PURPOSE OF STUDY
At Gastrells Primary School, we provide children with a high-quality geography education which inspires a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. It also helps them make sense of the ever changing world in which they live. Teaching equips pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
As the pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, as well as the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge provides the tools and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop contextual knowledge of the location of places, seas and oceans, including their defining physical and human characteristics
- understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time
- are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
- collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
- interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
- communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps and writing at length.
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. We offer them the opportunity to use a variety of data, such as maps, statistics, graphs, pictures and aerial photographs and we enable them to use computing in geography lessons. Children take part in role-play and discussions, and they present to the rest of the class. They also engage in a variety of problem-solving activities. Wherever possible, we involve the children in ‘real’ geographical activities, e.g. research of a local environmental problem, or use of the Internet to investigate a current issue.
We recognise the fact that there are children of widely different geographical abilities in all classes and we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of methods from the type of task set to the use of classroom support.
Geography Curriculum Planning
We use the national curriculum to plan our geography and link this to our skills progression table.
Our curriculum planning is in three phases (long-term, medium-term and short-term). Our long-term plan maps the geography topics studied in each term during each key stage. The subject leader co-ordinates this plan in conjunction with teaching colleagues in each year group. Cross curricular links with other subjects are used where possible.
We use the geography curriculum as the basis for our plans. This gives details of what skills and areas must be covered in each year group. The subject leader reviews these plans on a regular basis. In this way, we ensure that children cover as much of the National Curriculum, as possible.
Each class teacher creates a termly plan. These plans list specific learning objectives and expected outcomes for each lesson. The class teacher keeps these plans, and can discuss them with the geography subject leader on an informal basis.
We plan the topics in geography so that they build on prior learning. Children of all abilities have the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge through, through planned progression.
We constantly strive to enrich the curriculum and seek ways to extend the children’s interest in the world in which they live. One of the ways we aim to do this is through our annual ‘World Awareness’ event run throughout the school. Each class studies a different country over a set period and teachers plan and link as many subjects as possible across the curriculum during this ‘geography’ based event.
The whole school engage in a ‘World Awareness fortnight’, whereby each class selects a country to study for two weeks, linking all of their lessons to a specific place. Cross curricular links include PE, maths, science, art, music etc.