We believe that Geography helps to provoke and answer questions about the natural and human worlds, encouraging children to develop a greater understanding of their world and their place in it. It helps to develop a range of investigation and problem-solving skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas, which can be used to promote children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development along with our school values of collaboration, empathy, inspiration and excellence. Geography is, by nature an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. We seek to inspire in children, a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives; to promote children’s interest and understanding about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Through Geography we can develop thinking skills, improve literacy, numeracy and ICT as well as encouraging our children to become active global citizens.
How do we teach geography?
Our Geography curriculum and lessons will be effective by ensuring we implement Geography in the follow ways:
We will teach a rich variety of topics and issues and use this teaching to encourage and enthuse our children. We will build on a wide range of geographical skills, including:
- Geographical enquiry – children ask questions and collect information, express conclusions, arguments and develop a sense of curiosity of the world around them.
- Fieldwork – giving children the chance to experience such things as landscape features, busy urban streets and explorations of their local environment. Giving pupils opportunities to develop subject knowledge, and gain a range of skills that are difficult to develop in the classroom alone.
- Graphicacy – use of atlases and globes, (aerial) photographs, map work and ICT to select, interpret, investigate, refine and present information.
- Geographical communication- use appropriate geographical vocabulary and conventions in both speech and writing.
- The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year.
- Teachers within key stages plan together to create engaging and informative teaching and learning opportunities with consideration of prior learning and plan for progression in skills.
We recognise the fact that there are children of widely different geographical abilities in all classes, and we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this by:
- Setting tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses;
- Setting tasks of increasing difficulty working towards a mastery of the curriculum;
- Providing resources of different complexity, according to the ability of the child;
- Using classroom assistants to support the work of individual children or groups of children.
In EYFS the children explore places, people, communities and their world through their work related to “Knowledge and Understanding of the World “. In KS1 and KS2 Geography is taught through planned links to the National Curriculum via our cross curricular topic work. The objectives have been split accordingly and the units covered by each year group can be found on the long- term progression document.
We recognise that our curriculum planning must allow pupils to gain a progressively deeper understating and competency, building on earlier experiences as they move through school.
Geography is assessed in accordance with the school’s assessment policy. This enables the teacher to make an annual assessment of progress for each child, as part of the child’s annual report to parents. We pass this information on to the next teacher at the end of each year.
Early Years explore geographical themes and content through the Understanding of the World strand of the EYFS curriculum. This involves guiding the children to develop sense of their physical world, as well as their community, through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. They are assessed according to the Development Matters Attainment targets.
Key Stage 1
During Key Stage 1 pupils will investigate their local area and a contrasting area in the United Kingdom or abroad, finding out about the environment in both areas and the people who live there. They also begin to learn about the wider world. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this, they ask geographical questions about people, places and environments, and use geographical skills and resources such as maps and photographs.
Pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their local area. They should understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.
Key Stage 2
Pupils investigate a variety of people, places and environments in the United Kingdom and abroad, and start to make links between different places in the world. They find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. Pupils carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this, they ask geographical questions, and use geographical skills and resources, such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and ICT. Children will develop geographical enquiry skills, including asking geographical questions, collecting and recording information and identifying different views. They will acquire the appropriate practical skills associated with Geography, including using suitable vocabulary, fieldwork techniques and maps, plans and atlases. Pupils will use secondary sources of information with accuracy, including aerial photographs, satellite images, etc. Links will continue to be forged within regarding our project with Mercy School in Kenya.
As well as making its own distinctive contribution to the school curriculum, geography contributes to the wider aims of primary education. Teachers will ensure that links between subjects are maximised to ensure cross curricular links are sustained.
What is the impact of our Geography Curriculum?
Within geography, we strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning by providing investigative and enquiry-based learning opportunities. Emphasis is placed on investigative learning opportunities to help children gain a coherent knowledge of understanding of each unit of work covered throughout the school. Children will deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes and how this affects landscapes and environment.
We want children to thoroughly enjoy and love learning about geography by gaining this knowledge and skills, not just through experiences in the classroom, but also with the use of fieldwork and educational visits.
This will equip them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future.
Crucially, the geography curriculum aims to engender the excitement, creativity and critical thinking about the world that will equip our children to make their own way in it.