At Gusford, It is our intention that all pupils, irrelevant of needs, gain a greater understanding of the physical world, their community and their place within it. Geography is an investigative subject and we believe in a ‘hands on’ approach. Through our teaching, we aim to give our learners strong geographical knowledge and vocabulary, good enquiry skills, the ability to use a range of maps, the skills to collect and analyse data and the opportunity to communicate their findings in a variety of ways. We want geography to be creative, fun and to spark children’s enthusiasm and interest, not just through experiences in the classroom, but also with the use of fieldwork and educational visits.
In KS1, children begin to use maps and recognise physical and human features to do with the local area, building to using maps to explore the continents and oceans of the world in year 2. Children will begin to compare where they live to places outside of Europe and ask and answer geographical questions. In KS2, map skills are developed further using digital maps, more keys and symbols and children begin to use more fieldwork skills. Through revisiting and consolidating skills, our lessons are sequenced to help children build on prior knowledge alongside introducing new skills and challenge. All children expand on their skills in local knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography, geographical skills and fieldwork. It is important that children develop the skills of a geographer by fully immersing them in all areas of the subject. The local area is fully utilised to achieve desired outcomes, with opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practise. School trips and fieldwork are provided to give first hand experiences, which enhance children’s understanding of the world beyond their locality.
At the end of KS1 and KS2, the children’s learning is assessed against the age-related expectation bands that are based on the 2014 National Curriculum statements for Geography. At Gusford, we use summative assessment to determine children’s understanding and inform teachers’ planning.
This is reviewed by the subject leader, who also carries out regular learning walks, book studies and lesson observations
Cross Curricular links
English can be used within geography learning, through the use of non-fiction texts, explanation writing, non-chronological reports etc. An example of this can be seen in Year 3 when persuasive letter writing was used in conjunction with the geography topic ‘How can we make living here better for everyone?’ We also make use of oracy opportunities to allow children to present their findings. In year 6 this was evidenced when children completed their ‘The Great UK Geographical Challenge’ topic and presented their research in small groups.
In terms of science opportunities, links can be made with the study of habitats, environmental issues- climate change and its impact on place and within physical geography for example, investigating erosion, wave patterns and rock formation.
History is a natural partner for geography and this can be seen through topics such as Year 4’s ‘Chocolate’ topic where children learn about the history of chocolate as well as its country of origin. There are countless opportunities to link with maths and computing through the use of graphs and data. Art and DT can also be incorporated through making biomes such as shoebox biome of a desert, rainforest, grasslands. When studying a European or Non-European country, children could create food/follow traditional recipes and make artwork. An example of this was seen when Year 3 studied Guatemala and designed and made traditional masks.