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Geography St Helen's Catholic Primary

What Is Our Vision?

Our Geography curriculum is designed around a desire to provide our children with knowledge and understanding about the rich and diverse world that they live in and the wonders that can be found in it. Teaching in Geography is linked to a clear progression of skills and development of knowledge rooted within the National Curriculum. Children will be introduced to a wide range of maps, atlases and globes, including computer mapping to enable them to locate countries and their features.

Throughout their school journey children will develop an extensive knowledge of the wider world they live in, their own country and the local area. With high expectations and support children will learn how to collect, analyse and present information about key physical and geographical features of the world. We also aim to use our Geography curriculum to teach our children about the significant impact humans can have upon the world and the impact that our choices can have on the future of our planet.

As part of our Geography work we carry out fieldwork tasks which provide the children with opportunities to enquire, collaborate and communicate their learning to allow them to find out about different aspects of their own locality.

We have identified key vocabulary for each unit which builds on previous learning, allowing children to develop their technical language, understand its meaning and are able to use it within their lessons. We also aim to develop links between geography and other curriculum areas where appropriate, especially history to help develop an understanding of how the world has changed over time.

Our Approach

All of our units begin with an assessment of the children's prior understanding and knowledge. This prior assessment will then be used to scaffold support and future learning in the unit to help children make connections to their previous learning. Knowledge, skills and subject-specific vocabulary is identified and discussed on knowledge organisers which the children then have to refer back to throughout the unit.

Geography is the main focus of our Spring term and each class across the school has a specific geographical area to focus on ensuring full coverage of the National Curriculum and a broader understanding of different parts of the world by the end of KS1 & KS2. Modules are planned each year in a deliberate sequence to allow children to develop skills and knowledge and revisit previous learning. Each year we focus on either the human or geographical features of a given area to ensure that while children may study the same part of the world more than once, they will be studying a different features of a geographical area to ensure a deepening of the children's understanding in that area.

Each of our classes will also have an enquiry question linked with their unit which are designed to be open-ended and to encourage the children to think about their geographical topic in different ways, for example "What makes the United Kingdom united?". Questions like these are designed to promote discussion and encourage the children to think about their learning in a different way, not just learning facts but applying and discussing these facts to answer the given question.

Curriculum Impact

When pupils leave St Helen's, they will be independent learners with a rich geographical knowledge. They will be able to make connections within topics and other subjects and talk about their previous learning making connections between the different countries they have studied. Pupils will be skilled at organising and presenting information, especially that gained in fieldwork tasks.

The implementation of this curriculum will ensure that children have a broad and balanced understanding of the world they live in and that they will be able to talk about the impact of their own and the actions of others on the world that we live in and what the consequences of these actions could be.

We will measure the impact of the geography curriculum through:

  • Teacher assessment judgements
  • Pupil voice
  • Learning walks
  • Lesson observations
  • Book Scrutinies

In our geography lessons some of the things you will see are:

  • High expectations of pupil outcomes.
  • Increasing depth of knowledge and understanding.
  • References made by pupils and teachers to prior learning.
  • Children using a variety of maps, atlases and digital equipment to enhance learning and find out about the world they live in.
  • Children selecting and presenting new information and making links to prior learning.
  • Children developing locational knowledge.
  • Children developing subject-specific vocabulary and applying this to their learning.
  • Children engaging in fieldwork as they study their local area.
  • Collaboration and support between pupils and teachers.