At Snapethorpe, a high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
Our geography skills are taught within our curriculum sessions using the national curriculum objectives. As a school, we have ensured each area of focus is broken down into year group specific expectations allowing the children to develop new knowledge and skills and build on prior knowledge as they progress through school. When mapping out the skills breakdown we have ensured that each year group studies two geography units over the year which last a half term. These units are taught through theme days (2 full days per half term).
Children’s geographical learning starts with the familiar and slowly builds outwards across the UK and the rest of the world. This pattern is repeated in Year 1 and 2 allowing the children to build on prior knowledge. In key stage two, children start the year with learning about physical geography with units on earthquakes and volcanoes, rivers and mountains and rainforests. More in depth studies allow children to then develop their understanding of the interactions between physical and human geography, with units on Europe, India, Africa and Japan. Children express their learning in a variety of ways, including writing, discussion, graphs and art.
Throughout the geography units planned and taught for at Snapethorpe, other subjects are also woven through where appropriate such as art and design, design and technology, cooking and nutrition and computing. The units children study offer scope to use a variety of geographical resources including globes, atlases and digital resources. Key technical vocabulary is identified for each unit, allowing children to build a rich bank of geographical language. We plan from progression sticky knowledge documents and National Curriculum objectives.
We have a metacognitive approach, quizzing children on their most recent learning but also the learning from previous years. For each unit a knowledge organiser is available for children to use. These provide children with vocabulary and sticky knowledge. After each unit a curriculum quiz is given to the children to complete. This allows teachers to assess if the children have retained the knowledge.
We hope that lesson observations show that teachers have a good subject knowledge and are covering the skills required. Planning shows activities are planned with geography skills at the forefront. Books show appropriate differentiation and progress. Pupil conversations show children are retaining information taught and can talk confidently about the geography curriculum. Assessments show progress and increased numbers of children achieving expected standard from all groups of children. Improved scores from topic quizzes. This should show children are retaining knowledge. Assessments show progress and increased numbers of children achieving expected standard from all groups of children. Book scrutinies show that children are making progress, achieving their learning outcomes and appropriate differentiations are taking place. Knowledge organisers will be updated to show previous sticky knowledge and key vocabulary. Theme day planning shows links with previous teaching where appropriate. Teachers will feel confident in knowing what previous learning has taken place to then build on that learning. Children build on previous learning linked to places through their own world map. Children are completing practical activities that engage children to ensure that information is retained. Curriculum resources are sorted by phase and are clearly labelled. Children have access to appropriate enrichment activities linked to topics. During pupil conversations, children are able to share their learning from the visits/visitors. Staff are aware of the opportunities for visits/visitors in the local area. Staff are aware of field trips that can take place that are easily accessible and support the development of children’s knowledge.
Within the Geography curriculum we also ensure that the knowledge is progressive and have identified key information that the children will know at the end of each area of learning.