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Geography

Geography at Christ Church CE VA Primary School

‘Together, with God’s love, we can achieve anything’

Geography is taught at Christ Church C.E. Primary to enable the children to understand the fast changing world around them and to help them to discover their place within it.

A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.

The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
  • understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time
  • are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
  • collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
  • interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.

Intent – how we have planned our geography curriculum

 The study of geography involves our pupils exploring the relationship and interactions between people and the environments in which they live and upon which they and all life on Earth depends. The many opportunities and challenges that will arise during the children’s lifetime will be very much about geography at personal, national and global scales.  What we intend pupils to learn in geography reflects this throughout the curriculum and incorporates the experiences of growing up in 21st Century Warrington.  In particular we have established a school curriculum plan for geography as an entitlement for all pupils that is:

·         Aspirational in terms of instilling in our pupils a desire to achieve the highest levels of success through providing them with the opportunities to excel in terms of their acquisition of long lasting knowledge and understanding and mastery of core geographical skills.  Such high aspirations are clearly identifiable in the progressive and increasingly challenging objectives set out in our key stage progression documents which define what the pupils will know, understand and be able to do.

·         Local, relevant, broad, and balanced in terms of the areas of subject content we have selected which reflect the guidance of and are commensurate with the demands of the National Curriculum.  For example we have ensured that content includes an even proportion of physical and human investigations such as the effect of rivers on the landscape and the impact of urban development.  Due consideration has been given also to making certain that our geography curriculum maintains relevancy and topicality through including enquiries that engage pupils in studying our local area, Warrington and Cheshire.

·         Sequenced to ensure that pupils can build on previous knowledge and understanding as they tackle more complex and demanding enquiries.  For example at Key Stage 1 pupils observe and record the distinctive geographical features of the local area of the Warrington and compare and contrast them with Liverpool.  At Key Stage 2 this knowledge and understanding is both consolidated and extended as pupils investigate the nature of environmental change in their local area and reach judgements as to how our town may change in the future. Similarly the understanding gained and concepts explored through studying our local area and Warrington, better equips pupils in Key Stage 2 to identify similarities and differences with our global neighbours.

·         Progressively more challenging Years 1 through 6 both in terms of the complexity of the subject knowledge we want our pupils to acquire and also the skills we support them to utilise to ensure they understand the significance of that knowledge. These anticipated outcomes in knowledge and understanding and skills acquisition are detailed in the key stage objectives progression plans.  In terms of the geographical techniques we want our pupils to master as they progress through the school our curriculum planning has been informed by our identification of the coverage required at Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2.  These are integrated into our termly plans to ensure adequate coverage through the curriculum. To develop long-term memory skills and knowledge as set out in the National Curriculum, the children are provided with thematic knowledge organisers.

·         Built upon and has continuity with the provision for geography established in the Early Years Foundation Stage and in particular that which addresses the knowledge and skills expectations of the People, Culture and Communities Early Learning Goal;

·         Inclusive in terms of delivering the same curriculum to all of our pupils irrespective of specific learning needs or disabilities and differentiating where necessary through, for example, in-class support, providing different learning environments, alternative learning activities and assessment outcomes.

Implementation – how we teach our geography curriculum

All teachers are responsible for the teaching of Geography within their classes. With classes of mixed year groups, the planning is on a two- year cycle.

At KS1 and 2, Geography is integrated within a thematic approach or as a topic focus for the half-term or term where cross-curricular links can be made. Where they cannot, discrete lessons are taught. In all eventualities, children are made aware that the skills / knowledge they are studying are from Geographical content. In EYFS, learning opportunities are planned in line with the Peoples, Places and Communities ELG.

We stimulate interest in a new study by inviting in visitors / organising a ‘hook in /hook out ’ , in particular where geography is thematically taught alongside history.

The children have the opportunity to work in a variety of ways - individually, in groups and as a whole class. They have the opportunity to experience field work as a means of gathering information and exploring their surroundings.

Educational visits, including residential visits, develop map work skills, location comparative studies and links to the Eco curriculum.

Specialist work on orienteering develops skills linked to PE in KS2.

The children also experience the use of secondary resources as a means of gathering information. They communicate the knowledge obtained through spoken, written and visual means. We promote enquiry, investigation, problem solving and independent decision making to ensure high quality learning in geography.

Our teaching is supportive of citizenship, the global dimension / global citizenship and education for sustainable development. Where appropriate, ICT is used in the teaching of Geography; to enhance skills of geographical enquiry, to gain access to a wider range of geographical knowledge and information, to deepen understanding of geographical patterns and relationships, to experience alternative images of people, places and the environment, and to consider the wider use of IT on people, places and the environment

Progression is secured by:

-           Gradual development of skills and strategies of enquiry;

-            Increasing breadth of study;

-            Increasing depth of study;

-            Increasing complexity of place/themes studied;

-            Increasing range of scales used in map work;

-            Greater understanding of key ideas;

-            Greater awareness of social, political, economic and environmental issues;

-            Greater range, accuracy and complexity of vocabulary used;

The Whole School Curriculum Map outlines how Geography study is shared across the whole of each Key Stage with each year group devising topics relating to the national curriculum guidelines for geography.

 

Impact – how we assess the progress our pupils make in geography

 Each topic which forms our programme of learning and teaching in geography sets clear objectives and outcomes for the pupils.  We ensure that when assessing our pupils, evidence is drawn from a wide range of sources to inform the process including interaction with pupils during discussions and related questioning, day to day observations, the gathering, presentation and communication of fieldwork data and writing in different genres.  The outcomes of each term serve to inform the teacher’s developing picture of the knowledge and understanding of each pupil and to plan future learning accordingly.  

 At the end of each term we make a summative judgement about the achievement of each pupil against the subject learning goals for geography in that year.  At this point we decide upon a ‘best fit’ judgement as to whether the pupil has achieved and embedded the expected learning goals, exceeded expectations or is still working towards the goals.  This decision draws upon the professional knowledge and judgement that teachers possess about the progress of each pupil, developed over the previous three terms which allows an informed judgement of attainment to be made.   Achievement against the learning goals for geography at the end of the year is used as the basis of reporting progress to parents.

  As subject leader, I meet with a group of children each term to discuss what they have been learning, new vocabulary and skills they have acquired- evidence of the pupil’s voice. This is recorded in our termly subject Governors’ reports. We are working to strengthen some aspects of the subject. One evident developing strength is in map reading, as we are increasingly successful in County Orienteering competitions.

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