Itchen Abbas is a rural village on the River Itchen about 4 miles north of Winchester. The church within the village was originally Norman and was rebuilt in Victorian times. The school is Victorian and was built nearly 200 years ago.
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.
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.
The village has an archaeologically excavated Roman Villa site and some of this is located in the school grounds. Pottery was excavated from the school field and the site is used by Winchester University Archaeology department to teach students.
The area around Winchester has been inhabited since prehistoric times with Iron Age hillforts being found in the local area. Winchester was an important city in England until the Norman Conquest and was the Capital of Wessex and is said to be home to King Arthurs Round Table.
Therefore, through our history curriculum, we will give our children:
- A good knowledge of the rich local history and how this interweaves with national and international history, making reference to the rich archaeological treasures and sites available to study nationally and locally.
- 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 the migration caused by invaders to the area throughout local history.
- Understanding of what other cultures across the world were achieving and accomplishing at the same time during periods of our history will also increase children’s understanding and awareness of different cultures.