What are we trying to achieve?
The starting point for the Geography curriculum is the children. Literacy and language form the basis of all learning and from which children develop geographical knowledge and skills through a connected and language rich curriculum.
Our geography curriculum is designed to develop pupils’ curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them throughout their lives. Learners will investigate a range of places, both in Britain and abroad to help develop knowledge and understanding of the Earth’s physical and human processes. We provide opportunities to investigate and enquire about our local area, this will support children to develop an understanding of who they are, their heritage and what makes our local area so unique and special. We aim to give our learners strong geographical knowledge, good enquiry skills, the ability to use a range of maps, the skills to collect and analyse data and the ability to communicate information in a variety of ways. We want the children to have a love of geographical learning, gaining knowledge and skills through high quality teaching both inside and outside the classroom. As the future generation is responsible for our planet, we want our children to have a sense of respect for the world.
We aim for our children to be; successful learners, responsible and rights respecting citizens and confident individuals.
How do we organise this?
At St Benedict’s Primary School, we implement a progressive geography curriculum that builds on prior knowledge and skills year on year. Our Geography curriculum uses the 2014 National Curriculum as our learning framework. The Cornerstones Curriculum breaks down the National Curriculum Programmes of Study into a progressive programme of learning through challenging Imaginative Learning Projects. Cornerstones enables children to learn about Geography in a cross curricular way; ILP’s set Geography in context with other areas such as History, DT, PE and science, enabling learning to take place in a variety of ways. Skills are developed in a creative way and children work towards completing an innovative challenge at the end of the topic and answer the ‘big question’ that has been set. Children are increasingly challenged throughout the year groups and phases. The geography curriculum is taught in response to driving questions which are aimed to be challenging, inspiring, creative, nurturing and encourage active learning. Children deepen their understanding by revisiting geographical skills. The lessons are carefully planned to ensure that all children are well supported in their learning and that opportunities for depth is planned for. We ensure that trips and visiting experts enhance the learning experiences for the children.
Stand-alone Geography lessons or Daily Dashboard lessons are planned where the ILP does not include Geography to ensure skills and knowledge are continually practised each half term.
In Nursery and Reception Geography is part of the Understanding of the World strand of Development Matters. Children are encouraged to talk about their place in the world, look at human and physical features and the weather.
How do we know it is successful?
The impact of our geography curriculum is that our learners are equipped with the geographical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for year five and six and then the secondary curriculum and for life as an adult in the wider world. The children can discuss their learning and demonstrate their knowledge and understanding through a range of activities. Planning, evidence, teacher and pupil voice in Geography are monitored regularly. They are evaluated and reflected upon to ensure that there is progression in skills, knowledge and subject specific language across year groups and phases. As children move through the school there is a clear picture of the progression of skills and the broadening of Geographical knowledge. An example of this is that Nursery talk about the weather and the environment around them, reception talk about their families, where they live and how they travel to school, year 1 learn about human and physical features of their surrounding environment, Year 2 learn about the world’s seven continents and five oceans, Year 3 find out about causes and effects of earthquakes and volcanoes and Year 4 learn about the key aspects of physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes, and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains and the water cycle. Children have the opportunity to share and celebrate new learning and language with their work and assemblies. They work towards being able to answer a ‘big question’ at the end of their project.