The intention of our Geography curriculum is to inspire pupils to become curious and explorative thinkers with a diverse knowledge of the world; in other words, to think like a geographer in order for our children to develop a love of the world around them.
Our curriculum enables pupils to meet the end of key stage attainment targets in the National curriculum. The aims also align with those in the National curriculum. We have carefully planned our Geography curriculum to reflect local and wider issues to allow our children to become well-informed geographers.
We want pupils to develop the confidence to question and observe places, measure and record necessary data in various ways,and analyse and present their findings. Through our curriculum, we aim to build an awareness of how Geography shapes our lives at multiple scales and over time. We hope to encourage pupils to become resourceful, active citizens who will have the skills to contribute to and improve the world around them.
Our curriculum encourages:
- A strong focus on developing both geographical skills and knowledge.
- Critical thinking, with the ability to ask perceptive questions and explain and analyse evidence.
- The development of fieldwork skills across each year group.
- A deep interest and knowledge of pupils’ locality and how it differs from other areas of the world.
- A growing understanding of geographical terms and vocabulary.
Our teaching equips pupils with geographical knowledge and an understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes that shape our landscapes, environments and people. To help facility the exploration of geography, six key concepts are focused on and revisited throughout our Geography curriculum from Year R to Year 6 at St Peter’s, and include:
We aspire to equip our children with geographical knowledge in collecting and analysing data, using a variety of maps, atlases, globes and photographs to name, identify and locate countries, continents and oceans. We also strive for our pupils to be able to communicate their learning effectively in a variety of ways including: sketch maps, using tables and graphs to compare outcomes and writing to discuss their points of view.
The National curriculum organises the Geography attainment targets under four subheadings or strands:
- Locational knowledge
- Place knowledge
- Human and physical geography
- Geographical skills and fieldwork
We use Kapow Primary’s Geography scheme to support our Geography curriculum. The scheme has a clear progression of skills and knowledge within these four strands across each year group. Our Progression of skills and knowledge shows the skills taught within each year group and how these develop to ensure that attainment targets are securely met by the end of each key stage.
The Kapow Primary scheme aligns with our approach to teaching and learning and is based on a Spiral Curriculum. The essential knowledge and skills are revisited with increasing complexity, allowing pupils to revise and build on their previous learning.
Locational knowledge, in particular, is reviewed in each unit to coincide with our belief that this will consolidate children’s understanding of key concepts, such as scale and place, in Geography. Cross-curricular links are included throughout each unit, allowing children to make connections and apply their Geography skills to other areas of learning.
Our enquiry questions form the basis for our units, meaning that pupils gain a solid understanding of geographical knowledge and skills by applying them to answer enquiry questions. We have designed these questions to be open-ended with no preconceived answers and therefore they are genuinely purposeful and engage pupils in generating a real change. In attempting to answer them, children learn how to collect, interpret and present data using geographical methodologies and make informed decisions by applying their geographical knowledge.
Each unit contains elements of geographical skills and fieldwork to ensure that fieldwork skills are practised as often as possible.
Our curriculum follows an enquiry cycle that maps out the fieldwork process of question, observe, measure, record, and present, to reflect the elements mentioned in the National curriculum. This ensures children will learn how to decide on an area of enquiry, plan to measure data using a range of methods, capture the data and present it to a range of appropriate stakeholders in various formats.
Fieldwork includes smaller opportunities on the school grounds to larger-scale visits to investigate physical and human features. Developing fieldwork skills within the school environment and revisiting them in multiple units enables pupils to consolidate their understanding of various methods. It also gives children the confidence to evaluate methodologies without always having to leave the school grounds and do so within the confines of a familiar place. This makes fieldwork regular and accessible while giving children a thorough understanding of their locality, providing a solid foundation when comparing it with other places.
Lessons incorporate various teaching strategies from independent tasks to paired and group work, including practical hands-on, computer-based and collaborative tasks. This variety means that lessons are engaging and appeal to those with a variety of learning styles. Differentiated guidance is available to teachers when planning to ensure that all pupils can access learning, and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are available when required.
Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts and vocabulary. These can be accessed by children and parents at home by clicking on the links in our curriculum document which follows. Giving access to these resources at home enables children to discuss their learning with their families and for pre-teaching opportunities to be created.
We believe that strong subject knowledge is vital for our teachers to deliver a highly effective and robust Geography curriculum resulting in our pupils having a real interest and love of Geography. The Kapow scheme we have chosen to use, provides multiple opportunities for ongoing teacher development including videos to develop subject knowledge to ensure that they feel supported to deliver lessons of a high standard that ensure pupil progression.
Geography is taught on a weekly basis at St Peter’s using an enquiry-based approach. During each year children will study three units of Geography, we have spaced these out so that children study one per seasonal term. Wherever possible learning from Previous units of work is referred to during the terms when Geography is not being studied to extract learning from memory and therefore embed knowledge. Where possible we make links with the texts we study in English so that these deeper learning opportunities are created. Within our curriculum we have planned enrichment opportunities including field work opportunities in every unit of work, local visits class visitors and visits to further afield.
The enquiry-based approach to learning which we use allows teachers to assess children against the National curriculum expectations for Geography. The impact of our Geography curriculum is monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Each lesson includes guidance to support teachers in assessing pupils against the learning objectives. Furthermore, each unit has a unit quiz and knowledge catcher, which we use at the start and then end of the unit to assess children’s understanding. Opportunities for children to present their findings using their geographical skills will also form part of the assessment process in each unit.
As children leave St. Peter’s CEP, they will leave our school ready for further study with a good understanding of the different strands of geography, with the ability to explain the key physical and human processes that have impacted Earth. Our pupils should leave school equipped with a range of skills and knowledge to enable them to study Geography with confidence at Key stage 3. We hope to shape children into curious and inspired geographers with respect and appreciation for the world around them alongside an understanding of the interconnection between the human and the physical.
The expected impact of our Geography curriculum is that children will:
- Compare and contrast human and physical features to describe and understand similarities and differences between various places in the UK, Europe and the Americas.
- Name, locate and understand where and why the physical elements of our world are located and how they interact, including processes over time relating to climate, biomes, natural disasters and the water cycle.
- Understand how humans use the land for economic and trading purposes, including how the distribution of natural resources has shaped this.
- Develop an appreciation for how humans are impacted by and have evolved around the physical geography surrounding them and how humans have had an impact on the environment, both positive and negative. Develop a sense of location and place around the UK and some areas of the wider world using the eight-points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and keys on maps, globes, atlases, aerial photographs and digital mapping.
- Identify and understand how various elements of our globe create positioning, including latitude, longitude, the hemispheres, the tropics and how time zones work, including night and day.
- Present and answer their own geographical enquiries using planned and specifically chosen methodologies, collected data and digital technologies.
- Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for Geography.
There is a planned ‘end point’ for each year group. These have been taken from the Kapow Scheme and they are based directly on the National Curriculum. The end points are used to make end of year assessments which are recorded on our tracing system Insight and which are then share with parents as the following statements: below, expect or above. A record of the pupil’s attitude towards the study of geography is also shared with parents in the end of year report in an effort comment.
As geographers, children will be able to speak confidently about their geography experiences using the correct vocabulary and knowledge gained to conduct meaningful investigations. Pupils will be inquisitive about the world around them and show an interest in how they impact the world. Competencies in collecting, analysing and communicating a range of data gather are built year on year with the ability to interpret a range of sources of geographical information and communicate this information in a variety of ways.
We also measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary through various ways, including quizzing, retrieval practice, etc.
- 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).
- The subject lead ensures that the National Curriculum requirements are being met across EYFS, KS1 and KS2.
- Moderation and scrutiny of pupil’s books and professional dialogue between teachers to assess the quality of children’s learning.
- Sharing good practice in staff meetings.
- Clear next steps are determined by a cycle of monitoring, evaluating and reviewing.
- Marking of written work in books.
At St. Peter’s all pupils can develop their geography knowledge and understanding. The school promotes equal opportunities and fairness of distribution of geography resources. Teachers are made aware of children in their class who have a specific learning need and actions are put in place to ensure that barriers to learning are minimised. Whether that is 1:1 support, pre-teaching of key concepts or adaptations to the learning environment, every effort it made to allow for all children to gain in their understanding and knowledge needed for geographical enquiry.
- Geography Association - www.geography.org.uk
- BBC Bitesize - www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/primary
- National Geographic Kids - www.natgeokids.com/uk/category/discover/geography/
- Easy Geography for Kids - www.easygeographyforkid.com
- Oxford Owl - www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/school-year/subject-guides/geography-at-primary-school/