Geography is a subject that stimulates a sense of curiosity about the world and society in which we live in. It is an area of learning that gives children the opportunity to develop an inquisitiveness and fascination about the world around them, whilst deepening their understanding of the relationship between physical and human processes.
We feel it is important to nurture this curiosity and fascination by equipping the children with knowledge of their own environment and the world beyond. It provides them with the opportunity to develop their contextual knowledge, as well as their understanding of the processes that give rise to human and physical features of the world.
Good practice makes effective use of cross-curricular links so that children can apply their geographical learning across the curriculum. By creating such meaningful contexts, children are not only fully engaged in their learning but are provided with opportunities to deepen their understanding of key concepts and skills.
Another vital aspect of Geography, is fieldwork and outdoor learning. Nothing can substitute for researching the world first-hand and this begins with children exploring their own local environment. The children’s own observations and evaluations, along with secondary sources of information, such as maps, atlases, books and websites, will be a key element of their learning and understanding.
Aims and Objectives
- to enable children to gain knowledge and understanding of places in the world;
- to increase children’s knowledge of other cultures and, in so doing, teach a respect and understanding of what it means to be a positive citizen in a multi-cultural country;
- to allow children to learn graphic skills, including how to use, draw and interpret maps;
- to enable children to know and understand environmental problems at a local, regional and global level;
- to encourage in children a commitment to sustainable development and an appreciation of what ‘global citizenship’ means;
- to develop a variety of other skills, including those of enquiry, problem solving, ICT, investigation and how to present their conclusions in the most appropriate way.
Teaching and Learning Style
We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our geography lessons. We believe in whole class teaching methods and we combine these with enquiry-based research activities. We encourage children to ask as well as answer geographical questions. Wherever possible, we involve the children in ‘real’ geographical activities. We recognise the fact that there are children of different abilities and we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by:
- setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses;
- setting tasks of varying difficulty, enabling all children to work to their full potential;
- providing a range of challenges using different resources;
- using teaching assistants to support the work of individual children or groups of children.
Geography Curriculum Planning
We use the national curriculum scheme of work for geography as the basis for our curriculum planning. We have adapted the national scheme to the local circumstances of our school. Provision for geography activities is part of the overall topic planning completed for each class on a termly basis. We plan the topics in geography so that they build upon prior learning. Children of all abilities have the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit and through planned progression built into the scheme of work, we offer them an increasing challenge as they move up the school.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
We teach geography in the EYFS as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year, relating the geographical aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals. Geography makes a significant contribution to the ELG objectives of developing a child’s knowledge and understanding of the world.
Teaching Geography to children with SEN
At our school we teach geography to all children, whatever their ability. Geography forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children. We enable pupils to have access to the full range of activities involved in learning about geography.
Teachers assess children’s work in geography by making assessments as they observe them working during lessons. They record the progress that children make by assessing the children’s work against the learning targets from the national curriculum. This allows the teacher to make termly assessments of attainment and progress for each child.
We have sufficient resources and equipment in our school to be able to teach all the geography units from the national curriculum. We have a good supply of geography topic books and access to a wide a range of educational websites to support children’s learning.
Fieldwork is integral to good geography teaching and we include as many opportunities as we can to involve children in practical geographical research and enquiry. All children carry out an investigation into the local environment and we give them opportunities to observe and record information around the school site and beyond.