Our geography curriculum aims to provide pupils with the knowledge and skills to understand the ever-changing world in which they live. We seek to equip our children with an impassioned, informed and critical understanding of the world around them through our geography curriculum. Pupils will study human and natural spaces and processes – and their interdependence - in a curriculum which will promote global citizenship, intercultural understanding and a sense of optimism about their ability to enact social and environmental change in a time where intervention is needed to protect the world for future generations. At the heart of our geography curriculum are the three areas identified in our whole-school intent - change and resilience, celebrating differences and raising aspirations.
In line with the National Curriculum, we offer ‘a high-quality geography education which should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.' DfE (2013) but, at St Luke’s, we want pupils’ fascination and wonder about the world to extend to becoming citizens that want to protect it. We include learning of environmental issues such as climate change, deforestation and plastic pollution which are not statutory requirements of the National Curriculum but important global issues. This enables our pupils to engage in global discussions in an informed manner.
Planning and Delivery
Our curriculum is ambitious in its approach. Whilst there are a set of discrete topics, which ensure that the breadth required by the curriculum is met, our chosen units offer a range of opportunities for investigating places around the world as well as physical and human processes. The lessons are intended to improve children’s geographical vocabulary, map skills and geographical facts and provide opportunities for consolidation, challenge and variety to ensure interest and progress in the subject. Geographical understanding is supported by the exploration of the Big Questions mapped out in our wider curriculum document, which allow the children to reflect on their geography topic within the wider context of their learning journey throughout each Key Stage, but also across other curriculum subjects. An example of the former can be seen when place knowledge of the UK in Key Stage 2 is explored in the contexts of mapping the UK in Year 5, a study of our local area in Year 6 and then a comparison between a fundamental physical feature of our local area (The Thames) with The Amazon, giving children the opportunity to build on knowledge gained earlier in the Key Stage (Brazil unit, Year 4). An example of the latter can be seen in Key Stage 1 when children complete a Kenyan art unit alongside their geography unit and focus on relevant texts such as Wangari’s Trees of Peace in literacy.
Early Years Foundation Stage
In Early Years at St Luke’s, children will learn to:
Draw information from a simple map.
Recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries.
Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society.
Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps; Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.
In practice, this will look like:
The children use their parents’ knowledge to extend their own experiences of the world.
Adults and children tell stories about places and journeys.
Children are made aware of features of the environment in the setting and immediate local area, e.g. make visits to shops or a park.
Photos in different areas for children to name, draw, build and talk about.
Help children to find out about the environment by talking to people, examining photographs and simple maps and visiting local places.
Discussing seasons and changes in weather.
Special Education Needs Provision
Teachers will plan activities according to the needs and abilities within the class, differentiating for specific needs. The needs of children on the SEND register will be accounted for and appropriate to their IEPs, with reference to the SEN policy. Teachers must ensure all children are able to achieve the best possible outcome in geography.
Continued Professional Development
The subject leader leads on the CPD for the subject, based on the needs of individual teachers, and wider school priorities. The subject leader is currently participating in a long-term CPD project led by Tower Hamlets Education Partnership, in collaboration with colleagues from other schools on the Isle of Dogs.
We recognise the importance that strong subject knowledge has on the quality of our geography provision. The subject leader provides teachers with a Unit Overview and Knowledge Organiser for each topic, ensuring that learning objectives and key skills are clearly set out for class teachers to use as a starting point. This also makes links to the whole-school intent, ensuring that the topic furthers the children’s understanding of change and resilience, celebrating differences and raising aspirations.
The geography subject leader will monitor the teaching and learning of geography with reference to the expectations of our unit overviews and curriculum intent. Monitoring will take place in the following ways:
· Termly scrutiny of topic books
· Pupil surveys