Children are naturally curious and often ask profound questions about themselves and the nature of the world around them. The purpose of this area of learning is to find age-appropriate answers to some of these big questions from the perspectives of geography, history and science and technology. (P83 N.I. Curriculum document)
The World Around Us is one of the six Areas of Learning in the Northern Ireland Curriculum. It focuses on the development of knowledge, skills and understanding in Geography, History, Science and Technology. Millington Primary School aims to retain the best of current practice within the three subjects, while developing a topic/theme-based approach to this area of learning, and making relevant connections across all areas of learning, while ensuring breadth and balance.
The statutory curriculum for World Around Us is structured as follows:
Foundation Stage: The World Around Us including Geography, History and Science and Technology
Key Stages One & Two: The World Around Us through the contributory elements of Geography, History and Science and Technology
The World Around Us is presented as four inter-related strands that connect learning.
- Movement and Energy
- Change Over Time
Three contributory elements within the World Around Us
Geography explores the relationship between the earth and its people through the study of the environment, place and space. It develops knowledge of places and environments throughout the world, an understanding of maps and a range of investigative and problem-solving skills both inside and outside the classroom. Children should develop knowledge and understanding of their place in the world, other places, and the processes which affect the people, conditions, and life in that place.
They should explore ideas about people, jobs, the weather and the environment both locally and globally and begin to consider their part in maintaining a sustainable world.
History is concerned with the concepts of sequence and time and with evidence which allows us to find out what happened in the past. The concepts of chronology, change/continuity, empathy and cause and effect will be developed through investigation of life in the past.
Children should gain an awareness of their past and changes which have occurred over time through examining evidence, looking at photographs, watching TV and multimedia clips and listening to stories.
Children will recognise the importance of evidence in giving a picture of the past but will understand that there can be different interpretations of this depending on how it is viewed.
Science and Technology aims to stimulate a child’s curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way they do. It teaches methods of enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative thought. Children learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way science will affect their future on a personal, national, and global level.
Children should have opportunities to develop the skills of Science and Technology and to develop awareness of the relevance and importance of Science and Technology in everyday life in finding out about themselves, the environment, the material and physical world.
In 2020, Millington achieved a Primary Quality Science Mark (PSQM)
PSQM focuses on developing effective, confident science leadership for whole school impact on science teaching and learning
- Enables science subject leaders to develop and articulate a clear intent and aspirational vision for science. The process of achieving a PSQM raises the profile and quality of science across the whole school.
- Supports subject leaders to effectively implement a curriculum for science that is informed by research evidence and best practice data. Working with an expert hub leader subject leaders evaluate current provision for science and put in place a development cycle that leads to sustained progress in science across the school.
- Ensures strong and positive impact: Children make good progress, building and consolidating their knowledge and skills, developing positive attitudes about science and its value to their lives and globally. Teachers and children enjoy their science lessons.
Learning outdoors at Millington
The outdoor area provides children with one of the best environments in which to learn. As Margaret McMillan (c1925) says, ‘the best kept classroom and the richest cupboard are roofed only by the sky’.
At Millington Primary School, we are fortunate to have a recently developed outdoor areas for Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Our pupils have opportunities to develop skills and concepts in an outdoor learning environment where they will:
- Become more aware of, more observant in and more responsive to their surroundings.
- Develop an approach to careful observation, accurate recording, and thoughtful analysis.
- Encourage an interest in environmental issues.
- Foster a sense of wonder and discovery.