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The humanities subjects all play an important role in the overall curriculum for primary schools and in inter-curriculum skills. If well instructed, they can teach children vocabulary, creative, literacy, spiritual, social and even nationalistic skills (

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The humanities subjects all play an important role in the overall curriculum for primary schools and in inter-curriculum skills. If well instructed, they can teach children vocabulary, creative, literacy, spiritual, social and even nationalistic skills (Alexander, 1984). How these objectives can be achieved will be examined below. History plays a crucial role in the primary curriculum as it provides solutions to some instrumental questions within our lives. It allows children to understand how the world around them became what it is today, also allowing them to trace their origin and that of their peers. Key Stage 1 (KS1) children are usually unfamiliar with historical events, and cannot comprehend the past. History is the platform for introducing children to this crucial aspect of their lives, and teaches them the ability to piece together different types of information, and learn the principles of drawing conclusions from evidence presented, allowing them to form links between the present day and the past (Cooper, 2000). As practice shows specific topics and attainment levels within the subject differ from school to school. It is almost impossible to exhaust all the areas related to history; however it should be noted that one of the most crucial stages occurs when children reach Year 2. At this point they should possess the ability to place events in sequence from the past and the present, and start to understand the reasons why some events in the past occurred as they did (Bage, 2000). ...read more.


Here teachers' select a certain question and use it as a baseline for teaching map work, field work, and thinking skills. For example a teacher selects the topic 'Their local wood'. The main questions that children can work around are: 'Can houses be built in this wood?' 'What is the wood's future?' Such an enquiry will help children develop an understanding of the world around them, and develop skills in geography within a relevant context (Palmer, 2004), learning to relate how different aspects of a location can change with time. Children should start with simple tasks and resources, and as the weeks progress the tasks can change to become more complex. For example, at the start the scales of maps are simple and even the maps themselves are quite easy to understand, however as time progresses, teachers should increase the level of geographical vocabulary, as well as asking the children to draw their own maps (Mills, 1987). By asking the children questions about their surrounding, they will develop communication skills by observing what they see and communicating their findings, and intellectual skills by relating patterns, colours and displays, to the question put forward to them, learning how to be creative in representing their findings pictorially through the use of maps (Mills, 1987). Another effective form of delivery is through field trips, children can be taken to a chosen location near the school, and upon return the children can be asked to represent the images they saw through drawing maps, allowing them to choose their own symbols with a little guidance from the teacher (Stenhouse, 1975). ...read more.


(Hughes, 1994). The World Wide Web can supply a rich source of resources that provide interactive learning environments about different religions, their similarities, and differences. Sites of particular interest are: Staffordshire Learning Net - providing an education search facility specifically for RE, Coxhoe Primary School - packed with numerous resources not only for RE, but History, and Geography as well, and Topmarks - providing interactive and fun resources. All three humanities subjects develop through and alongside one another, providing children with the opportunity to grow socially and emotionally (Barton & Walker, 1981). In religious education, they learn about other religions and why there peers and other individuals adhere to different types of faith, which incorporates geographical aspects, for example they are able to identify different locations and inhabitants throughout the world, and the dominant religion within a country, providing a sense of appreciation for the differences they see. Furthermore there is naturally a historical link to both geographical and religious subjects as both evolve and manifest through time, and neither can be studied effectively without considering the historical context (Flude & Hammer, 1990). In Conclusion as practice attests, the humanities subjects do not take as much precedence as core subjects such as mathematics and sciences within our schools. It is therefore essential as professionals that we leave more time for these activities, and should also be equipped with greater knowledge in the subjects. A greater emphasis should also be made to uphold the relevance of outdoor and off site activities. Together these factors will go a considerable way to enhancing children's capabilities within these areas of study. ...read more.

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