Our Geography curriculum has been specifically designed to inspire pupils with a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We wish to encourage a true appreciation for diversity and a sense of awe and wonder as children investigate a range of exciting locations in both Britain and throughout the rest of the world. Our intent is that, through a location-focused approach, our children will gain a deep contextual knowledge of globally significant places. Our goal is to develop strong geographical skills such as collecting and analysing data, confident use of maps, photographs and globes, digital mapping and virtual fieldwork. We are also committed to providing children with exciting opportunities to investigate and carry out thoughtful fieldwork outdoors and through educational visits. Our teachers aim to pose thoughtful and challenging questions related to each location and encourage children to investigate their people, resources, economies and both physical and human features, before communicating their findings. By encouraging our children to regularly draw deep comparisons, they also learn how to relate the near and the far and, as they grow in confidence, better articulate the deep relationship people have their their environments.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in geography, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Geography at St James’ is taught termly as a discrete unit, though cross curricular links will be made where appropriate. At the heart of each unit is an exciting location and teachers will begin each scheme of work by assessing the childrens’ prior knowledge and posing a thought-provoking question that children can explore throughout their learning. Careful thought has been given to which locations are taught and when, so that the children may build upon prior knowledge, revisit key skills often and begin to draw deep comparisons with locations they have previously studied.
Each scheme of work is based upon the 2014 National Curriculum in England, which provides a broad framework and outlines the knowledge and skills that should be taught in each Key Stage. As part of each geography ‘journey’, teaching focuses on enabling children to think as geographers and provides them with access to exciting, hands-on activities and resources. These could include: Google Maps, video clips, a range of atlases and globes, live cams and aerial photographs. Every effort is made to ensure that learning is engaging, broad and balanced and we utilise the local area with opportunities for outdoor learning and excursions, such as to nearby rivers, our local country park or reachable cities such as Portsmouth and Chichester.
Throughout each unit, teachers will encourage children to communicate and then analyse their findings in different ways. This could be through the use of sketches, tables, venn diagrams, written paragraphs or the annotation of maps. As the children move up through the school, further cross-curricular links with maths may be made so that children communicate their fieldwork findings through a range of charts, tables and graphs. At the end of each unit, teachers will encourage children to return to their original question and evaluate their discoveries before completing a post assessment map. At each stage, the teachers will make every effort to follow the children’s interests and prior learning so that they may adapt as necessary. Consideration is also given to how greater depth will be taught, learnt and demonstrated within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
Outcomes in our topic books evidence a broad and balanced geography curriculum and demonstrate children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Children review their successes in achieving the lesson objectives at the end of every session and are actively encouraged to identify their own target areas, with these being identified and shared by teachers through discussion or written feedback. Children also record what they have learned comparative to their starting points at the end of every topic and their progress with map skills is clearly evident to both the child and teacher through the use of pre and post assessment maps. As children progress throughout the school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding an appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context.
We also measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught.
- Summative assessment of pupil discussions about their learning.
- Images and videos of the children’s practical learning.
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Termly book scrutinies with the opportunity for dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
- Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum.
- Marking of written work in books.
Please click here to view our Geography subject overview.
Please click here to our Geography progression of skills.