Geography

Vision

Our Geography curriculum is designed to inspire and develop children’s curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Over time, children will develop their knowledge about their locality and about the diverse places and people around the world. As children progress through school, they will deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and the environments. We also want our children to know the impact that they will have on the environment and what they can do to look after the Earth.

With our Federation of schools located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, our curriculum provides opportunities to explore the area in which we live. We are committed to providing our children with opportunities to investigate and make enquiries about their local area of the Dales, so that they can develop of real sense of who they are, their heritage and what makes our local area unique and special and how we can sustain it for future generations to enjoy. We also develop the children’s ability to apply geographical skills to enable them to confidently communicate their findings and geographical understanding to a range of audiences.

Through high quality teaching, we develop the following essential characteristics of geographers:

  1. An excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like, both in Britain and the wider world;
  2. A comprehensive understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected;
  3. An extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary;
  4. Fluency in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills, as well as effective presentation techniques;
  5. The ability to reach clear conclusions and explain their findings;
  6. Excellent fieldwork skills as well as other geographical aptitudes and techniques;
  7. The ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current issues in society and the environment;
  8. A genuine interest in the subject and a real sense of curiosity about the world and the people who live here.

Implementation

Geography is taught across our school in blocks, with the autumn term solely designated to a geography focus with another unit of study taught again in the summer term. Delivering the curriculum in this way, allows are children to be able to bring skills and knowledge taught in geography into other areas of the curriculum.

Our Geography curriculum is designed so that children start with ‘themselves’ and their school or local area before working out to areas or regions of the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. We have developed a progression of skills with each year group, which enables pupils to build on and develop their knowledge and skills each year. Cross-curricular links are planned for, with other subjects such as Maths, Writing, History and Computing being incorporated within geography lessons and the curriculum.

Location knowledge, fieldwork and map work are woven throughout the Geography topics.  Effective use of educational visits, local fieldwork and visitors are planned, to enrich and enhance the pupil’s learning experiences within the Geography curriculum.  In-depth fieldwork opportunities are greatly amplified through out bespoke local area units where children go out into the field to conduct observations, surveys, investigations and field sketches.  The use of maps and compasses enhances this experience.

At the start of each unit children will review previous learning and will have the opportunity to share what they already know about a current topic.  In order to support children in their ability to know more and remember more, there are regular opportunities to review the learning that has taken place in previous units as well as previous lessons.

Children are given a knowledge organiser at the start of each unit which details their learning, key questions and vocabulary. This is not used as part of an assessment, but to support children with their acquisition of knowledge and are used as a reference document.

In geography lessons, children are given clear success criteria in order to achieve the Learning Intention with different elements of independence.  Effective modelling by teachers ensures that children are able to achieve their learning intention, with misconceptions addressed within it.  Through using a range of assessment tools, differentiation is facilitated by teachers, to ensure that each pupil can access the Geography curriculum.

Teachers use highly effective Assessment for Learning at different points in each lesson to ensure misconceptions are highlighted and addressed.  Pupils are regularly given the opportunity for Self or Peer Assessment, which will then be used to inform planning, preparation, differentiation and address misconceptions within that lesson, or for the next lesson.

Impact

The impact of our Geography curriculum is measured in a variety of ways: questioning during lesson time, marking children’s written work, listening to child-led discussion, interviewing pupils across the school about their learning, book scrutinises and using images/videos of children’s practical learning.  As children progress throughout the school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding an appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context Geographical understanding, as well as children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is further supported by the school’s links with international partner schools.

By end of the Geography curriculum, our children will:

  • Have a growing knowledge of the world and their place in it.
  • Have a wider vocabulary of geographical terms.
  • Aspire to discover more about the world, through reading, travel or the media.
  • Know that they can use their voice to express themselves and their opinions.
  • Develop their geographical skills, such as, evaluation, creativity, problem solving and enquiry.
Geography subject overview

Helpful Websites

Up to date weather forecasts

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather

Activities, games and stories about Barnaby Bear’s travels for KS1

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/barnabybear

Newsround current affairs

http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/world/default.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/uk

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/b006mdbc/newsround

Environmental themes

The children’s section has many useful facts, activities and animations and includes sections on: air, energy, land, climate change, people and lifestyles, resources and waste, water and wildlife.

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/fun/?lang=_e

Mapping

An introduction for key stage 2 on how maps work and how to interpret them. It includes these 8 sections: starting mapping, symbols, compasses and directions, grid references, understanding scale, measuring distance, relief and contour lines and compass bearings.

http://mapzone.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/mapzone/index.html

Local street maps including a ‘find my nearest’ function, which can be used to locate features e.g. schools, list them and link them to a map.

http://www.upmystreet.co.uk/

Search for local street maps by postcode, OS grid reference, place name or street name. Maps are extendable in eight compass directions.

http://www.streetmap.co.uk/

Online mapping site which includes eye level ‘Streetview’

http://maps.google.co.uk/

Maps resized to show population sizes, income, etc.

http://www.worldmapper.org/

Distant locations

Very child-friendly site for understanding development issues.

http://www.globaleye.org.uk/

Excellent site for global citizenship issues. Children’s pages include details of the history, geography and environment, people and society and a fact file for 14 countries), ‘children’ (exploring the lives of children in less developed countries) and ‘food’ (issues such as farming and fair trade).

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/coolplanet/kidsweb/index.htm

Includes a range of resources for information supporting distant locality studies.

http://www.actionaid.org.uk/

Images

The Geograph® Britain and Ireland project aims to collect geographical photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland, and you can be part of it.

http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=41689877

Photographic images of countries which can be selected by continent, then by country.

http://www.travel-images.com/

UK, Europe and USA images

http://www.freefoto.com/

Panoramic images

http://www.panoramas.dk/