Itchen Abbas is a rural village in the valley of the River Itchen about 4 miles north of Winchester. The river runs through the village and the village and the area is popular with hikers and walkers.
The Manors of Itchen Abbas and Avington were important within in the village and residents worked for the manors. Farming and arable land use, was and still is, significant in the area. This includes the farming of watercress which created the need for the Railway Service, now known as the Watercress Line, which was also a vital transportation link during both World Wars. The line stopped operating in the late 1930’s and is now a preservation site. The area is close to the coast with two thriving ports in Southampton and Portsmouth and with the New Forest and leisure beaches within a 40 minute drive.
Most people who live in the community were born in the UK and migration and immigration into the area are low. Therefore, the community does not have a high level of diversity and children are not typically exposed to diversity within their daily lives. In recent years, since Covid, the school has seen more children join the school from abroad. However, most are white middle class with parents who were working abroad and children attending British Schools. A small number of families new to the school are from Ukraine and are refugees.
According to the 2011 census, Itchen Abbas has a higher education level than the average for England. The percentage of adults in higher paid, managerial and professional jobs is above average and this manifests into high expectations and ambition for children from their parents. Levels of deprivation are low in the area. Most people commute to their places of work although some families are still involved in farming.
There is very little trade in the village – one pub and Avington Park, a private estate which can be hired for weddings. Transportations links are poor; there is an infrequent bus route and the local train station has been closed for many years. Roads are rural, many without street lights or pavements. Therefore, families rely on cars for transportation. Many families who live in the area including parents and relatives of children in our school, commute to work, including to London. Most children are used to holidaying abroad and have experienced many tourist destinations abroad and within the UK.
Therefore, through our geography curriculum, we will give our children:
- A good knowledge of local geography and how this relates to our county, our country and the world beyond.
- Understanding of life within a large town or major city as our children mostly live within a village or the surrounding area.
- As there has been little migration into the area, it is also important that children have their awareness and acceptance of diversity and different cultures heightened with an understanding of migration and current reasons for migration, including human and physical geographical reasons
- Understanding of other cultures across the world will also increase children’s understanding and awareness of diversity and cultures.