The aim of history teaching at Amherst Primary School is to stimulate the pupil’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach pupils a sense of chronology. Through this, they develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. History teaching focuses on enabling pupils to think like historians. We place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources. Amherst makes use of Guernsey’s enormously rich historical resources. Thus, they learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in Guernsey and in modern multicultural Britain.
By considering how people lived in the past they are better able to make their own life choices today. At Amherst, we teach pupils to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today; we also teach them to investigate these past events and, by doing so, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving.
At Amherst, we use Geography to help children make sense of the world around them. We divide our learning into two strands:
Physical Geography: where we learn about what the Earth’s surface looks like and the natural processes which creates this landscape.
Human Geography: where we learn how people interact with each other across different places and how we alter the natural landscape through their own activities.
We encourage the children to notice and be curious about the physical and human geography that is happening both in their local area and in the wider world. We then guide them to understand why or how this happens. Each year group has a focussed ‘island’ case study so they can look in detail at a specific area of physical or human geography and compare this new knowledge with what they already know about Guernsey.
Our learning is hands-on and child-led wherever possible and is recorded in a variety of ways including using contextualised photographs, field sketches, charts and ICT. As they progress through Amherst, the children will develop an ability to read, create and understand a wide range of maps, atlases and globes.
Throughout their learning, we reinforce that they each have an important place in the world and they are connected to many other people and places due to their own interests and actions. As a result of being connected, their actions can have an impact on themselves and others. We use this appreciation to then nurture a lifelong passion for them to protect our planet and create a future that is sustainable.