“Without Geography, you’re nowhere!” Author unknown
Our Geography curriculum promotes a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with our learners for the rest of their lives. It equips pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, natural and human environments, combined with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Geography takes the children on a journey beyond the classroom and opens their eyes to what the world has to offer – it’s splendour and vulnerabilities.
We believe that geography, unlike some other subjects, is not learnt in a strictly linear way, so it is not possible to identify a simple progression in geographical content. Instead, we see geography as an inter-connected network of skills and concepts which help pupils develop their geographical thinking, identify relationships and make connections with increasing fluency in different and more complex situations.
Togetherness – In order for our pupils to become global citizens, we want them to have deep understanding of the visual, cultural, social and environmental aspects of different places around the world. They will work together to investigate, compare and discover the physical and human features that make up our world. Geography will teach pupils to appreciate the diversity evident in the world, through learning about similarities, differences and how we live interdependently.
Happiness – We want pupils to develop an understanding of nature that inspires them to explore the world and take an interest in ecosystems and processes that shape them and the land around them. We want pupils to develop send of awe and wonder.
Respect – To stand together on global issues, we want them to understand what it means to be human and the cause and effect of human behaviour. In order for pupils to develop a genuine respect for our world, they will have awareness of local, regional and global locations and features. Geography will help pupils recognise how and why changes to places and the environment happen and affect us, both as a result of natural processes and through human activity. They will develop their role as a steward of Planet Earth at local, national and global scales.
Independence – Pupils become increasingly independent in their ability to research, record and share their findings effectively. Their knowledge of place will prepare them as individuals for life beyond school and skills that will be applied when making plans for now or the future.
Variety – Throughout their Geography projects, Pupils will have a diverse range of experiences to enhance their contextual understanding. Teachers will make sure that there is a broad and balanced focus on location and place knowledge, human, physical Geography, geographical skills, and framework. Cross-curricular links will be made to provide opportunities for consolidation and enrich their understanding of other subjects such as R.E.
Excellence – Pupils will learn to research and become secure in their Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills, which will provide the framework and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. They will develop a rich geographical vocabulary as they journey through the school.
The sequencing of geography in LMTW is planned using the triangulation of three elements:-
- the National Curriculum
- the Knowledge Building Pillars and Cognitive Blocks
- the Skills Ladder
The geographical learning within themes is designed to enable pupils to build on and contextualise prior learning using a contemporary, meaningful framework.
Geography is planned for in such a way that each pupils will:-
- broaden and deepen their knowledge of places
- increase their technical geographical vocabulary
- develop their understanding of a range of scales (local > national > global)
- move from more concrete concepts e.g. beach to more abstract ones e.g. renewable energy
- see connections between people, places, processes and environments
- develop skills in a progressive, incremental way
- use these skills appropriately and, eventually, with independence
We use ‘Learning Means the World’ projects to carefully map our provision to ensure that each project builds on prior knowledge and understanding alongside developing key skills such as an ability to interrogate sources, ask valuable questions and conduct research in an effective, efficient way. Geography driven projects can be found in our Culture and Conservation units of learning throughout the school, as well as in competency units such as ‘Never Eat Shredded Wheat’. We carefully position our units to enable pupils to build on prior learning. For instance, Picture the Planet is placed within Adventurers (Year 3 and 4) to build on prior learning about the UK found in Pathfinders (year 1 and 2). This helps pupils make geographical connections by looking at similarities and differences between the three contrasting places, focuses on more advanced vocabulary and provides the opportunity to build on skills learnt previously and extend them further e.g. mapping, aerial view, perspective
Geography is taught in a ‘whole class’ setting with flexibility to allow for discussion, questioning and group work.
A variety of teaching approaches are encouraged:
- Teacher presentations
- Group or paired investigations
- Use of photographs, videos, pictures and maps
- IT, film, podcasts, radio and websites to research and communicate ideas.
Beyond the classroom, we use our school grounds and trips to allow for rich, meaningful experiences that cement knowledge and understanding. Our Year Four residential Trip takes place at an organic farm near Chard, giving the children hands on experience to apply their geographical and scientific skills.
Our curriculum is ever evolving to meet the needs of the children but please see our latest Long Term Plan as to where each unit takes place.
How do you know the National Curriculum is covered?
By using a rigorous matrix approach, the objectives of the National Curriculum are cross-referenced to the ‘Learning Means the World’ Curriculum and identified gaps are taught through NC specific geography units.
The Skills Ladder acts as an incremental model for skills acquisition and provides a benchmark for each year group, with teachers using the skills statements as a model for progression throughout the school. Growing in complexity and demand across Key Stages 1 and 2, pupils’ learning when linked to the Skills Ladder should enable them to make good progress in geography.
The Knowledge Building Pillars form a robust model of progression for knowledge and understanding, helping pupils to assimilate, synthesise and apply their learning within different geographical contexts. This also means that concepts are cumulatively built upon. For example, ‘Processes and Changes’ in Pathfinders (Year 1 and 2) would show pupils learning about their local environment and how it may be improved and sustained. This then leads on to Adventurers (Year 3 and 4) studying deforestation in Madagascar and the impact on the Planet.
Please see our SATELLITE VIEW FOR GEOGRAPHY document to see coverage, progression of knowledge and skills and key vocabulary for each year class.
Assessment and Recall
Kahoot Quizzes, for the purposes of diagnostic assessment, as well as checking recall are the main vehicle for assessment and recall. Children are given opportunities to verbally express their understanding as well as recording their ideas in a variety of written ways
Children will see Geography as an integral part of their understanding of the world, their place in it and the importance of their actions as a responsible citizen.