of Cox Green and the River Thames. Moving into KS2, the focus is of a wider parameter such as Windsor and Maidenhead. The River Thames is an area that is revisited and developed through KS1 & KS2. Skills developed during this unit are the research and study of significant historical events, people and places in their own locality; understand some ways we find out about the past; use of simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of the area (particularly during trips to Cox Green, Maidenhead Bridge, Windsor, Henley and The River Thames); use of aerial photographs to recognise landmarks and human and physical features; comparing an area of the UK with other countries eg. a region in China; use of maps (including Digimap for Schools), atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate areas; using geographical vocabulary to describe key physical features and linking with local history, mapping how land use has changed in local area over time.

Term 2 - Navigation

In order to understand how navigation relates to the children’s lives, it begins in their immediate surroundings and its key features. This then moves onto developing spatial awareness with directional language and use of navigational equipment in KS1. In KS2, the focus is on the key locations of the world including the continents, Europe and America and the time zones, as well as famous explorers of the world.  Skills developed during this unit include the research and study of the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements, such as Christopher Columbus, Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton. Studies compare aspects of life in different time periods; fitting people in to chronological order; naming and locating the world’s seven continents and five oceans on a world map; understanding geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography between two contrasting places; using grid references, progressing from 2 point references in KS1 to 6 point grid references in year six and learn and use the eight points of a compass; practical use of GPS equipment and digital mapping.

Term 3 – British History

The study of British history begins with an introduction to the values of the United Kingdom and key individuals that represent those ideals. After which, the focus in KS2 progresses to the study of iconic eras, events and individuals of British history. Skills developed during this unit include having an awareness of the past, using common words & phrases relating to time; fit people/events into chronological framework; identify similarities / differences between periods; use wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms; choose and use from stories and other sources to show understanding; understand some ways we find out about the past; identify different ways in which the past is represented; note connections, contrasts and trends over time; develop the appropriate use of historical terms; regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions and understand that different versions of the past may exist, giving some reasons for this and evaluate primary and secondary sources of information. Our plans see some of the classes enhancing the curriculum by having a theme day related to their topic, for example a Victorian Day in Year Three, and field trips are well planned for.

Term 4 – Famous Buildings

With the help of timelines, each year group studies a particular building and the individual events that surround it. The location of these buildings include both British and international residencies. To place the children’s learning in to context, these studies are often accompanied by a class trip to the building or a related exhibit. For example, Year 1 visit Windsor Castle, Year 2 visit St Paul’s Cathedral and Year 3 visit Cliveden House. Skills developed through this unit are the use of world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries; use of aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features; devising a simple map, constructing and using symbols and a key; using 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; placing people and events in to a chronological order and researching the lives of significant individuals linked to the building.

Term 5 – The World

Studies of the world begin by looking at the world as a whole, this includes regions, geographical features and weather patterns. Moving onto the study of countries around the world and the eras that are associated with them, such as Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt. To celebrate the study of international countries and their cultures, the whole school participate in a biannual Arts & Culture Week. Skills developed through this unit are developing an understanding of the achievements of the earliest civilizations; studying of events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally; develop chronologically secure knowledge of history; identifying seasonal and daily weather patterns; use of aerial photographs and plan perspectives; the study of the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to international achievements, using them to compare aspects of life in different periods and use of basic and geographical knowledge to refer to key physical and human features.

Term 6 – Sustainability through Time

Through the use of time eras on a timeline, each year group studies sustainability and the impact history has made on our lives today. The younger the child, the more recent the timeline or era is that they study; as advised by the curriculum changes in 2014. This unit links very closely with the sustainability, health and well-being units in the Citizenship and Ethics domain this term. Skills developed are looking closely at changes within living memory as well as events beyond living memory progressing through the year groups; understanding geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region; understanding how knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources; developing the appropriate use of historical terms and constructing informed responses by selecting and organising relevant historical information.

Natural events, visitor opportunities and local initiatives will also grab our attention and warrant curriculum exploration and time in this domain.

Children’s curiosity is inspired to learn more about the past and the world in which they live. High quality education helps pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Staff teach our pupils about where they live so they can see they are part of a bigger story. As their understanding grows through the year groups, so too does the scope of our curriculum to match it. Children understand that they feature as part of a town, county, country, continent and world. 

It is our belief that consolidation of learning and knowledge is fundamental; and therefore creating ‘Awe and Wonder’ within our Place & Time curriculum is key to this. The development of the Art & Culture Week has been hugely influential with our pupils in achieving this. Biannually, we design a whole week of Art & Culture where each cohort represents a country of their choice, and children share and experience a range of food, facts and entertainment. Class teaching during this week will focus on landmarks, milestones, figures and features associated with a culture. Children then showcase the knowledge they have amassed through performances of drama, dance and song, shared with the parent community. 

Such celebration fulfils the aims of the curriculum whilst demonstrating the importance of cross-curricular learning. Experts from the world outside school are planned for and invited in to work with the children; creative specialists come to school to work with the children; equipment beyond the school’s means are used and parents join us at school to tell us about how their knowledge of other countries and its past (Place and Time) is used in their work or personal life.  Arts and Culture week is a highlight of the academic year and is used to complement and enrich our weekly curriculum.

Our Place and Time curriculum is assessed formatively in line with the school’s assessment policy. A school specific formative assessment grid is published and used for all units of work and sits along the school’s carefully and sequentially planned progression maps. Each unit of work has clear assessment objectives based on the National Curriculum objectives for history and geography, which are highlighted on the curriculum overviews. Self and peer assessment during the various stages are successful and a key aspect of this school’s teaching and learning pedagogy.

Place & Time Lead - Nicola Edwards