Our Geography curriculum is designed to enable children to develop a curiosity and fascination about the wonder of the diverse world in which they live. We aim to provide an engaging curriculum where children build an understanding of their locality and how it interconnects with the wider world. The curriculum is also designed to help children understand more about the characteristics of different locations in the world and the diversity of the people inhabiting them. Lessons aim to equip children with the understanding about Earth’s major physical processes (such as climate and weather systems) as well as the progression and impact of human processes on the world. We want children at St Gabriel’s to notice the world around them and appreciate how it is interconnected and interdependent on locations in the United Kingdom and beyond. We want our children to connect with the awe and wonder of the world and its inhabitants.
Geography is taught discretely across a series of weekly lessons and covers all objectives set out in the National Curriculum. Children learn about geography through: conducting their own fieldwork; studying atlases and maps (physical and digital); interpreting data (such as population sizes); studying why significant natural phenomena occur; learning and communicating about the impact of humanity on the physical world over time.
At St Gabriel’s, key blocks of knowledge have been identified as being imperative to building an understanding of the world. These ‘core knowledge’ blocks are centred on the themes: environment; diversity of people; sense of place. We provide time within the curriculum to enable children to learn essential facts about the world including: knowing the names and locations of countries, cities and great landmarks as well as rivers, mountains, forests, seas and oceans; recalling where people live and how many people live there; understanding and communicating the reasons behind significant natural events. The ‘core knowledge’ blocks are outlined in each unit of work. This knowledge is built upon as the children progress through the school. Research shows the importance of revisiting previous learning in order to build long-term understanding which is why children complete ‘roll-over’ quizzes throughout the year to enable them to recall key information. The knowledge children learn is centred on the acquisition of key geography skills including:
- Collecting, analysing and communicating data.
- Interpreting data from a range of sources.
- Organising and communicating geographical information.
Children learn through a variety of engaging activities including completing fieldwork; handling, reading and interpreting maps and using this understanding to draw their own; reading, listening to and watching news reports; represent data using pictograms, tables and bar charts; understand how to use a compass to navigate; locate and label key places in the world; collect primary data including taking photographs and sketching. Children will engage with the human element of geography through learning from eyewitnesses and using this to empathise with others in the world.
Assessment for learning strategies are employed to enable teachers to identify the strength of understanding of the children. Teachers use this information to make adaptations to their planning to meet the needs of the children. Teachers may also change the focus of learning during a lesson to ensure children are supported and challenged. Each term, teachers use evidence of learning in children’s books and their responses in ‘roll-over’ quizzes to ascertain children’s progress within and across units of work. Verbal feedback and written feedback is used to support children in understanding more about geography. School leaders monitor pupil’s books termly and hold individual termly meetings with all teachers to ensure they are supported to provide a high-quality geography curriculum. In addition, children’s views and understanding are ascertained through pupil interviews/surveys.