At St Mary’s C.E. Primary School geography education should be fully inclusive to every child. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Geography; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills; and for the children to develop a love for geography.
We believe that Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. Children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place within it. Teaching should equip 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. (The 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England).
Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. We seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives; to promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. The curriculum is designed develop knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferable, throughout their time at St Mary’s C.E. Primary and also to their further education and beyond.
Geography at St Mary’s is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning. Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each blocked project and consideration has been given to ensure progression across projects throughout each year group across the school. At the beginning of each project, children are able to convey what they know already as well as what they would like to find out. This informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of children’s different starting points. Consideration is given to how greater depth will be taught, learnt and demonstrated within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. Educational visits are another opportunity for the teachers to plan for additional geography learning outside the classroom. At St Mary’s CE Primary School, the children have had many opportunities to experience geography on educational visits. The children have explored the local area including orienteering within the school grounds. Local museums also provide an opportunity to further geography learning, as well as trips to local woods, castles and using map reading skills during residential trips.
As children progress throughout school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context. Geographical understanding, as well as children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is further supported by the school’s links with our international partner school in South Africa. This aspect of the work of the school is also supported through specific activities which include ‘Tastes of the World’ in which children learn the origins of dishes prepared and contributed by the school community in a celebration of the school’s cultural diversity.
Outcomes in project books and Portfolios, evidence a broad and balanced geography curriculum and demonstrate children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Children review their successes in achieving the lesson objectives at the end of every session. Children also record what they have learned comparative to their starting points at the end of every topic.
We also measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods: Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the project is taught. Summative assessment of pupil discussions about their learning. Images and videos of the children’s practical learning. Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice). Moderation staff meetings where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work. Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum. Marking of written work in books.
We aim for our children to develop a greater understanding of their immediate locality as well as an understanding that we live in one small part of the world, a world which is very diverse in terms of both people and places. Children will leave our school with an understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes and how this affects landscapes and environments. It is our aim that the geography curriculum taught at St Mary’s equips children with key knowledge and skills, as set out in the National Curriculum, but also with a sense of awareness of themselves as people within a wide world and the impact that they, as people, can have upon the world in which they live.
Links to Christian and British Values Individual liberty – Pupils are given the opportunity to explore issues surrounding human rights, e.g. Fairtrade Mutual respect and tolerance – Pupils develop an understanding and respect for different cultures through our studies of place and people.