Throughout the Humanities curriculum, there is a vocabulary spine that consists 6-8 words per topic. These are words or concepts that they will revisit throughout their time at school. Each time they are exposed to these, they will build on their previous knowledge and understanding. This spine can be found below.


The History curriculum is split into three types of knowledge, based on the recent Ofsted subject review.  

  • Chronological knowledge: This is aspects of the past/historical periods in overview format and/or in depth. 
  • Substantive knowledge: This is knowledge of abstract concepts e.g. empire, tax, trade, monarchy, living standards. These are complex ideas and pupils build knowledge of these, over the course of the primary curriculum. 
  • Disciplinary knowledge: This is for KS2 pupils only and is knowledge of how historians investigate the past and how they construct historical claims, arguments and accounts (‘historical enquiry’).



The Geography curriculum is split into two types of knowledge, based on the recent Ofsted subject review.  

Substantive knowledge: This is split into 4 areas of geographical knowledge. 

  • Locational knowledge: This allows pupils to name and find locations and positioning systems – ‘knowing where’s where’. 
  • Place knowledge: This allows pupils to ‘locate or orient oneself in respect to other places’. 
  • Environment, physical and human geography: Pupils are able to: describe their own and others’ environments; recognise similarities & differences between environments; and have knowledge of human & physical processes, to allow them to describe and explain different environments. 
  • Geographical skills and fieldwork: Pupils are able to: use maps, atlases & globes; and collect first-hand data/evidence. 

Disciplinary knowledge: This is for KS2 pupils only and this type of knowledge ensures that pupils appreciate the context of substantive knowledge. It is the ability to ‘think like a geographer’ i.e. Why is this place like this? How is this place changing? Are other places affected? Has this changed over time?