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Parayhouse School is committed to providing a high-quality Humanities education, which will help pupils gain a knowledge and understanding of world now and in the past and will be delivered in a manner and at a level which takes into account the specific learning difficulties of our students.



Humanities is delivered in Pluto, Neptune and Saturn through ‘topic’ lessons where skills and knowledge are embedded into a theme to allow for deeper learning in a suitable context for the students. These topics focus on the students’ knowledge and understanding of the world and are designed to meet their functional needs.


In Jupiter and Mars students receive stand-alone History and Geography lessons which are delivered through 3 modules each per year.  These lessons follow an adapted National Curriculum programme of study.



Children of all abilities have the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit and, through planned progression built into the topics, we offer them an increasing challenge as they move up the school. Given the wide range of complex learning needs within each class, it is important that we offer a flexible, personalised curriculum which suits our individual students.  In addition, taking into consideration the potential change in the needs of our cohort year on year, we remain committed to revising and adapting our offering as in necessary. However, in general terms the progressive content of our Humanities curriculum coverage may look as follows:


Phase 1

At this level Geography objectives may include making observations about their environment and noticing changes and differences, enjoying playing with small world models and beginning to use positional language.  For History objectives will focus on developing the students’ understanding of the past in relation to their own lives and identifying that things change over time.

Assessment objectives are taken from the P Level performance descriptors for these subjects and xx


Phase 2

As students’ progress through Phase 2 they may continue to be taught through a topic based approach however with more emphasis on embedding skills which will allow them to move towards the National Curriculum.  For some they will have moved onto accessing explicit lessons however these will be adapted to suit their needs.

At this level students will be taught about the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They will begin to identify similarities and differences between ways of life now and in the past and to develop their understanding of chronological order and sequence. They will begin to study some of the ways in which we find out about the past.

In Geography they will begin to look at people and places beyond their immediate environment and to make comparisons.  They will start to explore the idea of journeys and maps and show a growing understanding of the features of their local area.


Phase 3

At this level students will continue to follow an adapted programme of study however one that is more informed by the content of the National Curriculum.  At this point they will access explicit History and Geography lessons.

At this level we begin to focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and that they should try to ask searching questions, such as ‘how do we know?’, about information they are given.   They will begin to learn where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They will be taught a wider range of everyday historical terms. They will study some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.  They will begin to apply these skills to specific events and people from history.

In Geography students will begin to compare and contrast features of their locality with others.  They will begin to develop a deeper understanding of the world and its formation and features using a wider range of resources and using more detailed geographical language.


Working Beyond

Where suitable for students working at a more advanced level they will continue to develop a more chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history. They may begin to note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They will start to address issues of change, cause and effect, similarity and difference, and significance. Students will examine a range of relevant historical information and begin to understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.