History and Geography


Geography is essentially about people and places. Our work is centred on acquiring the skills necessary to understand and communicate developing knowledge and understanding of people and places, of the causes and effects of weather patterns and climate, of the physical features of land forms, oceans and rivers and the relationship of soil, plants and animals. Map work and its associated skills form an important part of the work.         

We begin with an interest in our immediate environment, extending this first to the British isles and then to more distant places. Visits are made to other localities so that comparisons can be made.  

An important feature of geographical study is to understand the reasons for settlements and population distribution. It also includes journeys, communications and economic developments. The distribution of natural resources obviously affects the life of inhabitants of different areas and our aim is to make the children aware of the contribution they can make to improving their own immediate environment and the world.


History is about people and events in the past. As young children can have little appreciation of the concept of time we begin with the child’s interest in their own family and make comparisons between his/her life and that of his/her parents and grandparents.

At St James The Great, History is Topic based. Children always enjoy the story aspect of History and we build on this to encourage them to differentiate between real and fictional accounts and stories, to identify differences between the past and the present, to describe and explain historical changes and to offer reasons for cause and effect.

Children are encouraged to take an interest in the past and ask questions, to look at evidence and draw conclusions and to think about points of view. They are given the opportunity to communicate this understanding through oral accounts, Art and Craft (pictures and models), Dance and Drama.

We also study using opportunities for learning outside the curriculum positioned as we are in Southwark with excellent transport links to many museums and galleries Greater London.