At St John's CE Primary School, our geography curriculum meets the national curriculum's statutory needs, and is designed to meet the needs of all pupils at St John's CE Primary School. Geography is valued as an important part of pupils' entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum and planned to build on knowledge and skills continually.
It is our intent that the geography curriculum inspires our pupils with a curiosity and fascination about the world. 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.
Our geography curriculum is underpinned by our Christian values and reinforces British values, encouraging our pupils to think about their own place in the world and their responsibilities towards other people and the environment on a global, national, local and individual scale. Our pupils are encouraged to develop a sense of identity through learning about the U.K. and its relationship with the rest of the world. Furthermore, our geography curriculum promotes the intellectual, spiritual, moral, cultural and emotional development of pupils whilst preparing them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
At St. John’s, we aim to equip our geographers with a challenging, memorable knowledge-rich curriculum, to prepare them for the modern world. As our pupils’ progress and their knowledge and skills develop, they build a deeper understanding of how human and the natural worlds interact with each other and how they change over time. Our curriculum helps our pupils to acquire and enhance core geographical skills: mapping, fieldwork, enquiry and investigation, communication as well as the use of ICT.
We want our pupils to gain confidence and have practical experiences. Our progression through our geographical curriculum is coherent and well sequenced to enable our pupils to use the core knowledge they have built upon yearly, to talk confidently about a range of topics within St. John’s geography curriculum. Pupils develop an understanding of key concepts such as: location, size, scale, view, landscape, place, environment, physical, human and climate. These run throughout the geography curriculum to help our children build upon key knowledge.
Our geography curriculum is a knowledge-rich curriculum to help our pupils remember and recall knowledge from previous years, build upon what they already know and apply it to other topics and curriculum areas to build a deeper understanding. This helps to put their learning into a context and bring meaning to their learning.
Our geography curriculum is carefully planned and structured to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school. Geography is taught in rotation with history. The geography curriculum is designed as topics but is taught as a discrete subject. This enables the teaching and learning in geography to be focused and challenging.
In reception, pupils begin to develop pupils’ sense of ‘place’ and ‘community’ as described in the EYFS curriculum area of ‘understanding the world’ by providing opportunities for pupils to develop their awareness of home, family, the school environment and different communities and celebrations around the world. Building on pupils’ natural curiosity we plan a variety of learning experiences, including small world resources, role play, visitors, visits and celebration days.
Experiences are central to creating a love of learning in geography; these experiences range from in the classroom, to educational visits in our unique locality or further afield. Throughout the school, pupils participate in engaging activities such as orienteering, first-hand observation of weather and season change in the school ground, as well as fieldwork and visits to places of interest such as trips to Crosby beach, Liverpool and the Lake District.
Pupils have opportunities to develop core skills in English, science and maths and to make meaningful links in other subject areas including history, art and computing. For example, pupils read and interpret graphs in maths. Grid references, map skills and orienteering, also use mathematical knowledge and link to P.E. Our pupils are required to apply mathematical ideas and skills, such as the use of coordinates. Data handling is part of enquiry work and problem solving. Much enquiry in geography is similar to scientific investigation as it involves hypothesis, observation, recording and interpretation.
At St John’s, pupils will revisit key concepts and skills which consolidates learning and demonstrates progression throughout the key stages. At the start of each geography topic we encourage the pupils to self-assess what they already know as a starting point. Throughout the topic there are opportunities for the children to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. At the end of each unit in each year group, pupils are assessed against age-related expectations through a range of formative and summative assessment methods. Subject and school leaders monitor the impact of our geography curriculum through routine monitoring which includes looking at pupils’ books, displays and listening to pupil voice.