'We like learning about people in other countries and how people live.'
Zack, Year 6
At St John’s, our Geography curriculum is designed to be inclusive and accessible to all our children. It seeks to fascinate them with the world and people around them whether that be in their local area or in countries on the opposite side of the world.
Through sparking curiosity in the children, our enquiry based approach encourages learning through questioning and making considered geographical comparisons between areas they have studied previously. Each year of study seeks to build upon prior knowledge obtained by the children which will be reinforced before being built upon to ensure a level of understanding which lasts. All of the tasks undertaken in lessons are chosen to provide the appropriate level of challenge for all learners in line with our commitment to inclusion.
Through fieldwork and the studying of the world as a whole, we hope that our children will learn about the place they come from and the impacts humans can have on the world around them. As a result, we hope our Geography curriculum creates intelligent and understanding young people who are aware of their responsibility towards the world.
At St John’s, Geography is taught in termly blocks throughout the year. This ensures the children gain a depth of knowledge and are able to talk confidently about their learning. Key knowledge and skills have been identified across the topics to allow for progression from Early Years to Year 6. In Early Years, the focus is on the area in which the children live and as the children move through the school, they begin to look at their wider locality combined with contrasting environments. Over-arching themes have been identified in the Geography curriculum (including settlement, trade, climate, landscapes). These are revisited throughout the key stages which allows subject-specific knowledge to be built up over time.
At the beginning of each topic, children complete a location grid using atlases, maps and the internet. This allows them to gain locational knowledge of a range of countries around the world and suggest comparisons with their home country. Each lesson begins with a recap of prior knowledge - both that which has been learnt in the same year group and that from prior years to ensure depth of knowledge and understanding of vocabulary is sustained.
The tasks completed within lessons are designed to allow the children to ask questions and create their own hypotheses when presented with images, maps and statistics. These not only encourage children to apply prior learning to help them suggest hypotheses but also allow the children to grow into independent and inquisitive learners.
Our teaching follows the National Curriculum as the children learn about natural and human environments and processes which affect and form the landscapes of the world in which they live. It highlights the significance of outdoor learning and children undertake practical fieldwork both within the locality and further afield to improve their own understanding whilst also allowing them to demonstrate practical skills acquired in other subjects (Maths and Computing) when representing data and information in a range of forms. The children use maps, globes and aerial photos to explore different areas of the world whilst also becoming accustomed to using the features of these resources.
Outcomes in Geography are designed to be inclusive and equitable ensuring that all groups of learners are assessed fairly and accurately.
Outcomes in topic and enquiry books highlight a knowledge-rich Geography curriculum and showcase children’s growing understanding across the key stages of the identified geographical strands including: locational knowledge, place knowledge and human/physical geography. Through fieldwork and locational grids, children also develop a range of key skills which they can then apply during lessons.
By the time the children leave St John ’s to progress onto Key Stage 3, our Geography curriculum will have ensured that they have a deep understanding of the physical and human aspects of the world. They will be confident and well-rounded global citizens who have an appreciation of the physical world beyond where they live and the importance of their role within it.
Throughout the year, a range of formative assessments are used in order to inform summative assessments. These assessments and judgements are made through a range of activities including:
- Staff observations of conversations with children
- Voice and or video recordings of children
- Class floor book evidence
- Post-it notes from class discussions
- Retrieval quizzes
- Written evidence in topic books
The subject leader is assured of the accuracy of these judgements through moderation of evidence, professional dialogue with staff, observation of teaching and pupil voice.