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Sunny Bank Primary School

Halfway HousesPrimary School

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Welcome to our History and Geography page



At Halfway Houses Primary School we aim to stimulate children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past and ways in which it differs from the present. We believe that learning about the past helps children to make sense of the world in which they live and to develop analytical thinking. At Halfway Houses Primary School we believe that the study of History makes a valuable contribution to the children’s understanding of all aspects of life giving a sense of identity and heritage.


At Halfway Houses Primary we aim:

  1. To develop an interest in the past and an appreciation of human achievements and aspirations.
  2. To understand the values of our society.
  3. To learn about the major issues and events in the history of our own country and of the world and how these events may have influenced one another.
  4. To develop knowledge of chronology within which the children can organise their understanding of the past;
  5. To enable children to know about significant events in British history and the wider global community to appreciate how things have changed over time.
  6. Children develop a range of skills and abilities - particularly those relating to finding out about the past, explaining what happened, and what people then, and now, think about what happened


At Halfway Houses Primary School, the teaching and learning of History focuses on enabling children to think as historians. We enable children to find out about the past from a range of sources – using primary and secondary sources, handling artefacts, making use of local area and visits to museums and sites of historical significance. We develop children’s understanding and skills in looking at and interpreting evidence including recognising that the past can be represented in different ways as well as develop skills of research and note taking and to present findings in a variety of ways such as in written, oral or pictorial form as well as using ICT.


We teach children to identify why people did things, the main characteristics of different societies at different times including links between times studied. Teachers are responsible for including all or part of the 5 key elements of History into their topics. The key elements are intended as a guide to planning units of work. It may not be appropriate to include all 5 key elements within each study unit.

The five key elements are:

1. Chronological understanding.

2. Knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past.

3. Historical interpretation.

4. Historical enquiry.

5. Organisation and communication.


History is taught through a cross-curricular thematic approach and we link history to as many subjects as well as ensuring no tenuous link is made, the teaching contributes significantly to the teaching of English in our school by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Some of the texts that we use in Literacy lessons are historical in nature. Children develop verbal skills through discussing historical questions or presenting their findings to the rest of the class. They develop their writing ability by composing reports and letters and through using writing frames.

History teaching contributes to the teaching of Mathematics in a variety of ways. Children learn to use numbers when developing a sense of chronology through doing activities such as time-lines. From Foundation to Year 6 children will create a cohort timeline for each year that will follow them as they progress throughout the school, supporting children to learn to interpret information presented in graphical or diagrammatic form.


History supports the teaching of personal, social, citizenship and health education development by exploring the similarities and contrasts between past and present societies and be made aware of how, in the main, we are very fortunate to live in ‘the modern world’ which links with the value of thankfulness. They will examine how other cultures have had a major impact on the development of ‘British’ culture. Pupils will also be encouraged to build up their own social development through collaborative and team working activities.




We contribute to the children’s spiritual development by helping children develop a sense of curiosity and the mystery of how and why events in the past happened and raises questions as to what would have happened if events had had different results. Artefacts are used to give pupils a sense of the past and aid pupils understanding the people who produced and use these objects. Pupils are encouraged to explore the role played by important individuals for good or ill, in shaping of the world we live in.

 In addition, all year groups study an inspirational person during Black History month. The history programme of study enables children to understand that Britain’s rich cultural heritage can be further enriched by the multi-cultural British society of today.


 History supports moral development by asking children to consider and comment on moral questions and dilemmas. Events and beliefs in the past will often be at odds with what we would consider unacceptable today (and were to some people in the past also) Pupils will be encouraged to show compassion for people facing dilemmas and to empathise with decisions which people in the past made and the reasoning behind these decisions. Notions of right and wrong are explored in connection with events from the past, linking with the value of justice.


History supports cultural development by encouraging children to gain an understanding of and empathise with, people from different cultural backgrounds. They will examine how other cultures have had a major impact on the development of ‘British’ culture. Pupil develop a better understanding of our multicultural society through studying links between local, British, European and world history.


We encourage children to become aware of their role as a citizen. During History we encourage children to reflect on and discuss the moral and social issues that arise in lessons; for example, looking at child labour in Victorian Britain, empire building and slavery. Through this we seek to develop children’s concepts and attitudes towards right and wrong, in line with the spiritual ethos of the school.



At Halfway Houses Primary School there is a wide range of resources to support the teaching and learning of History both inside and outside the school. In school there are topic linked boxes of resources kept in the History and Geography cupboard alongside a variety of general books and artefacts. Teachers are encouraged to make use of the resources outside the school through visits to historical sites and museums.

Early Years Foundation Stage:

At Halfway Houses Primary School, History makes a significant contribution to the development of each child’s knowledge and understanding of the World. We provide activities such as examining photos of themselves at birth and looking for change over time, using stories that introduce a sense of time and people from the past, comparing artefacts from different times e.g. teddies, and making the most of opportunities to value children’s histories from their own and other cultures. In the Early Years Foundation classes, History is taught as an integral part of topic work covered during the year. In the Foundation Stage History is about having the opportunities to find out and learn about the world they live in and discover the meaning of new and old in relation to their own lives. The history side of the children’s work is related to the Knowledge and Understanding of the World objectives set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.


Key Stage 1:

During Key Stage 1 children learn about people’s lives and lifestyles from the more recent past. They listen to and respond to stories and use sources of information to help them ask and answer questions. They learn how the past is different from the present. Children begin to learn about the more distant past through topics that have a direct connection to our local area. They use the primary resources available to help them understand a life very different from their own.


Key Stage 2:

During Key Stage 2 children learn about significant people, events and places from both recent and more distant past. They learn about change and continuity in their own area, in Britain and in other parts of the world. They look at history in a variety of ways, for example from political, economic, technological and scientific, social, religious, cultural or aesthetic perspectives. They use different sources of information to help them investigate the past both in depth and in overview, using dates and historical vocabulary to describe events, people and developments. They also learn that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways.



History Subject leader’s Role:

The role of the Subject Leader is to ensure continuity and progression in the teaching and learning of History.

  1. Developing good practice in their classroom.
  2. Monitoring and evaluating resources.
  3. Monitoring planning and the delivery of the curriculum.
  4. Working together with colleagues to raise standards.
  5. Providing stimulus and inspiration.
  6. Ensuring that the policy documents remain useful and current.
  7. Organising and supporting in-service training in line with the SDP.
  8. Yearly history audit and action plan.


At Halfway Houses Primary School assessment is in line with the school’s Policy for Assessment. Teachers are expected to assess at the end of each topic against National Curriculum descriptors levels, which enables teachers to track each child’s progress using their assessment booklets. Monitoring of History takes place throughout the school by:

  1. Observations of individual lessons.
  2. Monitoring of children’s books through book looks.
  3. Discussions with both adults and children.
  4. Looking at classroom displays.
  5. Learning walks.


At Halfway Houses Primary School, we believe that Geography stimulates curiosity and imagination and we aim to build upon the child's "personal geography" by developing geographical skills, understanding and knowledge through studying places and themes. Geography is a valued part of the curriculum as it provides a means of exploring, appreciating and understanding the world in which we live and how it has evolved. Geography explores the relationship between the Earth and its people.


At Halfway Houses Primary we aim:

  1. To make sense of their own surroundings through learning about their own locality, and the interaction between people and environment.
  2. To extend their interest, knowledge and understanding of contrasting localities in Britain, Europe and the World.
  3. To develop knowledge and understanding of the human and physical processes which shape places.
  4. To appreciate similarity and difference in the world around them and to respect other people’s beliefs, attitudes and values.
  5. To develop the geographical skills and vocabulary necessary to carry out effective geographical enquiry.
  6. To formulate appropriate questions, develop research skills and evaluate material to inform opinions.
  7. To develop interest and enjoyment of geographical experiences and build confidence and understanding.
  8. To recognise and understand issues concerning the environment and sustainable development.


Geography explores the relationship between the Earth and its people through the study of the physical and human features of Earth, the influence of the environment on human behaviour and lifestyles and the natural resources people use.

At Halfway Houses Primary School Geography involves: 

  1. Undertaking fieldwork in the local area and places further afield in the UK.
  2. Comparing and contrasting land-forms, land uses, weather, seasons and ecosystems.
  3. The use of secondary sources to obtain geographical information, e.g. photos, books, CD-ROM, videos.
  4. Following directions using positional and directional language, also using these to direct others.
  5. Expressing and evaluating views on the attractive and unattractive features of the environment, e.g. tidiness, noise, building on greenbelt land.
  6. Naming the physical features of places, e.g. mountain, sea, beach, factory, valley.
  7. Using developing language to talk about their work e.g. route, scale, tide, erosion, climate, temperate, continent.
  8. Developing geographical skills of making observations and measuring, recording observations through maps, talk, and writing, taking photographs, sketches and diagrams.
  9. Using maps, globes, atlases and interpreting photographs.
  10. Help the children appreciate the variety of responses to the same basic needs (ethnic, cultural and economic) and to imagine what it might be like to experience life in other places.

At Halfway Houses Primary School we use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our Geography lessons. We use whole-class teaching methods and we combine these with enquiry-based research activities. We encourage children to ask as well as answer geographical questions. We offer them the opportunity to use a variety of data, such as maps, statistics, graphs, pictures, video and aerial photographs, and we enable them to use ICT in Geography lessons where this serves to enhance their learning. Children take part in role-play and discussions and then present reports to the rest of the class. Children learn about other places through reading stories with settings in different places and in different landscapes. They make outside visits. They engage in a wide variety of problem-solving activities. Wherever possible, we involve the children in ‘real’ geographical activities, e.g. the research of a local environmental problem.

The objectives of Geography teaching in the school are based on the requirements of the National Curriculum programmes of study for Key Stages 1 and 2. The Geography curriculum of the school will therefore help children to experience the following key aspects of the programme of study: In both Key Stages 1 and 2 children should study four strands. These are:

1. Geographical Enquiry and Skills.

2. Knowledge and Understanding of Places.

3. Knowledge and understanding of patterns and processes.

4. Knowledge and understanding of environmental change and sustainable development.




Geography supports spiritual development by promoting a sense of wonder and fascination with the physical and human world. An understanding of scale is an important aspect of Geography and how small changes in climate can have far reaching consequences. Understanding that all life is linked together and create the processes that make Earth the only known inhabited planet.


Geography supports moral development by looking at a range of moral issues such as how the development of cities has put pressure on wildlife. We cover moral issues of an ever-increasing population and the different approaches taken by countries to tackle the problem. We explore issues of poverty and the moral dilemma of importing food and the consequences of it on global warming.


Geography supports social development because social issues are common themes within geography. Children discuss issues such as global warming with an emphasis on how they can make a difference by making small changes to their lifestyles.


Geography supports cultural development by helping children to understand different cultures. Through geography children look at how different cultures and beliefs can impact on the environment and human issues. Children look at different places such as our local geography: Minster, Queenborough, Eastchurch, Harty, Sheerness and Blue Town and are introduced to customs and traditions which allows our pupils to develop humility and understanding for their immediate locality to develop their understanding of the world as a global community.



At Halfway Houses Primary School we recognise that Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship prepares children for life in the 21st Century. ESDGC needs to be embedded into the curriculum and all aspects of school life, helping to create an ethos of responsibility on the local, national and global scale. At Halfway Houses Primary School Geography contributes to learners’ understanding of ESDGC as they work in contexts that allow them to make decisions based on the values that underpin society, helping them become active and informed citizens. They are encouraged to be enterprising and innovative in their decision making, whilst having regard for sustainability and environmental issues in the 21st Century through active participation in Environment Council collaboration.

The Early Years Foundation Stage:

 In Early Years Foundation classes, Geography is taught as an integral part of topic work covered during the year. In the Foundation Stage Geography is about the children having the opportunities to find out and learn about the world they live in through participation in Forest School. The Geography side of the children’s work is related to the Knowledge and Understanding of the World objectives set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

Key Stages 1:

At Key Stage 1, Geography is about developing knowledge, skills and understanding relating to the children’s own environment through participation in visiting the local beach and the people who live there, developing their awareness of the wider world through cross-curricular topics.

Key Stage 2:

At Key Stage 2, Geography is about developing knowledge, skills and understanding relating to people, places and environments at different scales in the United Kingdom and overseas and an appreciation of how places relate to each other and the wider world through cross-curricular topics.


At Halfway Houses Primary School we aim to encourage all children to reach their full potential through the provision of varied opportunities. We recognise that our curriculum planning must allow children to gain a progressively deeper understanding and competency as they move through our school.

Health and Safety:

Pupils are taught safe practices linked to age related expectations in the field and how to achieve them as well as how to use equipment in accordance with health and safety guidelines and to behave considerably and responsibly, showing respect for other people and their environment whilst on trips outside the classroom.

Teachers ensure risk assessments are completed before any field trips are agreed, discuss all planned trips with the Head of School and ensure adequate supervision is organised or all field work.


The role of the Geography Subject Leader is to:

  1. Support colleagues in teaching the subject content and developing the detail within each unit.
  2. Renew, update and complement resources needed to deliver the curriculum, within budget restraints.
  3. Audit current practice.
  4. Develop assessment and record keeping ensuring progression and continuity.
  5. Keep abreast of developments in Geography education and media usage Assessment

At Halfway Houses Primary School, we assess the children’s work in Geography by making informal judgements as we observe the children during lessons. Once the children complete a unit of work, we make a summary judgement of the work for children and consider whether they have yet to meet emerging, expected or exceeding expectations of the unit. Class teachers keep the children’s Geography work in the topic books. We use our Curriculum Subject Assessment booklets to record assessments and use these to plan future work.



How can I help my child with their History and Geography learning?

Here are some questions that you could ask your child.


Can you name a famous historical figure? 

Tell me a favourite fact about the past.

Do you know what BC and AD stand for? 

How can learning from history help us lead better lives today?

If you could be a famous person from history, who would you be and why?

What is a timeline?

What sources have you looked at to find out about historical events?

What is your favourite period of time?

How did a famous figure make a difference? 

Why do we learn about history? 


What places have you learned about? 

What are the differences between human and physical features?

Can you tell me about any famous landmarks? 

What do you know about the island that you live on?

Why do we use maps?

What can you tell me about migration? 

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why? 

How are other places similar or different to the UK? 

Can you name all the continents?

Can you name any seas? 


Get in Touch

  • Halfway Houses Primary SchoolDanley Road, Sheerness, Isle of Sheppey,Kent, ME12 3AP

  • 01795 662875