Geography

At William Reynolds Primary School, we recognise the importance of Geography to enable pupils to understand the relationships between places, the human and physical processes that shape them, and the people who live in them.

Our principle aims- following the National Curriculum in England- for Geography are for pupils to:

  • develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
  • understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time
  • be competent in the geographical skills needed to:

         - collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their    understanding of geographical processes

         - interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

         - communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.

We are committed to encouraging children to enjoy asking and answering questions about the world around them, as well as making full use of relevant resources to support their learning.

The core of our geography curriculum is the National Curriculum for England.

The Ofsted research review for Geography (June 2021), explained that in a well-structured curriculum, the prior content that pupils have remembered allows them to understand the conditions, processes and interactions that explain geographical features, distribution patterns and changes over time and space.

The curriculum has been specifically sequenced in a logical progression to ensure that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before: Early Years to Year 6. This enables our pupils to know more and remember more. End points are clearly identified for each year group; time allocation has been carefully considered to provide children with opportunities to master key concepts.

The sequence develops pupils’ geographical knowledge overtime through a range of key concepts. The key concepts allow pupils to build upon prior learning and apply this knowledge to their current area of learning.

Geography is taught daily of a morning, in two half-termly areas of study as well as through many cross-curricular links. Pupils benefit from this way of working as it allows for a more in-depth study where they can explain more about what they are learning and why.

Every year group has a yearly Curriculum Map that outlines the key areas of geography which will be taught throughout the year. This ensures that adequate amount of time and coverage is allocated to each key area.

To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in geography, detailed Medium Term planning supports teachers to plan a sequence of progressive weekly lessons and over time, giving the children time to master new concepts. Within this document the following is evident:

  • Key concepts – Location, climate, human and physical characteristics and fieldwork – this supports the pupils to build on their substantive knowledge.
  • Specific year group objectives and vocabulary are presented to ensure planning for correct coverage.

Teachers short term planning is developed using the medium-term plan to ensure all objectives are taught. This planning includes assessment for learning opportunities, the learning objective for each lesson, linked success criteria and differentiated tasks to meet the objective.

Within the EYFS curriculum geography is developed through ‘Understanding the World’. Within the Foundation Stage, pupils learn to describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps. Pupils explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries.

In Key Stage One, pupils develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.

In Keys Stage Two, pupils extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This includes the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.

We provide a variety of opportunities for geography learning inside and outside the classroom. Educational visits are another opportunity for the teachers to plan for additional geography learning outside the classroom. Through fieldwork, our pupils explore the local environment, to encounter geographical concepts first hand and connect their learning, in classrooms, with the complexity of the real world.

Within the lesson, teachers check pupils understanding effectively, addressing any misconceptions swiftly and conversations surrounding their viewpoints take place. The curriculum is designed and delivered in a way that allows pupils to know more, find out information and remember more.

As school, we subscribe to the Shropshire Library Service which provides us with a range of quality texts linked to the geographical area of learning. Pupils read for meaning throughout lessons when carrying out research to retrieve information from geographical sources.

Pupils develop geographical skills including both constructing and interpreting hard-copy and digital maps and plans. The curriculum ensures that pupils have the knowledge they need, such as knowledge of direction and scale, to draw and analyse maps.

The impact of our curriculum is that:

  • Pupils have a secure geographical knowledge
  • Pupils confidently ask and answer questions about locations, including their physical and human characteristics.
  • Pupils apply previously taught learning of key concepts to current learning
  • Pupil voice demonstrates that they enjoy geography and recall their learning over time.
  • Pupils are aware of the damages being caused to the environment, as a result of climate change, and have a sense of responsibility for the care of the Earth and its people.
  • Pupils are prepared for their next stage of education
  • Planning and subject knowledge is supported by CPD for teachers.