We aim for our geography curriculum to inspire our pupils with a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
The teaching of this subject will equip our pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources, and natural and human environments together with a greater understanding of their connection to the earth’s key physical and human processes. We want to encourage the children to respect and care for their local, national, and international environments.
As our pupils progress through our school and increase their geographical skills, their growing knowledge about the world will help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments.
As many of our children have not had the opportunity to explore and learn about their own area, city and county, we ensure that this remains a focus throughout their time in school.
We view it as of the greatest importance that we raise the children’s awareness about the impact of climate change and human activity on the planet, equip them with age appropriate understanding of the facts and inspire in them a sense of personal responsibility and a passion for change. To this end each year group will focus on a different environmental issue that connects to their geography learning that year.
We want to support our children’s curiosity about their world by helping them shape questions to pursue and building their skills to find answers for themselves. We regard mapping as a key disciplinary skill both for understanding and communicating ideas in geography, so this is a thread which runs through all of the children’s learning.
Our teaching is based in the National Curriculum requirements for each year group with a focus on exploring the local environment and raising awareness of the climate change issues relating to one area of their learning in geography that year. Our geography curriculum promotes children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, ensuring that they are reflective and responsible citizens. The curriculum is mapped to ensure that children experience a balance of human and physical geography as well as opportunities for local studies and fieldwork.
We recognise the need for children to acquire substantive and disciplinary knowledge to develop as geographers, so we ensure a progression in geography skills through the school. We have a clear progression for mapping skills spanning two- year periods to allow for their introduction and embedding across a range of different topics.
We have the same level of ambition and expectation of geographical knowledge for all our pupils and provide extra support and modified teaching strategies for individuals or groups of pupils where this is needed.
As a school we are committed to developing our children’s ability to articulate their thinking and express their opinions, so our teaching is dialogic and oracy- based activities are planned throughout geography units. As stated in our School Development Plan (Personal Development): (our aim is for) “The children to be competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.” It is important, therefore, that the children experience a wide range of methods of communicating their learning and understanding. We believe that as the children mature, they should take increasing responsibility for their learning, and we are working to develop our teaching on an enquiry- based model.
Teachers have access to material from the Royal Geographical Society and ‘Oddizzi’ to support their planning as well as ‘Digimap for Schools’ to help them deliver the mapping elements of each topic. The children will build their ability to use ‘Digimap’ independently to experience the richness of information and learning contained in maps. They will also have opportunities to experience mapping in other subjects eg. history, science or related to texts being encountered in English. Teachers also have access to ‘Rising Stars’ geography planning which is not used for whole topics, but to supplement teachers’ own planning.
Children’s prior knowledge is assessed informally at the start of each unit to inform planning and a range of formative assessment techniques are employed throughout the topic to monitor knowledge acquisition and development of understanding. The children’s communication of their learning at the end of a unit provides further opportunities for assessment.
Our well-planned geography curriculum ensures that children are competent in the geographical skills needed to collect, analyse and communicate data, and to interpret a range of geographical sources, including maps, globes and aerial photographs. Children can communicate information in a variety of ways including using maps, numerical and quantitative skills and a range of literacy and oracy skills.
Through the breadth and depth that our geography curriculum offers, our children are provided with a broad knowledge of the world they live in, and understand, as responsible citizens, how they need to care and preserve the planet for future generations.