Meet the Leader:
"Geography underpins a lifelong "conversation" about the earth as the home of humankind."
The value of Geography within our Curriculum
Prestolee believes that developing a love for learning in Geography is crucial and we do this, by inspiring curiosity and providing children with the essential skills and knowledge to build upon and prepare them for the next stage, this in turn:
- stimulate pupils’ interest in their surroundings and in the variety of human and physical conditions on the earth’s surface;
- foster pupils’ sense of wonder at the beauty of the world surrounding them;
- help pupils develop an informed concern about the quality of the environment and the future of the human habitat;
- enhance pupils’ sense of responsibility for the care of the earth and its people and secure their commitment to promoting and living sustainable lifestyles;
- develop pupils’ skills of critical enquiry and an ability to handle and interpret information, through asking and answering geographical questions and using computing to communicate with and explore a variety of people, places and environments across the world;
- help pupils explore values and attitudes about complex issues such as sustainability and sustainable development;
- enable pupils to study the above across a range of places, cultures and environments at a variety of scales, from local to global;
- Foster a sense of understanding about how we are interconnected and interdependent with other people and ecosystems around the world.
Our Geography curriculum aims to inspire pupils to become curious and explorative thinkers with a diverse knowledge of the world; in other words, to think like a geographer. We want pupils to develop the confidence to question and observe places, measure and record necessary data in various ways, and analyse and present their findings. Through our curriculum, we aim to build an awareness of how Geography shapes our lives at multiple scales and over time. We hope to encourage pupils to become resourceful, active citizens who will have the skills to contribute to and improve the world around them.
Our curriculum encourages:
• A strong focus on developing both geographical skills and knowledge.
• Critical thinking, with the ability to ask perceptive questions and explain and analyse evidence.
• The development of fieldwork skills across each year group.
• A deep interest and knowledge of pupils’ locality and how it differs from other areas of the world.
• A growing understanding of geographical concepts, terms and vocabulary.
The curriculum enables pupils to meet the end of key stage attainment targets in the National curriculum. The aims also align with those in the National curriculum. For EYFS, the activities allow pupils to work towards the ‘Understanding the world’ Development matters statements and Early learning goals, while also covering foundational knowledge that will support them in their further geography learning in Key stage 1.
The National curriculum organises the Geography attainment targets under four subheadings or strands:
• Locational knowledge
• Place knowledge
• Human and physical geography
• Geographical skills and fieldwork
Our curriculum has a clear progression of skills and knowledge within these four strands across each year group. Our Progression of skills and knowledge shows the skills taught within each year group and how these develop to ensure that attainment targets are securely met by the end of each key stage. Geographical key concepts are woven across all units rather than being taught discretely as seen in the Progression of key geographical concepts.
Our curriculum is a spiral curriculum, with essential knowledge and skills revisited with increasing complexity, allowing pupils to revise and build on their previous learning. Locational knowledge, in particular, will be reviewed in each unit to coincide with our belief that this will consolidate children’s understanding of key concepts, such as scale and place, in Geography. The two EYFS units provide a solid foundation of geographical skills, knowledge and enquiry for children to transition successfully onto Key stage 1 Geography learning, whilst also working towards the Development matters statements and Early Learning Goals. These units consist of a mixture of adult-led and child-initiated activities.
Cross-curricular links are included throughout each unit, allowing children to make connections and apply their Geography skills to other areas of learning. Our enquiry questions form the basis for our Key stage 1 and 2 units, meaning that pupils gain a solid understanding of geographical knowledge and skills by applying them to answer enquiry questions. We have designed these questions to be open-ended with no preconceived answers and therefore they are genuinely purposeful and engage pupils in generating a real change. In attempting to answer them, children learn how to collect, interpret and represent data using geographical methodologies and make informed decisions by applying their geographical knowledge.
Each unit contains elements of geographical skills and fieldwork to ensure that fieldwork skills are practised as often as possible. The curriculum follows an enquiry cycle that maps out the fieldwork process of question, observe, measure, record, and present, to reflect the elements mentioned in the National curriculum. This ensures children will learn how to decide on an area of enquiry, plan to measure data using a range of methods, capture the data and present it to a range of appropriate stakeholders in various formats. Fieldwork includes smaller opportunities on the school grounds to larger-scale visits to investigate physical and human features. Developing fieldwork skills within the school environment and revisiting them in multiple units enables pupils to consolidate their understanding of various methods. It also gives children the confidence to evaluate methodologies without always having to leave the school grounds and do so within the confines of a familiar place. This makes fieldwork regular and accessible while giving children a thorough understanding of their locality, providing a solid foundation when comparing it with other places. Lessons incorporate various teaching strategies from independent tasks to paired and group work, including practical hands-on, computer-based and collaborative tasks. This variety means that lessons are engaging and appeal to those with a variety of learning styles. Teachers adapt their teaching to ensure that all pupils can access learning, and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning is within the lesson.
Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts and vocabulary. An enquiry-based approach to learning allows teachers to assess children against the National curriculum expectations for Geography.
The impact of the curriculum is constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities.
After studying, the full curriculum pupils leave school equipped with a range of skills and knowledge to enable them to study Geography with confidence at Key stage 3. We hope to shape children into curious and inspired geographers with respect and appreciation for the world around them alongside an understanding of the interconnection between the human and the physical.
The expected impact of our curriculum is that children will:
● Compare and contrast human and physical features to describe and understand similarities and differences between various places in the UK, Europe and the Americas.
● Name, locate and understand where and why the physical elements of our world are located and how they interact, including processes over time relating to climate, biomes, natural disasters and the water cycle.
● Understand how humans use the land for economic and trading purposes, including how the distribution of natural resources has shaped this.
● Develop an appreciation for how humans are impacted by and have evolved around the physical geography surrounding them and how humans have had an impact on the environment, both positive and negative.
● Develop a sense of location and place around the UK and some areas of the wider world using the eight-points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and keys on maps, globes, atlases, aerial photographs and digital mapping.
● Identify and understand how various elements of our globe create positioning, including latitude, longitude, the hemispheres, the tropics and how time zones work, including night and day.
● Present and answer their own geographical enquiries using planned and specifically chosen methodologies, collected data and digital technologies.
● Meet the ‘Understanding the World’ Early Learning Goals at the end of EYFS, and the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for Geography by the end of Year 2 and Year 6.
Assessment systems used in school check that pupils are progressing through the curriculum as intended at key points in time.