We are worldwide citizens, global explorers, and eco warriors. Geography is concerned with the past, present and future and helps pupils make sense of the world around them: it is about seeing, doing, enquiring, making links and experiencing. Our Children explore a wide range of geographical concepts and as they do this, they will develop an ethos of mutual respect and inclusion. It helps to develop a range of investigation and problem-solving skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas, and which can be used to promote children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Through fieldwork and engaging in active discussion, children become equipped with skills that prepare them for challenges that lie ahead; embracing technology and promoting a life-long love of learning. By utilising both our indoor and outdoor learning environments children develop independence, resilience and a positive attitude towards Geography.
Through the teaching of Geography, we aim to develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of people, places and environments around the world. As children study Geography they gain an appreciation of life in other countries and cultures. Geography inspires children to think about their own place in the world, their values and their rights. Geography teaching motivates children to find out about the physical world and enables them to recognise the importance of sustainable development for the future of mankind. We also aim to provide the children with opportunities to work through the essential elements and concepts of Geography. In line with the 2013 National Curriculum: Geography Programme of Study, we promote a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will continue to develop throughout their lives.
We incorporate Geography into our Cornerstones topic themed learning, therefore children are immersed into the subject using a variety of practical and cross-curricular learning opportunities. Aspects of Geography are implemented and developed through a curriculum where children revisit and expand their skills of collecting, analysing and interpreting data to communicate their findings and understanding of their environment. As well as it’s topic elements, independent elements of geography relating to locality are touched upon throughout the year. Further to this, we invite local experts and professionals into school making use of Cannock Chase and Walsall Arboretum, to enrich children’s learning and to highlight the importance of geographical concepts in the real world as set out by the National Curriculum, we encourage children to develop the following knowledge, skills and understanding.
In the EYFS, Geography is encompassed by ‘understanding of the world’ and incorporates children understanding of ‘People and Communities’ and ‘Understanding the World’ whilst skills and curiosity in ‘Technology’ also benefit children’s research and enquiry for geography. Our environment is decorated with images, stories, and objects from different places, providing children with many opportunities to explore and engage in different ways of living. Utilising our indoor and outdoor environments children are encouraged to explore the different features of their natural world and investigate how things change throughout time as well as enquiring what homes natural objects can provide. We promote methods of caring for the wider world beginning with recycling, whilst also modelling respect for living things and encouraging children to think about how we can make the environment safe and pleasant for all living things.
Key stage 1:
Pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They should 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. They will:
- Name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans
- Name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas Place knowledge
- understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country Human and physical geography
- identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles • use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to o key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather o key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop Geographical skills and fieldwork
- use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage
- use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language [for example, near and far; left and right], to describe the location of features and routes on a map
- use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features; devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key
- use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment.
Key Stage 2:
Pupils should extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They should develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge. Locational knowledge
- locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe (including the location of Russia) and North and South America, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities
- name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, key topographical features (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time
- identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night) Place knowledge
- understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom, a region in a European country, and a region within North or South America Human and physical geography – describe and understand key aspects of:
- physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle
- human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water Geographical skills and fieldwork
- use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied
- use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world • use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies.
As children progress through our school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation for their local area and its place within the wider geographical context. Children will deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes and how this affects landscapes and environments. Geographical understanding, as well as children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is further supported by the school’s links with international schools. Children learn about careers related to geography from members of the local and wider community with specialist skills and knowledge through visits and outings, ensuring that all children are well prepared for their next steps in education and learning for life.