Why do we teach Geography?
As geographers, our children will gain a depth and breadth of knowledge and understanding of the world, its environments and places both near and far, and the processes that create and affect them both human and physical. Our geography curriculum encourages children to appreciate and understand how the world works and the interconnections between communities and cultures as well as allowing them to consider how they can themselves be respectful, sensitive and accepting of the world.
We believe children are active participants and investigators within geography and value fieldwork as an essential part of the curriculum allowing them to explore, make connections and comparisons and identify patterns and changes. Geographical enquiry and skills are embedded throughout teaching to ensure skills are transferable and progressive. Our curriculum allows our children exposure to experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have access to in order to gain a greater understanding of the wider world through the use of primary sources such as field work and secondary sources such as digital and physical maps, atlases, globes photographs and books.
What do we teach Geography?
Pupils in Foundation Stage will:
Understanding the World
People and Communities
Talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
Know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
Pupils in Key Stage 1 will:
Study their school, grounds and local area and contrast with another area in the United Kingdom and abroad, finding out about the physical features of the area and the people who live there using fieldwork and photographs
Learn about and locate the main countries and cities within the United Kingdom and the seas surrounding, using maps, atlases and globes, as well as identify and locate the main continents and oceans around the world
Carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom, observing and recording weather and identifying seasonal changes in the United Kingdom
Be introduced to geographical vocabulary to refer to human and physical features of the environment
Pupils in Key Stage 2 will:
Investigate, compare and contrast a variety of people, places and environments in the United Kingdom and around the world using photographs, maps, atlas’ and globes
Discover how and why the earth is changing and how this affects them and future generations
Identify and locate European countries and countries in North and South America, counties and cities within the United Kingdom and the significance of longitude, latitude and time zones
Carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom, asking questions and using maps, atlas, globes and compasses linking to computing and other areas of the curriculum
How do we teach Geography?
Teaching, learning and geographical enquiry is planned in line with the curriculum overview. Geography at St Silas is taught discretely over three half terms per year, however some units are double units to allow for depth and breadth of learning within that subject area.
In Key Stage 1, as year groups are mixed, a two-year rolling programme is used to ensure children are learning a broad and balanced curriculum. Their learning is based around stories linked to the geography topic.
Pupil’s are sat in mixed ability groups following our Cooperative Learning approach and to promote oracy. A variety of teaching approaches such as whole-class lessons, group, paired and individual work and discussions are experienced by pupil’s during their geography lessons.
We believe fieldwork and educational visits help to promote learning in all aspects of geography and we aim to incorporate it in all areas of the curriculum. Each year group has the opportunity to make the most of our locality. In particular, children study at depth our local area allowing regular opportunities to explore the area they live and learn in. We also explore our local river - River Blakewater and visit our local coastal areas to compare and contrast with our locality.
As a school, we have a strong emphasis on the value of quality-first teaching in relation to subject specific vocabulary. Pupils are exposed to a range of specific vocabulary outlined in the Geography Vocabulary List. This will involve children building a ‘Word Wall’ both in their books and on display in the classroom to explore the meaning and apply these new words to their learning.
British Values and School Values
Our British Values and School Values are identified within the Geography/History overview and are embedded within each unit and the individual lessons taught. Pupil’s are encouraged to value and respect God’s world and his people.
Pupil progress will be assessed and monitored throughout the year through normal teacher planning and organisation. Teachers follow the school’s Feedback policy for formative assessment and feedback.
Each unit of work will be assessed against the skills and knowledge outlined in the ‘Knowledge Planner’ created for each unit of work. This will be recorded on the ‘Unit Assessment Grid’ and handed to the subject leader. These assessments will be used to inform the subject leader on the progression of pupil’s and the class teacher for future planning purposes.
At the end of the academic year, each child will be assessed against the ‘End of Year Expectations’.
Parents are informed of their child’s progress throughout the year through parent’s evenings and via annual reports sent home in the summer term.
Geography Subject Leader
Miss Payne is our geography subject leader. She is currently teaching in Year 6 and is working towards our school achieving the Primary Geography Quality Mark in July 2021. She has taken part in a range of subject leadership training including working with the local authority and school advisors to design a curriculum personalised to this school.
Miss Payne loves exploring outdoors and taking long walks in the countryside with her family, in particular the Lake District where you will find her most school holidays. She is therefore very passionate about providing similar experiences for the children at St Silas as well as sharing her passion for Geography, exploring the world and becoming more sustainable.
Mr Ellis is our Eco-Committee leader. He has recently recruited a team of pupils who will be reviewing how environmentally friendly our school is before creating actions to help us become more sustainable. Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook page to find out what they have been up to!
Support for Parents
The Geographical Association – this membership allows teachers to keep up to date with the latest research within Geography.
DigiMap for Schools provides children the opportunity to explore OS maps both present day and historical for Great Britain and more recently the rest of the world, to learn about grid references and discover countries at street level. It is used within school for local studies and compare and contrast work. It is ideal for young minds discovering their environment and discussing topical events. Your child will be given a password to access this website from home. Take a look!
First News – this is a newspaper written for children. These newspapers and online resources are used regularly within our curriculum to explore current topical events both locally and around the globe.