Curriculum – Geography

GEOGRAPHY- Mrs Elaine Goddard

‘’The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.’’

Barack Obama

How is the content chosen?

The National Curriculum is the core of our school geography curriculum, but we have built upon this to ensure that it meets the needs of our children. Our children start in Reception by learning through activities related to class books (fiction and no-fiction); which allows them to start to learn and use geographical language, then observe, talk about and describe what they have experienced. In Key Stage 1 the children are taught discrete geography lessons where they learn about their immediate locality and develop basic fieldwork skills. The children then learn to compare their own locality to places in the United Kingdom, before going on to learn about and make comparisons to places in the wider world. The children will use atlases to plan and plot journeys, pointing out where the equator, north pole and south pole are on a globe or atlas. The children name the continents of the world and the countries that form the United Kingdom, including their capital cities. They also learn the names of the seas surrounding the UK.

How do we ensure progression of knowledge and skills?

Subject Leaders have communicated and worked with outside subject-specialists to ensure that we offer excellent progression throughout our school. As a result, we have designed a curriculum that is well sequenced and has appropriate content for specific year groups. It has been carefully selected and mapped out so that children are building upon prior knowledge each term and each year. Within these documents there are also opportunities for differentiation and adaptations, in order to meet the needs of all our children and personal cohort to our school. Teachers are clear on the learning and expectations for each year group.

How is geography taught?

At Newton Hall Infants’ School we want our children to be confident and excited explorers who are intrigued by the world in which they live.

Geography is taught through challenging and engaging discrete lessons, which give the children opportunities to develop and embed key geographical knowledge. The way our curriculum is designed gives the children ample opportunities to revisit, reinforce and embed learning throughout a series of lessons, as well as across the year and into the next year.

Geography books are used in each class to record experiences and learning. These books travel through school with the children as a working document of what they have discovered and how they have evolved. There are links and opportunities that arise from other subject areas and these are incorporated where possible and appropriate.

How is geography taught in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)?

At Newton Hall Infants’ School we aim to build on the wealth of knowledge and skills children already have when they arrive. We recognise that all children are unique, celebrating and welcoming differences within our school community. Therefore, our curriculum is child centred following the interests and fascinations of the children in the current year group. Geography is taught through topics that provide motivating first-hand experiences. As well as topic work and the teaching of valuable knowledge, children in EYFS are given the opportunity to continually practise and embed their skills through the areas of provision set up in the indoor and outdoor learning environments.

How do we know children are making progress?

Ongoing assessments of the children’s knowledge and skills are observed daily by the class teacher. Misconceptions are addressed and next steps carefully planned. Children’s outcomes are compared to the subject specific skills and knowledge documents, as well as the year group expectations from the National Curriculum. Senior leaders and subject leaders gather an overview of children’s learning and outcomes through monitoring activities and pupil voice sessions. Regular assessments are collated for children in EYFS and Key Stage 1 which are used to plan appropriate next steps for their future learning, as well as provide an overview of learning within a subject area across the whole school.

Impact of our geography teaching

At Newton Hall Infants school, we aim to inspire the children with a curiosity and fascination about the diversity of places, people and environments in their local area and around the world. We intend our children to gain confidence and practical experiences of geographical knowledge, understanding vocabulary and skills.

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