'Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future' – Michael Palin
Our Geography curriculum teaches children how to navigate the world and offers a powerful lense to see the world. Geogrpahy helps children to explore how and why the world is changing so rapidly, including the impact we have on this. It aims to foster children’s curiosity and inspire a fascination of the world around them. Through our Geography curriculum, we aim to nurture and inspire pupils curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Geography is an enquiry led subject that seeks answers to fundamental questions. Geography allows children to learn about the world around them in every lesson. It is a subject packed with excitement which combines aspects of the world and helps us to better understand the places and environments. Geography also helps us to understand how and why places are changing, and to better imagine, predict, and work towards, likely and preferred futures. This helps to deepen our understanding of what places are like, why and how they are connected, and the importance of location.
In Reception, Geography is taught through the planning and teaching of the curriculum area ‘Understanding the World’. Geography is effectively taught through questioning, the provision, and activities, which take place throughout the year to promote the children’s learning of Geography. Within this, they develop an understanding of ‘People, Culture and Communities’. Children have opportunities to make maps and learn about another country through their topic, or theme day, for example Chinese New Year. They start to explain some similarities and differences between life in the UK and another country which they are learning about. They develop an understanding of the environment around them. Children learn about features of their own environment through first-hand experiences and learn how environments might be different through experiences provided and stories shared. Children are given time to discuss, comment and ask questions about what they observe in the world around them and are encouraged to be active learners and explore their interests further.
From Year 1 to Year 6, Geography is taught following the National Curriculum. Geography is taught in 3 units across the year, with each unit being covered through a topic. We recognise and understand that children need to have strong foundations of their locality to have a secure understanding of the world. Children are enabled to explore and develop key concepts and skills within their geography lessons. Our Geography curriculum will equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places ranging from Lacey Green, London, Britain and contrasting locations in Africa and South America. It encourages a holistic approach of how the world works and develops the skills of place and locational knowledge, human and physical geography, mapping, fieldwork, enquiry, investigation, communication, and technology. We want our pupils to ask questions about the world and to evaluate how the activities of humans have an impact on both the human and physical environment.
We believe that all children should have the opportunities to learn about the world around them. All children are included in all Geography lessons, and these are carefully planned to ensure children with SEND can fully access the lesson. A sequence of lessons is planned, with careful consideration on how the lessons can be fun, and should be enjoyable for all children, but can be especially interesting for children with SEND. Children have opportunities to complete fieldwork and explore the outside area, alongside practical work in the classroom. Children are encouraged to work in partners or small groups, to share their understanding. Through doing this, children with SEN are provided with a low stress method of demonstrating their geographical understanding. Staff understand that additional support may be required for children with SEND to access and achieve during Geography lessons, and careful planning ensures this happens.
The impact of our Geography curriculum is measured in a variety of ways: questioning during lesson time, marking children’s written work, listening to child-led discussion, pupil voice, and work scrutiny. Target tracker is used annually to capture pupil attainment and progress. By the time pupils complete the geography curriculum at st Johns, they will:
Have a growing knowledge of the world
Have a wider vocabulary of geographical terms.
Aspire to discover more about the world, through reading, travel or the media.
Be able to read and understand maps and atlases
Develop their geographical skills, such as, evaluation, creativity, problem solving and enquiry.