“The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exist across continents. And in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.” Barack Obama, 25 Apr 2019
At St. Gerard’s Catholic Primary School we want all of our children to be geographers. Our aim is for our bespoke curriculum to inspire pupils to ‘develop curiosity and fascination about the world they live in and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives’. We also want them to understand how their local area has evolved and be proud of the community in which they live.
Through discovery, enquiry and exploration we want to instil a love of the subject not only locally but regionally and internationally.
Through the context of places, namely small areas and regions, the children will begin to gain an understanding of other environments and over their time at St. Gerard’s, they will not only acquire knowledge, but develop a bank of skills that will allow them to conduct fieldwork, collect data, analyse evidence and draw informed conclusions about a range of places around the world.
Studying the locational and place knowledge of a number of real places, the children will develop an understanding of differing human and physical features and fieldwork techniques that they will be able to take with them on their journey to Key Stage Three. We hope to awaken an appreciation of the natural world so as responsible global citizens they will develop a sense of identity and belonging with a caring attitude towards our planet.
- Units allow children to focus on developing their knowledge and skills, studying each small area or region in depth.
- At Key Stage 1 our Geography curriculum is designed so that children begin with My School, its Grounds and their Surrounding Environment whilst also studying a small area of the UK namely The Isles of Scilly and a small area of a contrasting non-European country namely Serrekunda, The Gambia, West Africa.
- At Key Stage 2 we have selected units that meet the needs and interests of our children and have designed the curriculum we wish to deliver, whilst being NC compliant.
- Although the units are taught discretely we have designed it so that there may be some transferable knowledge to or from subjects like history. Many of the units are designed and taught at a time to complement each other.
- Each unit covers similar investigation skills and knowledge so that characteristics in different places can be compared.
- Locational knowledge is repeated and revisited, for example every unit begins with locating the place to be studied on a map (so the oceans and continents are always seen as the starting point).
- Map work is an integral part of each unit.
- Our progression documents for each year group, enables pupils to build on and develop their knowledge and skills year on year. It documents the substantive content, the recurring themes and language (the ultimate role of the content), and the subject rationale (the proximal role -the later content it is preparing for) and also the disciplinary training associated with the subject.
- At St. Gerard’s Geography is taught in every year group half termly.
- In order to support children in their ability to know more and remember more, there are regular opportunities to review the learning.
- Children are given a knowledge organiser at the start of each topic which details some key information, vocabulary. This is not used as part of an assessment, but to support children with their acquisition of knowledge and are used as a reference document.
The delivery of the subject:
- Each unit has sufficient subject knowledge to aid teacher confidence when being delivered.
- Questionnaires and discussions with the staff will highlight if CPD and standardisation opportunities are needed.
- To support teaching, staff access a range of resources.
- Effective use of educational visits are encouraged and visitors are planned, to enrich and enhance the pupil’s learning experiences.
- Misconceptions are addressed.
- Differentiation is facilitated by teachers, to ensure that each pupil can access the curriculum.
- Children are given clear success criteria in order to achieve the Learning Intention with different elements of independence.
- Cross-curricular links are planned for if appropriate.
- Immersive displays that answer our enquiry questions help to create a rich learning environment for each unit.
- Geography in our EYFS is an integral and important part of our chosen geography curriculum.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of geography, people and communities through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World’.
Six units written in the same way as the Key Stage One and Two units, allow for a smooth transition.
The New EYFS Framework 2021 and Development Matters have been used to draw out the specific Geography (and History elements).
Children learn about features of their own environment such as school, home, special places, significant people and the past and present and family life. Through first-hand experiences they will learn how environments may differ through the sharing of books, stories, poems, small world play, role play and visits. Children enjoy the valuable experiences gained from our regular trips to places within our local community such as churches, museums, library, park and local shops.
Children are given time to discuss, comment and ask questions about what they observe about the world around them and are encouraged to be active learners and explore their interests further.
The impact of our curriculum on the children’s progress will be evaluated through four key areas of assessment: Locational Knowledge; Place Knowledge; Human and Physical Geography; Geographical Skills and Fieldwork.
Children will leave St. Gerard’s with a rich understanding and love for Geography. The children will have developed skills they can use for life, and will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically, and ecologically diverse world.