History and Geography Projects 15/16

The 6 projects a year, 3 with a History bias and 3 with a Geography bias worked really well last year so we’ll keep going on that path.  I say bias because the two are so entwined.

We don’t have a set approach to project work.  Sometimes we’ll produce something like a lapbook often we won’t produce anything at all.  Most often we’ll have a sort of display of craft projects.  Sometimes I’ll plan in depth, others I’ll buy in some resources, book some trips and let things unfold and see where we go.

I tend to have a broad agenda of a few things I’d like him to take away from a project (and these shape the resources we use).

For example our first project of the year will be spies (we’ve planned a visit to Beaulieu so looking for something to leapfrog off it).  It would be easy to get caught up in the gadget/tech/spy fiction side but this is supposed to be a history project.  So the things I’m looking for him to take from it are the idea that spying has a long ‘real’ history (not all James Bond style) and in particular an overview of the Cold War factions.

I’ve bought these books.

The orange one is excellent, exactly what I wanted.  We could achieve my aims just by reading this.


I’m really planning just on reading and discussing.  Will try and add some cards to our timeline box.  May stick True Spy Stories on the kindle for reading out and about.

Besides Beaulieu which is a family thing I’d booked a couple of group home ed trips to add the local context but looks like I won’t have the numbers to go ahead.  Not bothered by one, was a ‘may as well’ booking, but disappointed to cancel the Dockyard one, the idea of looking at spy history in Portsmouth really appealed.  Will just have to see what I can find out so we can look into it ourselves.  Going to take it as a sign that I should do trips just for us this year and stop booking groups until I’m ready to book KS3 ones as lots of Sam’s friends are just slightly older.   I’d decided we wouldn’t do Bletchley Park as too far for the day and didn’t fancy an over night – seriously reconsidering!

We can’t do Spies and not do codes and gadgets and James Bond so sure all of them will feature.


Don’t plan on spending a full half term on this one, suspect 3 or 4 weeks will do.  The project scheduled in next, Europe, has the potential to be much bigger and I’d like to leave the run up to Christmas for looking at European Christmas traditions.  So we won’t linger on spies.

Other projects planned for this year are:


Greeks (possibly moving on to History of Sport – Olympics!)

Water use and sanitation



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