Humanities & Languages

Linked to Being Part of a Global Community Curriculum Driver

Humanities & Languages Team

Karen Blease, Morag Flower, Jo Stevens, Wayne Bennett, Sian Tennant

Through their study of the Humanities, our pupils develop an in depth body of knowledge and related skills to help them make sense of the complex world we live in. They explore issues affecting the lives of people in the past, present and future, across a range of cultures. As active learners working within an enquiry led approach, they develop questioning, investigative and critical thinking skills, with emphasis placed on first-hand experiences and fieldwork. Tolerance and a recognition of different viewpoints are embraced within the context of reflection on our values and responsibilities as unique individuals, as members of different social groups and as human beings.

Phonics and Reading

Religion & World Views and Collective Worship

Global Partnerships

Year 5 Exchange Trip to Germany

One of our Key Curriculum Drivers is 'Being Part of a Global Community'. We feel passionately that it is important for our children to grow up knowing about the world in which they live and developing an understanding of their responsibilities as global citizens.

Each year group has a global partner country which they will learn about in depth and some have a partner school whom they will communicate with. Our curriculum provides us with the opportunities through each theme to examine a range of global issues relevant to their lives in the real world.

Year 4 Zoom Call to Austria

Our Global Heritage Project

As part of our 2021 Global Week, we conducted a survey with the school community to find out where in the world everyone comes from. The survey also created a fantastic opportunity for the children to conduct further research and explore their country of heritage such as:

  • finding out the main language(s) spoken and learning how to say something in that language

  • exploring (or even cooking) traditional foods

  • investigating customs and festivals

  • identifying the flag

  • exploring the geography of the country such as capital city, climate, mountains, rivers, national parks, etc

  • investigating the native wildlife

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As a result of this project, we recorded a fantastic 35 different countries! These are England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, South Africa, America, Romania, Canada, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, France, Slovakia, Malta, Italy, Australia, Gibraltar, Cyprus, Latvia, India, Ukraine, Guernsey, Mauritius, Sweden, Portugal, Pakistan, Belgium, New Zealand, Moldova, Greece, Jamaica, Switzerland, Saint Lucia , Thailand, Serbia.

We have celebrated this project with a vibrant display of flags which represent everyone's heritage in the Bluecoat Hall.

Our Partner Countries and Schools

Reception: The World’s Kitchen

Year One: Riverside Primary School, Bermondsey, London, UK

Year Two: Ecole de Sottevast School, Normandy, France

Year Three: Africa (The Gambia)/South Africa

Year Four: Volksschule Meißnergasse, Austria

Year Five: Evangelische Grundschule Babelsberg, Germany

Year Six: Lourdes Central School, Mangalore, India

Global learning across the school

Each year group is currently active in building opportunities within the curriculum to learn more about their partner countries, the culture, traditions and way of life through their maths, English, science, topic, geography, history, MFL and PSHE subjects. Work is taught in a cross curricular approach and with examples saved into year group books to demonstrate the global learning that is happening across subjects.

Through the British Council and the UK-German Connection, Year 5 has made a link with Evangelische Grundschule Babelsberg in Germany near Berlin. Both schools have been Skyping and the children are getting to know each other. They have written pen pal letters and they have begun to learn about Germany. There has been a curriculum established where children in both schools have begun working on joint partnership projects including Unity and Strength, Justice and Equality, and Sustainable Development.

Connecting Classrooms Project.pdf
Report on German Exchange.pdf

PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) Education

At Bluecoat we use the SCARF programme to deliver the PSHE curriculum - Safety, Caring, Achievement, Resilience, Friendship.

We are proud at Bluecoat to be an Early Adopter School, chosen by the Government to take on the brand new RSHE curriculum from September 2020. This new curriculum combines Relationships, Health and Sex Education across the whole school so that relevant lessons are being taught to introduce the children to suitable strategies to maintain strong relationships and build on developing their emotional logic throughout the primary phase and into adolescence. The new framework brings an awareness of the modern day changes they will face as they grow and change, and prepares themselves for life as a responsible adult.

A whole-school approach is vital in improving children’s emotional health and wellbeing, helping to keep them safe, improving behaviour and raising achievement, as children's emotional health and wellbeing has a huge impact on their ability to learn. Children are encouraged to talk about their emotions, challenge each other's feelings and nurture a sense of belonging through caring and respecting differences.

With six mini topics that cover each half term, the children all take part in sessions on Valuing Differences, Keeping Myself Safe, Right and Responsibilities, Being my Best, Growing and Changing, Me and My Relationships.

Draft RSHE policy pending results of parent and carer consultation

RSHE Policy - Sept 2020

Positive Touch

At Bluecoat School we believe that every child should be taught to recognise what is positive and appropriate touch. The positive touch programme is part of the Massage In Schools Programme (MISP) which is used across the world and is an evidence-based, child to child, internationally respected peer massage programme. It has been used in the UK since the 1990s and has Scandinavian origins. There are generally very mixed feelings about touch and a study was carried out in the 1960s to observe couples from a range of backgrounds and countries in a cafe setting to see how often they touched each other during conversation; incidental gestures such as a pat on the back or touch of the hand. The results were remarkable. Couples from Puerto Rico touched each other 180 times over the hour of conversation whilst those in London averaged zero times over the hour.

Here at Bluecoat, we facilitate weekly sessions for children up to year 3. Positive Touch is only carried out within set times, within a trained situation and over clothes. Parental consent is required prior to any child participating in the programme and they are invited to an information session soon after their child starts at the school. The programme is a set of 15 moves that are used as an anti-bullying strategy. The children are taught each move by a trained Positive Touch practitioner. The children are partnered up and the massage only takes place child to child and never with an adult whilst calming music is played. Children may opt out at any time.

Research shows that there are lasting, positive outcomes for children who are involved in the MISP regularly, impacting on their well-being and preparation for learning.


  • Strengthens the immune system

  • Lowers stress levels

  • Increases production of oxytocin – relaxing hormones

  • Children learn and experience saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to touch and what is appropriate touch

  • Empowers children to be in control of own body – children’s rights

  • Improves social interaction – develops friendships

  • Children are individually acknowledged

  • Improved concentration

  • Develops and encourages imagination

  • Discover differences between people

  • Develops respect

  • Improves self-esteem

  • Practical tool against bullying – sense of whole school unity

  • Less conflicts in the playground

  • Improves turn taking and negotiation

  • Develops vocabulary, Communication and Language

Please download the leaflet below to find out more details:

Positive Touch Booklet