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Geography

Intent

‘A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.’ DfE

Geography is an engaging subject that develops our knowledge and understanding of places and people, of natural and human environments and of the processes that shape them. It helps us to ask and answer our questions about our world:  

Where are we now?              Why is that there?              Why is that different?               What happened here?         

    Why has that changed?               Can we make a difference?                 What do I need to do to help?                      

Our geography curriculum covers all of the age related content from the national curriculum, combined with additional learning that we believe is important to pupils living in this area and studying at our schools. Through high quality teaching, pupils develop: 

  • Knowledge of where places are both locally, nationally and globally 
  • Understanding of the human and physical characteristics of places 
  • Understanding of how processes create and change the environment 
  • Growing understanding of the relationship between people and their environments 
  • Geographical skills that enable exploration and investigation of places, using both fieldwork and map skills, including use of Ordnance Survey maps

Our schools benefit from a wonderful learning environment, right on our doorstep, rich in opportunities to study natural environments, physical processes and agricultural life and work. We also recognise that we are based quite a long way from urban areas and that this aspect of geographical learning is something that is really important to us. We have developed our geography progression grid (link below) to document our school curriculum, to reflect our learning priorities and to support planning and assessment of this subject.

Implementation

We have carefully planned our geography units of work to create a series of projects that bring the subject to life. Our subject leaders and classteachers work closely to ensure that every classroom benefits from specialist ideas, advice and resources. We have developed our own unit plans for every project that detail the objectives that will be taught, the progression and differentiation possible and an outline of pupils’ learning experiences. Teachers use and develop the ideas to create a series of lessons that engage and inspire children. Some examples of our unit plans are available below. 

We try to incorporate a fieldwork component in almost every project, developing pupils skills of investigation and enquiry, and also bringing the learning to life. Our visits range from local walks to week long visits to the Lake District to enhance study of a different locality, of National Parks and of mountains. 

We utilise a range of technologies to support geographical study, including scientific equipment, a weather station and a subscription to Digimap for Schools, providing us with access to Ordnance Survey maps as well as aerial photographs and international maps. 

Impact  

Our Geography Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. We use our progression grid to monitor and assess pupils learning, checking that they are learning at the expected standard. We use the progression grid to assess those pupils that are working above the expected standard for their age too. Our assessments are based on pupils’ work and contribution in class, both in their books and in class discussion, along with the observations during fieldwork and independent work. 

We work together as a staff team to monitor and reflect on pupils’ work and their learning experiences, with an ongoing commitment to ensuring that these are the best that they can be. Please find below some examples of these learning experiences and the work that pupils have completed. 

Studying erosion, transport and deposition in Gunnerside Gill  

Interviewing visitors to York as part of our 'Design a City' project

 Seashore study at Runswick Bay 

Local area study 

Geography progression grid and example unit plans

Geography progression grid 

Example unit plan - Year 1 & 2 - Coasts 

Example unit plan - Year 3 & 4 - Rivers, the water cycle and water storage

Example unit plan - Year 5 & 6 - Climate

For more information about geography, please contact our subject leader, Mr Gordon Stainsby. 

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