At Knowle CE Primary Academy, we believe that Geography prepares children with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to make sense of their world and to face the challenges that will shape society and the environment at a local, national and global level. We seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives and encourage them to take an active part in contributing to protecting and sustaining it for the future. In our diverse society and ever-changing world, it is more important than ever for pupils to understand other people, other cultures, the wider world and our impact upon it. In our teaching we use an enquiry-based approach, incorporating our units of work into our thematic curriculum wherever possible. Each year group utilises the relevant Medium Term Planning to ensure coverage, continuity and progression in learning. We aim to promote children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. The curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferable not just throughout their time at Knowle but beyond into further education and the world of work.
WE BELIEVE THAT GEOGRAPHY MATTERS!
Our curriculum intent – the knowledge and skills we expect our pupils to learn – can be found in our Long Term Plans and Medium Term Plans (see below)
Geography at Knowle is taught in units throughout the year. Each unit is underpinned by rich, substantive knowledge and ambitious vocabulary, whilst ensuring the children are developing their geographical skills. Each unit is planned carefully to ensure key concepts are taught in optimal order to support children’s understanding. For example, maps skills are first taught in Year 1 where the children investigate, explore and design simple maps with basic keys and develop their geographical vocabulary with language such as North, South, East and West (4 compass points) and simple directional language such as near, far, left and right. Maps are then subsequently revisited in the in Year 3, where children begin designing more complex maps and keys using their knowledge of the key physical and human geographical features of the local area. Furthermore, the children are taught about taking four figure grid references and their vocabulary is
challenged by teaching them about the eight compass points. In Year 6, the children’s understanding is further stretched to take accurate six figure grid references and design more complex maps with contour lines and detailed keys.
To help children develop a breadth of geographical knowledge, each unit of work focuses on a ‘big question’, enabling children to follow a geographical enquiry to build knowledge systematically and cumulatively. By the end of the unit, children have acquired the knowledge required to answer their big question. Our geographical enquiries underpin our knowledge-rich curriculum and, where possible, our units fit within our thematic curriculum.
To help children learn key geographical knowledge and skills, we have designed a curriculum in which our younger pupils are able to build knowledge through familiar experience and study of our local area. As children progress through school, the curriculum builds to allow study of the British Isles and then the wider world, enabling children to make comparisons between different regions and countries.
Each year group utilises the relevant medium term plans to ensure coverage, continuity and progression in learning. Each individual lesson has content that is differentiated between year groups so that learning is age-appropriate and high expectations are maintained. Teachers understand the key knowledge and skills of each topic and consideration has been given to ensure progression throughout each year group across the school.
We aim to promote children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. The curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferable, not just throughout their time at Knowle but beyond into further education and the world at work.
To support the development of a vocabulary rich Geography curriculum, teachers use questioning, and provide opportunities for discussion and investigation alongside direct and explicit teaching and modelling of core vocabulary. Key geographical knowledge and language (such as, the name and locations of continents, countries, capital cities, oceans, compass points etc…) are revisited frequently, to make learning memorable, relevant and easy to retrieve. Furthermore, maps are displayed throughout the school, in classrooms and shared areas, and teachers are encouraged to reference these during lessons to help develop an awareness of the United Kingdom and the World. Children also have access to maps of the UK and the World on the playground to facilitate their own independent exploration of different countries, continents, seas and oceans. Children are given access to a range of resources to develop learning through atlases, digital technology, books and photographs.
In order to help children make sense of the world around them and to develop key geographical skills, pupils frequently engage in fieldwork activities throughout their time in school. Fieldwork is essential to our curriculum as it immerses children in their learning, helping them to remember key geographical knowledge taught in the classrooms and to begin to make links between different concepts. For example, pupils in Year One develop their understanding of, and make links between, ‘Location Knowledge’, ‘Place Knowledge’ and ‘Human and Physical Geography’ by completing fieldwork in Knowle, where they first explore the geography of the school and its grounds, before undertaking an observational fieldwork walk through Knowle village centre.