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St Margaret's

CofE Junior School

Growing and achieving in God's love

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Geography

What is the intent of our Geography Curriculum?

Through our geography sessions at St. Margaret’s, we aim to instil in pupils a fascination about the world and its inhabitants.  We actively encourage children to ask and explore their own geographical questions and we hope this thirst for knowledge and inquisitiveness about our planet remains with them for the rest of their lives.  We want children to love geography and we want all pupils (no matter what their background) to view themselves as natural, talented geographers! 

 

We endeavour to make geography lessons practical and utilise fieldwork where we can to help deepen children’s understanding and to help equip pupils to competently apply geographical skills to a range of situations.  The intention of our curriculum is that it fosters resilience within all pupils and the tasks set within geography sessions help encourage and enhance independence and communication and language skills. 

 

It is important that our pupils grow up knowing about the ever-changing world around them.  Through exploring our geography topics, we hope pupils develop an appreciation of, and reverence for, our precious (yet fragile) world and become good stewards of God’s creation.  We want to raise children who have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be cartographers, conservationists, climate change analyst, emergency management specialist, hydrologists, town planners, weather forecasters and we aim to encourage pupils to constantly strive and aspire to think of ways which could help make our planet better for all.

                                                                                    

How do we implement our  Geography  curriculum?

Our Geography Curriculum offers a coherently planned sequence of lessons ensuring that children have the necessary knowledge, understanding and skills outlined in the National Curriculum. 

We have developed a ‘Progression of Skills’ document which enables pupils to build on and develop their knowledge and skills within and across each year.   The skills document is separated into the strands ‘Location and Place knowledge’, ‘Human and physical geography’ and ‘Geographical skills and fieldwork’ - however, these strands are often combined and woven throughout every teaching session so that children are provided with opportunities to develop their geographical skills across a range of areas and situations.

At St. Margaret’s, we follow a creative approach so a variety of subjects (such as Maths, Writing, Reading, Computing) are incorporated within each geography session.  Geography is taught within every term and all sessions link with the term’s theme; this helps make the learning relevant and purposeful.

Our Geography Curriculum is designed so that children start with ‘themselves’ and their school and local area before working out to areas or regions of the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. Through our creative curriculum approach, we provide purposeful platforms for exploring, appreciating and understanding the world in which we live and how it has evolved. We want to ensure that through geography, pupils are able to explore the relationship between the Earth and its people through the study of place, space and environment.

We intend for children to become passionate and knowledgeable about our local community and beyond, by learning through experiences in practical and fieldwork activities.  Effective use of visitors and ‘expert talks’ are planned to enrich and enhance the pupil’s learning experiences within the Geography Curriculum and educational visits (where in-depth fieldwork opportunities such as children going out into the field to conduct observations, surveys, investigations, field sketches, using compasses and maps etc) are planned as much as possible. 

Opportunities are regularly provided for children to choose their own method of recording and presenting their work to match the learning question and this helps to enhance independence and resilience.

Children regularly present information and their findings to the class and this helps to foster strong communication and language skills.

Every unit opens with opportunities to share what children already know about a topic; this helps act as a good assessment tool so teachers can effectively plan future lessons to ensure all pupils are challenged and reach their full potential.

Each session starts with ‘Geography Fluency’.  The tasks asked within the fluency warm-up help pupils to successfully review previous learning of not only their current topic but also the learning of previous units taught earlier in the year or within previous year groups; this supports children to know and remember more key geographical knowledge. 

Children help create key vocabulary banks/packs at the start of units which detail key information, key questions and vocabulary. This is not used as part of an assessment but to support children with their acquisition of knowledge and are used as reference documents.

Geography resources are readily available for pupils to use within lessons and this helps to foster independence.  We also have geography resources available on our playground for pupils to engage with during their break and lunch time should they wish to do so and we also provide links on our geography page on our school website to help deepen children’s understanding and knowledge outside of the classroom.

In geography lessons, children are given clear success criteria in order to achieve the Learning Question and effective modelling and scaffolding of tasks by teachers ensures that children are able to fully access the geography curriculum and achieve their full capabilities.

To support teaching, staff access a range of resources and planning including access to a range of online map resources and the Geographical Association.  Effective CPD is carried out throughout the year to ensure high levels of confidence and knowledge are maintained. 

 

How do we assess the impact of our Geography  curriculum?

Geography Fluency (which is provided at the start of each session) helps teachers to measure the impact of learning that has taken place in current and previous units.   Teachers use highly effective ‘Assessment for Learning’ at different points in each lesson to ensure misconceptions are highlighted and addressed.  Pupils are regularly given opportunities for Peer and Group Assessment and every lesson ends with pupils self-assessing their learning; this helps inform future planning.  Children carry out detailed reflections in purple pen at the end of each lesson and again at the end of a unit and this helps teachers to easily see who is able to independently answer the Learning Questions focused on. Children are given regular opportunities to form their own geographical questions on a topic and this helps to assess whether children are able to apply knowledge across different contexts.  Children are assessed at the end of each unit using a range of methods and teachers formally input onto SIMS pupils’ geography levels three times a year.

Regular monitoring (both within and across the schools within our MAST) takes place of geography using a variety of means, e.g. book monitoring, pupil conferencing, lesson observations, data analysis. 

 

The impact of our Geography Curriculum design will lead to strong progress over time across key stages relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. Children are expected to leave St. Margaret’s reaching at least age-related expectations for Geography. Our Geography Curriculum will also lead pupils to be enthusiastic Geography learners, evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice and their work. 

Upon leaving St. Margaret’s to embark on their journey to Key Stage 3, children will be equipped with the skills, knowledge and understanding to confidently continue their geography learning journey.

We are pleased to announce that as a school we have been awarded Geography Quality Silver Mark Award!

Try these links to test your geography knowledge!

http://www.sporcle.com/games/category/geography

 

How will you get on in this challenging geography quiz?  Click here to try!

 

Fancy exploring maps at home? 

 

We use lots of resources in school to help develop our skills and understanding of our geography topics.  Why not try one of the online resources listed below at home?  Could you map your route to school to show your parents/guardians or you could map your route to your friend’s house? You can even use the online sites to travel back in time and see how that area has changed!

 

https://www.mapsdirections.info/en/draw-route-google-maps/ 

https://maps.nls.uk/

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=16&lat=51.35940&lon=0.6142&layers=6&b=1

https://360earthmaps.com

Google Earth

Google Maps UK 

Google Street view

Mapillary - https://www.mapillary.com/

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