Curriculum Area: Geography
Curriculum Leader: Mr Pryle
At The Gates, the aim of our Geography curriculum is to give our children a high quality Geographical overview, which provides a coherent understanding of the natural and human aspects of Geography. We hope to develop our children’s knowledge of the world and their place in it.
Children will be given the opportunity to think critically in order to know more about the subject and the knowledge and skills involved. Whilst at The Gates, pupils will be taught to develop knowledge and skills that are transferrable to other curriculum areas and which can be, and are used, to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Geography skills are embedded in each topic the children study, and these skills are revisited and developed throughout their time at school. We hope to inspire in children a curiosity where these skills grow alongside the development of essential knowledge of key Geographical topics. Pupils’ interests are developed through the understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments.
As the children progress through the school, the topic area of local Geography is built upon across both key stages to allow the children to develop an in-depth understanding of the area in which they live and how it has changed over time. The curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferrable through key topics such as local studies, transport and industry, the natural world and comparison of living. Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught and built up including effective questioning to communicate ideas. This is encouraged so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant Geographical enquiry questions for their time at The Gates and education beyond.
At The Gates, we aim to make meaningful and relevant links to Geography and other areas of the Curriculum as a way of strengthening the children experience of Geography. Cross curricular links and specific vocabulary choices strengthen children’s link with English, in particular reading, and give purpose to the subject matter disclosed. These links are mapped onto curriculum overviews, then applied across a range of subjects. Class teachers are encouraged to choose class novels that have a close link to said Geography topics, and that are inclusive of the vocabulary displayed on these curriculum maps and Medium Term Plans (MTP’s). Writing, and indeed Reading, follows from the sources selected, creating a continuous circle to the learning of our children. Through active speaking and listening, children are encouraged to discuss questions relating to resources used or presenting their findings to the rest of the class. They develop their writing ability by composing reports, letters and other relevant genres.
Geography teaching contributes to the teaching of mathematics in a variety of ways. Children learn to use numbers when developing a sense of statistical knowledge including data input and surveying. Children learn to interpret information presented in graphical or diagrammatic form. Symbols, grid references and coordinates are used to explore geographical sources. Data is analysed using mathematical skills.
A geographical link to Computing is actively promoted through every development stage at The Gates and teachers are encourages to utilise the technology we have at The Gates to support pupils to develop a connection to the wider world. Computing helps Geography develop handling information, research, the development of skills and interactive learning through games and activities.
Geography will be fed through units of work in other subjects in order to create outcomes which combine geographical knowledge with the skills and understanding across subjects such as Art, Design Technology and Music. For example, pupils may create 3D models that are based on world-wide landmarks such as volcanoes, producing artwork in the style from first-hand source. Cross curricular links made will enhance the children’s understanding and create a purpose linked to Geographical learning.
Teachers will use school’s medium term plans, supported by a wide range of teaching and learning resources, to develop the substantive and disciplinary knowledge, skills and understanding of every child, ensuring that all pupils, including those with SEND, achieve high standards for their ability and make good progress from their starting points. Each new unit will start by recapping prior learning and gaging current knowledge, providing teachers with a sound understanding of children’s starting points. Throughout all Geography work, a wide variety of tasks and activities will be undertaken to accommodate the whole spectrum of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Where similar tasks are carried out in a classroom setting, differentiation will be by outcome.
As the children progress through the school, the intention for the children to know where their place is in the wider world is at the heart of our Geography curriculum. Knowledge and Skills are built upon across all 3 learning stages to allow the children to develop an in-depth understanding of topics that affect their lives, such as Climate Change. Topics chosen reflect the National Curriculum, but allow for key knowledge to be repeated in an in-depth approach. Key threads such as mapping, fieldwork and the comparison of cultures, are incorporated in each topic to allow for development of a wider knowledge of each.
Assessment is an integral part of the planning of teaching and learning. It is used to inform future planning, set appropriately challenging targets for children and to ensure children are making good progress and attainment. Information for assessment will be gathered in various ways; end of unit assessments, observations, teacher and pupil discussion, teacher questioning, and scrutiny of pupils’ comments and written work and on-going analysis of the achievements of pupils. Data is updated termly and analysed by the subject leader to ensure progression throughout the school. Teachers feed the data from the assessments made into their planning.
Geographical enrichment is a given high priority at The Gates and is undertaken at the point of learning, within the spiral curriculum. Enrichment is always closely linked and purposeful to the intended topic so that our children are given an ‘immersed’ sense of understanding. Geographical enrichment has taken many forms at The Gates such as learning walks, trips to local and national museums or workshops within school. Enrichment is thoroughly researched to achieve a high-quality outcome and is linked to the programme of study, for example, workshops based upon the local area and fieldwork studies of Westhoughton.
Our Geography Curriculum seeks to give our children a purposeful knowledge of the subject, embedding a thorough skill-set that can be carried forward into later life. Children will become enthusiastic and enriched learner’s, able to transfer skills through to other areas of the curriculum, and develop a sense of understanding of their own locality and environment. The impact of this spiral curriculum should lead children to become critical thinkers, as well as promote their own judgements and awareness of topics relevant to a modern world, such as climate change and sustainability.
Achievements of all children are celebrated in a variety of ways, including whole school Geography displays that show a variety of skills applied, evaluated by independent learners. As a result, the children of The Gates Primary School will be supported to achieve at least age-related expectations for Geography.