Borrowdale CE Primary School
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History and Geography

We call it our book-based curriculum. Our planned History and Geography curriculum consists of 21 units that are designed in such a way that they are naturally linked to the texts used in the English curriculum. The knowledge, skills and understanding of both English and the History / Geography topic are therefore important to the activities. One of the main aims is to improve pupils’ writing throughout the curriculum as well as guaranteeing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of historical and geographical concepts.


Just like in the ‘real’ world, the boundaries between the subjects are less pronounced because the learning in different subjects is connected through the context of the text. It makes learning more meaningful, memorable and functional. What better way to learn about the Stone Age than experiencing what life was like through the eyes of the main characters in a quality text?


Most units cover half a term’s learning and focuses on a key concept through a lead question followed by further investigative questions to delve deeper into the concepts. Below are the units we currently teach in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2:


History / Geography Coverage

Lead question


Changes withing living memory

What has changed since your grandparents were young?

Lost and Found

Seasonal and daily weather patterns in the UK and hot and cold areas in the world / name and locate continents and oceans

Why can’t penguins live near the equator?

Naughty Bus

Use maps, atlases and globes to identify UK and its countries

Develop awareness of the past

Where did and do the wheels on the bus go?

Daisey saves the Day

History beyond living memory – focus on Victorians

What do we know about the Victorians and the way they lived?

Lila and the Secret of Rain

Study of a non-European contrasting place

Where would you prefer to live: Cumbria or Kenya?

The Owl and the Pussy cat

Seaside study

Why do we love to be beside the seaside?

The boy with the bronze axe


Stone age period

From Stone age to end of the Roman occupation: How did Britain change

Roman Diary – the journal of Iliona

The Earth beneath my feet

Roman occupation of Britain

From Stone age to end of the Roman occupation: How did Britain change

One Plastic Bag

Global warming, rainforest, waste, recycling

Why is planet Earth in danger?

Greek Myths

Who let the Gods out?

Study of Ancient Greeks


Why were the Ancient Greeks ruled by their Gods?

The Wild Robot

Describe and understand key aspects of physical geography including rivers

Where would you choose to build a city?

The Egyptian Cinderella

Secrets of a Sun King

Know about and name some of the advanced societies that were in the world around 3000 years ago

How can we recreate the wonder of Ancient Egypt?

The Firework Maker’s Daughter

Climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, the water cycle, volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis and flooding

What makes the Earth Angry?


Capital cities / comparative study of London and Borrowdale

Would you choose to live in London?


Climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, the water cycle, volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis and flooding

Why should the rainforest matter to all of us?


Britain’s settlements by Anglo-Saxons and Scots/ Anglo Saxon invasions/ Settlements/ Kingdoms/ names and places /art and culture and Christian conversion

Who were the Anglo Saxons?

Viking Boy

Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the kingdom of England

Were the Vikings always victorious and vicious?


Focus on North America and concentrating on key physical and human characteristics, states and major cities/ using graphs to record features/ know the names of countries

What is so special about the USA?

1001 Arabian Nights

Early Islamic Civilization, including a study of Baghdad around AD900

Why was the Islamic civilisation (AD900) known as the ‘Golden Age’?

Journey to Jo’burg

A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066 / widen pupils’ knowledge and understanding about the slave trade and discrimination generally

Why should Britain be ashamed of Slavery?