Our aim is for all children to have an understanding of the world and environment in which they live, both their local area and the world beyond. Pupils are taught to have an appreciation of the natural world, their role in it and the responsibilities that come with it as global citizens. (see Curriculum Driver 3 Creativity-culture and enrichment and Curriculum Driver 4 Exploration-adventure and discovery)
This vision is achieved by:
- A curriculum which maps out the knowledge that pupils learn to gain geographical expertise, including locational knowledge, place knowledge and understanding, knowledge of environmental, physical and human geography processes, geographical skills
- A curriculum which encourages children to ask questions to build on their prior knowledge through a progressive series of ‘real life’ enquiry based lessons, connecting different ideas and helping children to ‘think like a geographer’
- A curriculum which teaches the concepts of place, space, scale, interdependence, physical and human processes, environmental impact, sustainable development, cultural awareness and cultural diversity
Implementation of the Geography Vision
Reception children investigate Geography as part of Understanding of the World (See St Michael’s EYFS curriculum: Exceptional Explorer and Looking after our Environment). Children are taught some of the geographical vocabulary that they will build on through the rest of their schooling. They begin to have a sense of distance, orientation, scale and positioning and an understanding of a sense of place. They start to appreciate the connections between people and the physical environment. Children are taught to look at similarities and differences and observe changes in the world around them.
Years 1 – 6
At St Michael’s we have chosen to use resources from Collins Connected to support the delivery of our Geography curriculum. We have chosen this scheme as it provides stimulating resources which support pupils to ‘think like a geographer’ as well as to build on their understanding year on year.
Each year group undertakes three half-termly enquiries in Geography and these are outlined in the Long Term Plan Years 1-6
Each of these enquiries is informed by a Medium Term Plan which outlines the key question, key learning and key vocabulary for each unit.
This resource includes:
•Clear learning objectives;
•The context of the investigation together with background subject content knowledge about each topic to ensure that teachers are fully confident to support children in their learning about geography
•Details of National Curriculum coverage in both Geography and other subject areas to which the enquiry is connected
•Comprehensive learning and teaching activities which are fully explained
•The key subject vocabulary
•Suggested opportunities for assessment during learning activities and at the end of each enquiry
•Home learning ideas
Measuring the Impact of the Geography Vision and Implementation
Formative assessment takes place during every Geography lesson, and is the basis on which teachers tailor the teaching to the needs of the pupils. Pupils have the opportunity to evaluate their own learning in Geography through the use of learning journeys.
Summative assessment takes place twice each year. It is used to:
- identify areas of strength and weakness for classes, groups and individuals
- provide evidence for patterns in progress and attainment (eg. between boys/girls, SEN/non-SEN, different year groups) and to compare attainment with nationally agreed expectations for children of that age.
We use the Collins Connected scheme’s assessment criteria to make summative judgements in Years 1-6. These are split into 3 sections, matching end-of-year expectations for each year group, each of which begins with an indication of the context in which the skills should be assessed, to ensure that the pitch of the lesson is age-appropriate.
Subject leader monitors provision in Geography through:
- observations and learning walks
- analysis of attainment and progress
- teacher/subject leader discussions
- pupil voice activities
- an annual 'deep dive' in Geography with the senior leadership team
Monitoring activities and an analysis of attainment and progress are used to formulate the subject leader action plan which is updated twice each year.
Home Learning and Enrichment
A half-termly ‘topic’ activity is set by the class teacher.
Class teachers for each year group aim to undertake at least one Geography related outside visit during the academic year.
The St Michael’s School grounds have been mapped out and staff have been trained to teach pupils the basic skills of orienteering. Orienteering is taught as a distinct subject in Year 3 and teachers build on these skills in subsequent years across the curriculum, as part of our aim to increase the amount of time children spend learning outdoors.