St Bartholomews

Social Studies

Through SOCIAL STUDIES, St Bartholomew’s pupils develop their understanding of the world by learning about other people and their values, in different times, places and circumstances; they also develop their understanding of their environment and of how it has been shaped. As they mature, the children’s experiences are broadened using Scottish, British, European and wider contexts for learning, while maintaining a focus on the historical, social, geographic, economic and political changes that have shaped Scotland. Pupils learn about human achievements and about how to make sense of changes in society, of conflicts and of environmental issues. As their understanding grows, St Bartholomew’s pupils develop ability and are given appropriate opportunities to influence events by exercising informed and responsible citizenship.

Social Subjects are organised into the areas of:social studies 1

  • people, past events and societies
  • people, place and environment
  • people in society, economy and business.

However, in St Bartholomew’s Primary, teachers are not constrained by these boundaries and Social Subjects are taught predominately through cross-curricular topics, with teachers helping pupils make connections across and between different areas of the curriculum. The school has a carefully structured cross-curricular topic framework which provides a wide range of relevant, motivating topics across all stages.  Teachers also respond to current events such as an unexpected fall of snow, a major sporting event or the election of a significant world leader and use these as springboards for mini cross-curricular projects.  Through their class topics, St Bartholomew’s pupils:

  • develop their understanding of the history, heritage and culture of Scotland, and an appreciation of their local and national heritage within the world
  • broaden their understanding of the world by learning about human activities and achievements in the past and present
  • develop their understanding of their own values, beliefs and cultures and those of others
  • develop an understanding of the principles of democracy and citizenship through experience of critical and independent thinking
  • explore and evaluate different types of sources and evidence
  • learn how to locate, explore and link periods, people and events in time and place
  • learn how to locate, explore and link features and places locally and further afield
  • engage in activities which encourage enterprising attitudes
  • develop an understanding of concepts that encourage enterprise and influence business
  • establish firm foundations for lifelong learning and for further specialised study and careers.

St Bartholomew’s staff endeavour to make cross-curricular topics as exciting and engaging as possible and draw upon a variety of approaches including:

  • active learning which provides opportunities to observe, explore, experiment and play
  • use of relevant contexts and experiences familiar to children and young people
  • appropriate and effective use of technology
  • both collaborative and independent learning
  • discussion and informed debate
  • learning outdoors, field trips, visits and input by external contributors.

Cross-curricular topics provide rich opportunities for St Bartholomew’s pupils to develop a wide range of skills including:

  • observing, describing and recording
  • comparing and contrasting to draw valid conclusions
  • exploring and evaluating different types of sources and evidence
  • development of curiosity and problem solving skills and capacity to take initiatives
  • interacting with others and developing an awareness of self and others
  • planning and reviewing investigation strategies
  • developing the capacity for critical thinking through accessing, analysing and using information from a wide variety of sources
  • discussion and informed debate
  • developing reasoned and justified points of view
  • developing and using maps in a variety of contexts
  • developing and applying skills in interpreting and displaying graphical representation of information
  • developing an awareness of sequence and chronology
  • presentation skills – oral, written, multimedia


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