Throughout the school we teach geography to help pupils acquire and develop a better understanding about, “…the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exist across continents.” [Barack Obama]
It is our intention that pupils become more expert as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating and connecting substantive and disciplinary geographical knowledge.
This ensures that pupils develop the knowledge, skills and understanding of the key geographical concepts of contextual knowledge, processes (both physical and human) and geographical skills ensuring that they achieve/exceed the aims of the National Curriculum for Geography – Key Stages 1 and 2 (DfE, 2013).
Geographical knowledge is taught explicitly in geography lessons so that children know more, remember more and can do more.
Substantive knowledge is organised into four interrelated forms locational knowledge, place knowledge and environmental, human & physical processes and geographical skills & fieldwork skills to ensure that pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding are built upon through successive years towards clearly identified year group learning outcomes.
We plan a strategic sequence of study that builds content and concepts over time, with vocabulary comprehensively structured and thoughtfully sequenced across year groups with progression in knowledge (taking into account prior learning). It ensures that pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding are built upon through successive years towards clearly identified year group learning outcomes. The curriculum is designed carefully so that each form of knowledge is given sufficient consideration and pupils can construct their knowledge within each form, as well as how each form relates to others. This interplay develops and secures children’s geographical thinking.
Wherever possible learning in geography is linked to overall topics to enable children to add new learning to increasingly complex schemata that demonstrate the inter-relatedness of curriculum content. Our geography curriculum respects both the natural and social sciences and the interplay between them.
To ensure our curriculum is taught to develop cumulatively sufficient knowledge by the end of each Key Stage we follow the stages outlined below:
1.) Substantive knowledge for each subject is mapped from EYFS to Year 6 to ensure our children learn cumulatively sufficient knowledge by the end of each Key Stage.
2.) Disciplinary knowledge as geographical skills and fieldwork is mapped from EYFS to Year 6 to enable children to apply their knowledge as skills.
3.) Explicit teaching of vocabulary is central to children’s ability to connect new knowledge with prior learning. Teaching identifies Tier 2 words, high frequency words used across content e.g. verify, and Tier 3 words, specific to subject domains e.g. biome
4.) Spaced retrieval practice, through questioning, quizzes and peer-explanations, further consolidates the transfer of information from working memory to long-term memory. Quizzing etc are primarily learning strategies to improve retrieval practice – the bringing of information to mind.
5.) The use of knowledge organisers for some areas to keep essential information together to guard against split-attention effect.
Children are taught to forge connections between their current learning and the ‘big picture’ of subject content.
Our geography curriculum begins with the Early Years Curriculum where it is carefully planned and implemented to enable children to achieve the Early Learning Goals (ELGs). Through the Understanding the World goal children learn about their immediate environment, recognise places on maps and aerial photos, make their own maps and explore and contrast other places through images, video and stories. ELG objectives with geography content are mapped against Key Stage 1 objectives to ensure teaching is sequential throughout the school, building upon the children’s prior learning.
Our Geography curriculum ensures that children leave Claypole: