Our Geography curriculum is designed to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Geography; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills. Our teaching aims to inspire children’s curiosity and interest to explore the world that we live in and its people, and for the children to develop a love for geography. We equip children with geographical skills to develop their knowledge through studying a range of places, people and natural and human environments – both in Britain and abroad. This seeks to deepen the understanding of the Earth’s human and physical forms and processes. Through our teaching, we intend to provoke thought and to encourage children to discover answers to their own questions through exploration and research to enable them to gain a greater understanding and knowledge of the world and their place in it.
Mercenfeld Primary School geography curriculum is built around essential knowledge, understanding and key skills. These are broken into year group expectations and show clear continuity and progress. At Mercenfeld Primary School, in Foundation and Year 1, Geography is taught through a skills based curriculum. Throughout the rest of the school children are taught geography as part of their termly topic work. In accordance with the National Curriculum’s expectations, the aims of teaching geography in our school are:
- To inspire pupils’ curiosity to discover more about the world.
- To enable children to know about the location of the world’s continents, countries, cities, seas and oceans.
- To develop in children the skills of interpreting a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
- To help children understand how the human and physical features of a place shapes it location and can change over time.
- To provide opportunities to collect, analyse and communicate data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes.
In order to foster children’s curiosity about the world, interest and creativity, we are enthusiastic about Geography and encourage children to explore and ask questions. Teachers are encouraged to consider opportunities to use the school grounds and the local area for fieldwork to enable children to base learning on first hand experiences and develop a real sense of who they are, their heritage and what makes our local area unique and special.
Progression of skills across the school
Early Years Foundation Stage
We teach Geography in the Foundation Stage as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. As the Foundation Stage is part of the Early Years Curriculum, we relate the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) that underpin the curriculum planning. Geography makes a significant contribution to the ELG objectives of developing a child’s knowledge and understanding of the world. Pupils have opportunities to:
- To know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
- To know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things.
- They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.
Key stage 1
Pupils develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They are taught basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.
Key stage 2
Pupils extend their knowledge and understanding beyond our local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This includes the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.
Children will have developed the geographical knowledge and skills to help them explore, navigate and understand the world around them and their place in it. Children’s knowledge and skills will develop progressively as they move through the school, not only to enable them to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum but to prepare them to become competent geographers in secondary education. The impact of our geography curriculum can be seen in our children’s topic books and we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Images of the children’s practical learning.
- Discussions with pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.