Please click here for our history and geography progression map:

History and Geography Map


At Ark Academy, we intend to instil awe and wonder within the pupils about the past. By learning history, pupils will understand the complexities of people’s lives, processes of change, diversity of societies and relationships between different groups as well as their own identity and challenges of their time. Pupils will be inspired to think of consequences of actions on a bigger scale and consider their role now and in the future. As they journey through our primary, our aim is for pupils to gain coherent knowledge and understanding of our world’s history to provide a sense of relevance of the environment they live in. A high-quality history education will support pupils in understanding their heritage, their identity, their life and that of others; enabling full participation in our society.

Our curriculum foundation is on developing pupils’ knowledge and critical thinking, which are driven by ‘fertile questions’ at the end of each unit. We want pupils to ask perceptive questions, analyse and interpret the evidence, sift through arguments and identify motives. Pupils should build their historical imagination of the past and be able to articulate their understanding to others. By lessening the abstract nature of history and teaching through enquiry-based questions, we aim for pupils to leave Ark Academy with secure chronological understanding of time periods in history.

Units of learning are informed by the National Curriculum as well as being sensitive to the pupils’ interests and the local community. Throughout the history curriculum, links have been highlighted within and across year groups. This means that knowledge taught in prior year groups is built and developed upon in a meaningful way ensuring information is remembered and learned. These history ‘themes’ - which all teaching staff understand and were a part of creating - run through Key Stages 1 and 2. High quality, challenging texts in reading alongside outcomes in writing, linked to the humanities curriculum, reinforce and extend pupils’ knowledge, enabling them to make connections and embed new learning in their long-term memory.

The history themes are: chronology, technological advances, economy, famous people, war, medicine, impact on Britain, politics, hierarchy, religion, trade, the arts, invasion, daily life and migration. These themes are linked across the school. For example:

War: Year 3 ‘Roman Empire’ > Year 4 ‘The Vikings’ > Year 5 ‘World War 2’ The learning about ‘war’ in years 3 and 4 provides pupils with the building blocks and prior understanding of concepts in order to help them process more complex ideas by the end of KS2.


By studying Geography, pupils will connect and appreciate that geography is relevant to their lives, experiences and futures. Geography allows us to make sense of the planet and discover all we can about our home. We will inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, which will remain with them for the rest of their lives. They will be accepting and tolerant of others as they will understand that the world is a global community. Our curriculum generates excitement, creativity and critical thinking about the world that will equip our pupils to make their own successful way in it.

Like in history, our curriculum has been designed to be enquiry-based and driven by fertile questions. Pupils will be aware of the relationship between societies and the planet; both how people affect the environment and how environment affects people. They will understand how human activity and landscapes vary across the world and the factors that influence these patterns. As they progress, their understanding of geographical locations will deepen. Pupils will understand the difference between human and physical geography and how both change over time. Pupils will gain skills in interpreting a range of geographical information such as maps and diagrams. Using this knowledge, pupils will enquire into topical matters and understand and appreciate the value of different cultures and perspectives.

As with our history curriculum, links have been highlighted within and across year groups in order to ensure that knowledge taught in prior year groups is built and developed upon in a meaningful way.

The geography themes are: relative location, human features, physical features, region, impact of humans on Earth, climate and fieldwork. The pupils are exposed to these themes in every topic which allows them to consolidate geographical vocabulary and concepts year-on-year.

Overview of a pupil’s journey through primary history and geography




  • Through stories, understand that events happened in the past.
  • Understand that places and things develop over time.
  • Through exploring, observing and finding out about people, places, technology and the environment pupils have a sense of their immediate physical world.


  • Understand the concept that events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally.
  • Put events from one time period in Chronological order
  • Analyse a range of sources from specific time periods
  • Discuss the lives of significant individuals or events in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements
  • Understand where they live, as well London, and that they live in the United Kingdom.
  • Beginning to develop geographical vocabulary
  • Know weather patterns in the United Kingdom
  • Identify hot and cold areas of the world
  • Use a basic map, atlas and simple compass directions, aerial photographs and plans.
  • Develop basic fieldwork skills


  • Continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history
  • Note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms.
  • Differentiate between source types and explain how interpretations in History may differ.
  • Construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.
  • Address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.
  • Build on prior learning about physical and human processes and the formation and use of landscapes and environments
  • Use maps to focus on regions, key physical/ human characteristics, countries and major cities.
  • Make connections between their local surroundings and that of contrasting settlements.
  • Examine and compare geographical similarities and differences
  • Explain latitude, longitude and time zones.
  • Describe and understand climate zones, rivers, mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes, the water cycle, types of settlements, economic activity and distribution of natural resources.
  • Use and create maps and atlases.
  • Develop fieldwork skills in predicting and navigating.

Transferring skills and knowledge

Our history and geography curriculum is underpinned by the use of knowledge mats, which contain the key learning and vocabulary for each unit of study. As a teaching staff, we have created meaningful links between all history and geography units across the school. Teachers signpost these links in the first lesson of each unit in order to highlight what the pupils have learnt previously; what they are going to be learning; and what they will learn in the next linked unit.