A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the framework and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
Intent - What Do We Aspire for Our Children?
Geography is a vital and rich contribution to a balanced and broad curriculum which enables children to develop a thirst for knowledge about the world around them. Through Geography, we trigger investigative thinking and allow children’s minds to reach beyond their classroom. By teaching Geography, we intend to impart pupils with the knowledge, understanding, confidence, attitudes, values and skills they need in order to reach their potential as individuals in Geography, their local community and the wider world.
At St Anne's Catholic Primary School, the teaching of the Geography curriculum has been carefully considered to enable our pupils to become inquisitive geographers. Using the national curriculum, we have developed a progression document in which objectives for each year group are progressively mapped out to ensure our pupils are given the acquired skills and knowledge to further their education journey into KS3 and life beyond the classroom.
Our aim is to provide inclusive and aspirational environments and learning experiences where pupils thrive and build the cultural capital they need to make aspirational choices about their own futures, overcoming any barriers. Our curriculum will equip pupils with a knowledge of diverse places and people, together with a deep understanding of our planet’s key physical and human processes. As an Eco-Schools Solihull Green Award holder, we want our curriculum to empower children with a deep understanding of local, national and global ecological issues and provide them with the necessary knowledge to make positive change.
Using the National Curriculum, Geography has been broken down into 4 main strands: Locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography, geographical skills and field work. Furthermore, we have included an additional focus on human’s responsibility in caring for and developing a sustainable world.:
Through the geography curriculum, pupils will develop an understanding of the following key concepts:
Throughout geography, the following second order concepts are explored. These concepts are developed across a range of subjects in the curriculum.
In Geography, by the end of EYFS children will:
Begin to understand how they are part of their own locality which is part of a bigger world. They will learn about different people and communities and use speaking, listening and understanding to develop and explore these in greater detail linked to broad overarching topics. They will be able to comprehend the features of their immediate environment and how this might vary from others.
By the end of Key Stage 1 children will:
Use and make a range of geographical resources such as photos and maps to locate features in their locality and the world. They will understand the principle of directions and look at land use, climate and physical features of Great Britain and other locations in the world.
By the end of Key Stage 2 children will:
Be able to compare their own locality to different locations around the world. They will conduct simple fieldwork to exemplify common geographical processes and develop an understanding of map work such that these features can be examined and identified in a wider context. Children will gain knowledge of the impact of humans on the landscape and recognize the impact of themselves and that of nature in shaping the world in which they live.
Characteristics of a Geographer
Implementation - How Will We Deliver the Curriculum?
Knowledge at the Heart of the Curriculum
Learning knowledge is not an endpoint in itself, it is a springboard to learning more knowledge. Each unit in our overview is underpinned by rich, substantive knowledge and ambitious vocabulary, whilst also ensuring children are developing their disciplinary knowledge to support them to 'think like a geographer'. Each unit of work is planned carefully to ensure concepts are taught in optimal order to support children's understanding. As well as developing a breadth of geographical knowledge, we want our children to become skilful geographers. Each unit of work has an emphasis on geographical enquiry where children investigate geographically framed questions. In addition to substantive and disciplinary knowledge, children will develop their experiential knowledge through carefully planned fieldwork.
Some units are essentially human geography; others physical geography, but most are holistic geography, considering human and physical geography together – to bring meaning and relevance to the children. Place studies include local, regional, national and global throughout year school, allowing for revisiting, developing and challenging ideas and concepts. Similarly, consideration of the weather and seasons in KS1 progresses to learning about causes of climate change in year 3 to considering the effects of climate change on biomes in Year 5.
The Importance of Local Geography
We believe strongly that children should have a first-hand geographical understanding of their local area. This is why local geography and fieldwork is woven into our history curriculum to ensure it is explicitly taught and that links with larger geographical themes are made. For example, Year 1 look at their local area beginning with a field study of the school grounds. Year 4 develop their understanding of rivers through a visit to the River Cole. In Year 6 children further develop their understanding of why and how geographers do fieldwork before planning a fieldwork study of their own linked to the locality.
Linking Curriculum and Pedagogy
We have developed our pedagogy and curriculum to teach memorably and make learning stick. At the heart of our approach is retrieval practice. Retrieval practice involves deliberately recalling knowledge from memory to enhance learning. Each time a memory is retrieved, it is strengthened and less likely to be forgotten. If we wish our curriculum to build over time, then we need to teach in a way that makes knowledge ‘stick’. retrieval practice is a staple classroom strategy used to ensure children are regularly recalling and reviewing previously taught concepts to ensure they are not forgotten and thus can be built upon. For example, in Year 3 begin to learn about population distribution in a study of villages, towns and cities. This is then built upon in Year 5 when children look at inadequate living conditions in city slums and further developed in Year 6 through a study of the challenges presented by a growing global population.
Where possible, units of work for geography are enriched by real life experiences. For example, in Year 1 when studying the 'Local Area' children go on a field trip to the town centre and in Year 4, when studying rivers, children go on a field trip to the River Cole. In Year 6, children plan their own fieldwork linked within the local area.
Additionally, we benefit from a secure wild area in our school grounds which has a small pond to enable hands-on fieldwork.
Reading Across the Curriculum
In order to develop children's reading skills, our teaching staff plan opportunities for children to independently read age-appropriate texts that link to the geography topic being studied, or topics that have been previously studied.
Becoming an Eco School
At St Anne's, we encourage all children to develop an awareness of environmental topics in the classroom that can impact our world. We provide children with an opportunity to take leadership of environmental issues in our school and local community. The Eco Schools programme allows schools to embark on a path towards improving both the environment in both school and the local community while at the same time having a positive impact on the lives of pupils, their families and school staff.
Climate Change Project
Aspirations For The Future
Pupils develop an understanding of how subjects and specific skills are linked to future jobs.
Here are some of the jobs you could aspire to do in the future as a Geographer:
· Marine Biologist
· Helicopter Mission Controller
- University lecturer/ teacher
- Climate Change Analyst
For more careers, please visit First Careers.
Impact - How Do We Know Our Geography Curriculum is Effective?
Through the explicit teaching of Geography knowledge and skills, both the teachers and the pupils assess their learning continuously throughout the lesson. The impact of learning is measured against the key components and key objectives within a sequence of learning and is a measure of how much knowledge has been acquired. This may be through use of quick quiz assessments or longer written or oral outcomes to demonstrate understanding. Regular monitoring of work and pupil voice is used to moderate judgements which are made. Children also enjoy presenting their learning/ homework projects to others at the end of a unit.
Our assessment systems enable teachers to make informed judgements about the depth of their learning and the progress they have made over time.