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Hurst Knoll St James'

CE Primary School

Inspiring Faith and Learning for Life


Geography / History



Geography is taught with the intention of pupils having sound knowledge and understanding of:

  • Their own lives and environment (Early Years and Year 1).
  • Their local community (Years 1 and 2).
  • Links to other towns within the North of England (Year 1).
  • The United Kingdom and Continents (Year 2).
  • Comparisons which can be made with other parts of the world (Year 2).
  • Comparisons that can be made across the United Kingdom (Year 2 and Year 3).
  • Volcanoes and earthquakes (Year 3)
  • Climate zones, rivers and mountains (Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6)
  • Rainforests and types of settlements (Year 5 and Year 6)
  • Comparisons which can be made with other parts of the world (Year 6).
  • Local trade links with a business challenge (Year 6).


Year 1, and some of Year 2 planning, was created the subject lead. From Year 2, and across Key Stage 2, we use planning from and adapt it to the needs of Hurst Knoll St James. Parents and carers can access a free trial by visiting


How can I support my child’s learning in Geography?


The town of Ashton-under-Lyne has lots of transport links, history and amenities. Geography is far more exciting when explored in person rather than reading about it or watching it!


When walking with your child or driving, talk to them about which street they are on and use directional vocabulary. For example, ‘we take the next left to go to Grandma’s house’. Signpost town features and amenities including: the post office, house types (flats, maisonettes, terraces, semi-detached, detached, bungalows), parks, canals, types of transport etc.


Start to discuss clothing changes when the weather changes. For example, we need to wear our hat and gloves today because it’s really cold. Discuss seasons and note unusual weather changes. For example, ‘I can’t believe that it’s snowing in June!’


If you have lived in the area as a child, talk to your child about the changes that have taken place. For example, did you know that there used to be two newsagents on the crossroads of Ladbrooke Road and Kings Road?’ or ‘Grandad marched in the Whit Walks along Penny Lane.’ If you lived somewhere else, talk to your child about the differences from where you lived.


Children, especially young children (primary aged), love going on buses, trains, trams and boats - especially if this is different from their usual form of transport. Look for signposts or unusual landmarks with your child. Talk about the traffic at different times of the day or year. For example, ‘I always avoid the motorway between 5 and 7 at night because it’s so busy.’ For children in Years 3 and up, allowing them to hand over the money for the tickets gives them some responsibility and will help support their mathematics. For children in Years 5 and up, allowing them to plan the journey with you, will support their maths and provide life skills.


When taking day trips or going on holiday, making visits to the playgrounds, parks, museums, beaches, paddling in the sea, cinemas, bowling, farms, theme parks etc. not only provides sensory benefits, it will support their Geography, English and PHSE knowledge and skills. Also share the dangers of swimming in open waters and awareness of tides, quick sands etc.


Local Museums, Parks and Days Out, recommended for all year groups:


  • Portland Basin (Ashton)
  • Daisy Nook Country Park
  • Hartshead Pike
  • Stamford Park
  • Science and Industry Museum (Manchester)
  • Manchester Museum
  • Whitworth Gallery (Manchester)




History is taught with the intention of pupils having sound knowledge and understanding of:

  • Themselves, their families and people they know (Early Years and Year 1).
  • The lives of some significant people in history and how it relates to them (Year 1 and Year 2)
  • Significant events that have affected generations nationally (Year 2).
  • Changes in Britain in the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age (Year 3).
  • The Roman Empire’s impact on Britain and identifying Roman cities (Year 3).
  • The presence of Anglo-Saxons in Britain and locally (Year 4).
  • Ancient Greece and its influence on the Western World (Year 4).
  • Changes in crime and punishment (Year 5).
  • Changes in life expectancy and health since the industrial revolution (Year 5).
  • Achievements of Ancient Egyptians and other civilisations (Year 5).
  • Local and world History WWI and WWII (Year 6)
  • Achievement of Ancients Mayans and other civilisations (Year 6).


Justification for our History curriculum:

Hurst Knoll St James' is fortunate that we celebrate generations of families living in the Hurst area of Ashton-under-Lyne, alongside welcoming newer generations to the area. Ashton-under-Lyne, in particular, is believed to have been named since Anglo-Saxon times. Manchester has been named since Roman Britain. We have a rich and diverse history as a town, as well as a nation. There are local memorials, cenotaphs and museums dedicated to regiments who fought in World War One and World War Two, alongside collections in museums from earlier civilisations. Around the area and town centre are buildings and clues to a rich past, which are still in use today.


Early Years and Key Stage One focuses on a strong understanding of self and those around us to begin to understand the passing of time; that people have lived before us and that we have learned from some events that have happened nationally.


In Key Stage 2, the curriculum regularly makes reference to the effects of events that happened locally for children to recognise that different civilisations have been present in Britain, in areas that they know well, have visited or at the very least know of, and the wider impact of international civilisations on the world. Year 3 begins with the earliest periods of history, then references are made throughout Key Stage 2 to other time periods that they have studied in Key Stage 2.


For some topics, planning has been taken from Primary History Rocks and adapted to the needs of our pupils. Other planning has been created by our History subject coordinator. There is continuous development of providing and demonstrating representation of diversity in history. For example, in Year 6, pupils learn about the support provided to Britain by countries of the Commonwealth in World War I.


How can I support my child’s learning in History?


History is far more exciting when explored in person than reading about it or watching it, where possible!


Young children of primary age benefit and thrive from a sense of belonging which comes from a knowledge and understanding about themselves, their families, communities and time. Talking about things or times that have changed across the generations will benefit your child. Children take great interest in learning some of the things that did not exist in previous generations, and it helps them to understand that some technologies cease to exist. For example, it might be hard for your child to understand that people had to use telephone boxes if they needed to telephone someone before mobile phones existed.


Local Museums and Days Out to support learning:

  • Science and Industry Museum (Year 1 - Autumn)
  • Bury Transport Museum (Year 1 - Autumn)
  • Park Bridge Heritage Centre (Year 1 - Autumn)
  • Manchester Museum (Year 2 – Autumn and Year 5 - Summer)
  • Stockport Museum (Year 3 - Autumn and Year 4 - Autumn)
  • Greater Manchester Police Museum (Year 5 - Autumn)
  • Horwich Heritage Centre, Bolton (Year 5 - Autumn)
  • Portland Basin Museum (Year 6 - Autumn)
  • Stockport Air Raid Shelters (Year 6 - Autumn)
  • The Pankhurst Centre, Manchester (Year 6 - Autumn)
  • Museum of Manchester Regiment, Ashton Town Hall (Year 6 - Autumn)