Geography Curriculum Statement
At Verwood C of E First School and Nursery, it is our aim to instil a love of geography in all our children.
The study of geography involves our children exploring the relationship and interactions between people and the environments in which they live. We seek to develop young geographers who are able to make links and connections between the natural world and human activity and to understand the kind of questions geographers ask. We aim to give our children an understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes and knowledge of the diversity of people, places and natural and human environments. Geography helps to prepare our children for life in the 21st century; the many opportunities and challenges that will arise during their lifetime will be very much about geography – personal, local, national and global. We aim to provide learning opportunities that enthuse, engage, and motivate children to learn and foster a sense of curiosity and wonder at the beauty of the world around them.
As an Eco-Schools Green Flag holder, we want our curriculum to empower children with a deep understanding of local, national and global ecological issues and provide them with the necessary knowledge to make positive change.
Topics are informed by the national curriculum and are sensitive to children’s interests, as well as the context of the local area. The geography curriculum at Verwood C of E First is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning; the children are given the opportunity to develop a depth of learning which will allow them to manipulate and transfer knowledge. The school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy.
Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each geography topic and these are mapped across the school, ensuring that knowledge builds progressively and that children develop skills systematically. Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic, as part of an immersion session. This ensures that teaching is informed by the children’s starting points and incorporates children’s interests and questions. Tasks are designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. At key points throughout the topic, key knowledge is reviewed by the children and rigorously checked by the teacher and consolidated as necessary. Consistent learning walls in every classroom provide constant scaffolding for children. Tier three subject specific vocabulary is displayed on the learning wall along with questions. Curriculum quizzes/exit questions are regularly used to review learning and check that children know more and remember more. Where appropriate, we make cross-curricular links, so that learning is repeated in several contexts and children are given opportunities to recall knowledge and skills, strengthening their long-term memory.
Children gain an appreciation of life in other cultures through their study of the characteristics of human geography and gain an awareness of the impact that the physical world has on the future of an environment. Children learn about their local area and compare their life in this area with that in other regions in the United Kingdom and in the rest of the world. The local area is fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. Children are provided with opportunities to use the school grounds and the local area for fieldwork. We are passionate about developing knowledge, understanding and skills through children being outside and enjoying the surrounding Geography. Educational visits are also encouraged to enable children to gain real-life experiences and apply skills practically.
Learning and teaching in geography is interactive and practical, allowing opportunities for children to work independently, in pairs and in groups of various sizes, both inside and outside the classroom. Learning activities are varied including the use of maps at different scales, geographical puzzles, photographs and drama. We provide varied and differentiated ways for children to record the outcomes of their learning including the use of PowerPoint, annotated diagrams, improvised drama and the application of a wide range of writing genres. Only in this way, will knowledge become embedded and ‘sticky’ and ensure that our children can build on what they know and understand from one year to the next.
Geography forms an integral and statutory element of a pupil’s entitlement to learning and at our school we ensure that all pupils can engage with geographical learning and develop as young geographers. All children are given equal access to the programmes of study and teachers cater for the varying needs of all learners, differentiating activities where necessary and ensuring an appropriate level of challenge. Mutual respect, empathy and the fostering of community understanding at local, regional, national and global scales lies at the heart of the study of Geography and at our school we model this in terms of the inclusive nature of the learning and teaching we provide. Outcomes of learning are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the key identified knowledge.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the DFE Statutory Framework which aims for all children in reception to begin to gain a wider experience of the world around them. Children will learn through first-hand experiences to explore, observe, problem solve, predict, think critically, make decisions and talk about the creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments.
Through the high quality first teaching of geography taking place we will see the impact of the subject in different ways.
Pupil voice shows that children are confident and able to talk about what they have learnt in geography using subject specific vocabulary. Dialogue with children also demonstrates that they enjoy geography and are able to recall their learning over time. Outcomes in topic and literacy books evidence a broad and balanced geography curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Learning is of good quality and demonstrates pupils are acquiring knowledge, skills and vocabulary in an appropriate sequence. As geographers, children will learn lessons from geography to influence the decisions they make in their lives in the future. Assessments and monitoring will show standards in geography will be high and will match standards in other subject areas.