‘Without Geography, where would we be?’
Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?
Geography is concerned with people and place. Our programme of topics are planned to develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of the world in which they live. The children undertake studies of their local environment (Community – Golden Thread), the British Isles and selected areas of the world and develop an awareness of human, physical and environmental geography. Pupils will be taught about the locations of the world’s continents, countries, cities, seas and oceans. They will develop skills of interpreting sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and geographical information systems. Where possible, we will link Geography to other subject areas developing our cross-curricular contextual learning. Specialist vocabulary for each topic is taught and built on.
Geographical themes are informed by the National Curriculum and are designed to be progressive, outlining the skills, knowledge and vocabulary that are taught in a sequential way, building on prior knowledge. The curriculum has been designed to link to the local area helping our children to make sense of topics.
As children move through the school we begin to move from local geography to national and global topics, for example studying disasters and climate. Global Matters (Golden Thread) and children’s knowledge and understanding of what is happening around the world is of high importance.
Good local geography enables the pupils to gain a sense of place and engage in community. Community (Golden Thread) and being a good citizen is of very high importance.
Meaningful fieldwork is embedded in an enquiry approach, which provides pupils with a model of the enquire process and associated enquire skills. It engages pupils by valuing their existing knowledge and opinions and provides an excellent base line for latter reflection and evaluation of what parents have learnt.
Teachers create a positive attitude to geography learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards. Geography is taught in blocks throughout the year so that children achieve a depth in their learning. Where possible the class text in English is linked to the topic to provide contextual learning opportunities e.g. ‘Floodlands’ in Year 5’s topic linking with natural disasters. There are also links through geography to other areas of the curriculum for example using and applying Maths skills in graphing, position and direction and measurement. Extra enrichment opportunities are made possible through Golden threads, two of which are Community and Global matters. Throughout the planning process, teachers ensure time is set aside to enable them to react to events happening around the world. They will understand key aspects of physical and human geography and will have confidently developed skills in fieldwork.
The key knowledge and skills for each topic has been identified and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group and across the school. By the end of Year 6, children will have locational and place knowledge from local, national and global perspectives.
Each topic has a knowledge organiser (including ‘sticky vocabulary’) for all children to use. There are assessment processes such as mini quizzes, observations, and pupils’ individual work marked against expectations to track progress across the term. Geography lessons are scaffolded for those that need support to provide equity in provision and to maintain high standards of achievement for all pupils. Where our topics have a link to local geography e.g. Odland Common, Bristol pupils go on trips to and have visits from local experts to enhance the learning experience.
At Redfield Edge primary School, in Geography we strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning by providing investigative and enquiry learning opportunities. Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning which helps pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of the key aspects of their learning. Outcomes evidence a broad and balanced Geography curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge through mini quizzes, pupil discussions and through regular teacher book looks. Children engage in community projects and understand what is to be a good citizen. They demonstrate good knowledge and understanding of some of the bigger issues around the world and their role in protecting our planet – ensuring it is a safe and sustainable place for future generations. The school environment will be Geography rich through displays, resources and vocabulary.