Our children have been born into a world which is changing at a bewilderingly fast pace. They will all in their lifetimes face challenges on a local, national and global level. Advances in technology, climate change and a growing population mean that the teaching of Geography in our school is more important and more relevant than it has ever been.
Our aim at St. William of York is to inspire pupils to become engaged and enthusiastic geographers who have an active and growing curiosity about the diverse world in which they live. We want our pupils to develop the necessary geographical skills and confidence to question and observe places; measure and record necessary data in a variety of appropriate ways, and analyse and present their findings. It is our intention that pupils will become aware how geography affects all aspects of their lives. We hope to show our pupils that where they live impacts on their health, wellbeing and future lives. A key intention is to encourage pupils to become active citizens who will have the skills to contribute to and improve the world around them on both a local, national and global level. We hope to foster the belief that every pupil in our school can have a positive impact upon our changing world.
Our intention is to:
- Develop geographical skills, vocabulary and knowledge
- Develop critical thinking, with the ability to ask perceptive questions and explain and analyse evidence.
- Develop fieldwork skills.
- Develop an interest in and ownership of the local environment and how it differs from other parts of the world.
This scheme of work and relevant cross curricula work will enable pupils to meet the end of key stage attainment targets in the National curriculum. The aims also align with those in the National curriculum.
The National curriculum organises the Geography attainment targets under four subheadings or strands:
• Locational knowledge
• Place knowledge
• Human and physical geography
• Geographical skills and fieldwork.
The scheme that we are implementing has a clear progression of skills and knowledge of the four key strands across each year group.
Geography at St. William of York is based upon a spiral curriculum, with essential knowledge and skills being revisited with increasing complexity, allowing pupils to revise and build on their previous learning. Locational knowledge, in particular, is reviewed regularly to coincide with our belief that this will consolidate children’s understanding of key concepts, such as scale and place, in Geography. Where appropriate cross-curricular links are encouraged in each year group, allowing children to make connections and apply their Geography skills to other areas of learning.
Each year group will aim to answer three enquiry questions. In attempting to answer them, the children will learn how to collect, interpret and present data using geographical methodologies and make informed decisions by applying their growing geographical knowledge. Each year group will look at elements of geographical skills and fieldwork to ensure that fieldwork skills are practised as often as possible. The fieldwork will take place in the school grounds, including Hallie’s garden. The local area will include the Crescent shops, Aldi, the contrasting locality of Little Crosby and Rimrose Valley Country Park. Further afield, we will conduct our river study at Cuerden Valley Park and Liverpool city centre. We will also be investigating the impact of recent road and housing developments on our local environment. Whenever possible we will encourage outside agencies into our school to enhance the Geography curriculum such as the Highways Agency.
The units follow an enquiry cycle that maps out the fieldwork process of question, observe, measure, record, and present, to reflect the elements mentioned in the National curriculum. This ensures children will learn how to decide on an area of enquiry, plan to measure data using a range of methods, capture the data and present it. Fieldwork includes smaller opportunities on the school grounds to larger-scale visits to investigate physical and human features. Developing fieldwork skills within the school environment and revisiting them in multiple year groups enables pupils to consolidate their understanding of various methods. It also gives children the confidence to evaluate methodologies without always having to leave the school grounds and do so within the confines of a familiar place. This makes fieldwork regular and accessible while giving children a thorough understanding of their locality, providing a solid foundation when comparing it with other places.
Lessons incorporate various teaching strategies from independent tasks to paired and group work, including practical hands-on, computer-based and collaborative tasks. We use knowledge organisers for each unit to support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts and vocabulary.
We believe that by following our chosen scheme, strong subject background knowledge is available to staff which will enable them to deliver a highly effective Geography curriculum. CPD has been and will continue to be delivered to support staff, ensuring levels of confidence when delivering the Geography curriculum remain high. Geography is delivered to our pupils on an alternating half termly basis thus ensuring that Geography is constantly revisited and its’ profile remains high in our rich and varied curriculum. Geography is resourced in a central area and resources are under constant review.
We believe that teachers and pupils enthusiastically embrace the impact of Geography lessons will be that geography learning across school. Teachers will have high expectations and confidence in the subject. As a direct result, work of a high quality will be evidenced in the books. All children will use geographical vocabulary accurately and understand the different strands of geography, with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Children will begin to make relevant links from geography to other curriculum subjects, such as history and science. They will improve their enquiry skills and inquisitiveness about the world around them, and their impact on the world. All children will realise that they have choices to make in the world, developing a positive commitment to the environment and the future of the planet. Children will become competent in collecting, analysing and communicating a range of data gathered. They will be able to interpret a range of sources of geographical information and they will communicate geographical information in a variety of ways. All children in the school will be able to speak confidently about their geography learning, skills and knowledge.