Geography

 

 

 

 

Intent

In order to give children the opportunity to become global citizens, they are exposed to a broad Geography curriculum. Our vision is to inspire a curiosity and fascination about the world around them (EYFS) and the world and its people (KS1 and KS2). Our teaching equips pupils with knowledge about places and people, resources in the environment and physical and human processes. We also want children to develop geographical skills: using map skills and fieldwork to collect and interpret data; and using maps, globes, aerial photographs and digital mapping to name and identify countries, continents and oceans.

High aspirations are developed through differentiated learning opportunities, which enable all children to challenge themselves.  This has been implemented with differentiated tasks in all year groups and reflection questions in KS2. At the same time, children are encouraged to work collaboratively on tasks throughout the unit: sharing ideas, deepening understanding and applying their investigative, problem solving and communication skills. Regular discussions about prior learning (EYFS/KS1) and retrieval and end of unit tasks (KS2) enable children to revisit topics so that they know and remember more, and support teachers to assess learning and progress. The cross curricular approach in EYFS and KS1, and the opportunities to make meaningful cross-curricular links throughout individual units in KS2, help to develop and strengthen children’s understanding and knowledge of geography and the wider world.

We want children to enjoy and love learning about geography by gaining these knowledge and skills, not just through experiences in the classroom, but also with the use of fieldwork and practical experiences, which allow them to broaden their horizons and understand more about people, places and processes.

Implementation

Geography is a vital part of children understanding both their position in the world and wider places; therefore, we have timetabled it to be taught half termly. This way, topics can be explored and children can achieve depth in their learning and the curriculum covered in full. The key knowledge and skills of each topic are mapped across the school, ensuring that knowledge builds progressively and that children develop skills systematically. Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic. This ensures that teaching is informed by the children’s starting points so that children build on their prior knowledge each term and each year.

Teachers use the Oddizzi scheme of work to plan and teach their geography lessons. The Oddizzi lesson plans help children to build a solid understanding of people, places and cultures. Teachers and children have access to original learning through the ‘Explore the World’ content which is produced by teachers, geographers and travel-writers. This consists of images, videos and information allowing teachers and children access to substantive knowledge.

Geography topics at KS1 include:

  • Local area
  • Weather and climate
  • UK
  • Hot and cold places
  • Continents and oceans
  • Mugumareno Village, Zambia

Geography topics at KS2 include:

  • Climate zones
  • North America
  • Rio and South East Brazil
  • Rivers
  • Rainforests
  • South America: The Amazon
  • Mountains
  • Volcanoes and Earthquakes
  • European region: Greece
  • UK
  • Local area and region

In KS2 in particular, there are a lot of opportunities for children’s research to link with literacy and for them to apply their reading skills to non-fiction. Furthermore, some of the English units within the year group link with the topics. History also links with the topics when looking at the local area, as well as orienteering in PE. A variety of teaching strategies are used to engage and interest children and further their learning, such as enquiry-lead learning, collaborative work, use of computer mapping software and opportunities to communicate their ideas to each other and with teachers including discussions and presentations.

Map skills are embedded throughout the units; in KS1 the focus is on being able to read and draw a simple map, using positional language. During KS2, this progresses to children being able to use globes, maps (including digital maps) and atlases to identify a range of places and features studied. Children look at 4 figure grid references and the 4 points of a compass in years 3 and 4; this builds to 6 figure grid references and 8 compass points in year 5 and 6. Moreover, each year group in KS2 has its own stand-alone map lesson which links to the curriculum that year, using the Royal Geographical Society map work lessons.

Fieldwork is completed within each group:

  • KS1: Local area walk
  • KS2: A study of particular physical and human features; river study; microclimates and Local area survey

There are opportunities for children to collaborate and present their findings following the fieldwork.

We hope that our curriculum encourages children to develop a sense of enquiry, fascination and curiosity about the world around them as well as an understanding of relevant knowledge that they will need in the future.

Impact

Our geography curriculum offers high quality and well planned lessons which encourage progression. Geographical questioning helps pupils to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of the world and its people.

  • Children will have a good sense of place and a confident understanding of similarities and differences between places studied.
  • Children will be able to apply their reading skills for the purpose of furthering geographical knowledge and understanding
  • Children will be able to read and interpret maps confidently including digital maps
  • Children will be able to relate to the world around them through an understanding of its physical and human features
  • Children will be able to articulate their understanding and knowledge using a wider vocabulary of geographical terms.
  • Children will be able to develop their geographical skills, such as, evaluation, creativity, problem solving and enquiry.
  • End of unit challenges, ongoing assessments and target tracker steps will be used to promote progress.

Geography Curriculum Overview

Geography Policy

Geography Skills Progression

How map skills are used during geography lessons

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