Subject Leader: Mrs Hunt
At St Joseph’s, we believe that Geography helps to provoke and answer questions about the natural and human worlds, encouraging children to develop a greater understanding of their world and their place in it. It helps to develop a range of investigation and problem-solving skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which can be used to promote children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Geography is, by nature an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. 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; to promote children’s interest and understanding about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments Kent, in this country, in Europe and in the world, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
Our curriculum is based on three threads, physical, locational and place. As children move through our geography curriculum, they will develop an understanding of home and belonging, looking in detail at their town and country and then begin to build a national and global context. Our children will recognise the role they have to play as global citizens and be able to explain how the world has developed and changed over time - not just in terms of physical process, but also how humans’ interactions with the planet have altered its trajectory.
Through the framework of the 2014 National Curriculum, geography taught at St Joseph’s School, aims to ensure that all children:
Geography is taught every week every other term. As pupils progress through the school, their growing knowledge about the world will help them to deepen their understanding of their local area, the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments.
Outcomes in books and evidence from pupil voice demonstrate a broad and balanced geography curriculum and clearly show children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge and skills.
We teach geography using the ‘indoor’ and ‘outdoor’ classroom, so special consideration should be given to the inclusion of pupils with SEN in all types of field work. Map reading is a specific skill and individual pupils may need extra practice in thinking spatially.
We aim to teach geography by having clear explanations and using and referring to key appropriate language. We use concrete examples that are familiar to children and we teach in a visual, auditory and kinaesthetic way. We believe children learn geography best by doing. Children often record their understand in a variety of ways including writing, art, DT and through themed days, visits to museums or visitors in school. If writing is a barrier, children may use a scribe or adult supported.
Often children work together in mixed ability groups sharing and valuing everyone’s ideas. For those children who may struggle to ‘be heard’ or articulate their ideas an adult is on hand to support.
If reading is required for research, teaching staff and/or peers support those who may struggle. Teachers verbally explain what is being asked rather than write it.
We check the retention of understanding through a recall of facts. For pupils who may struggle to retain these visual clues are used and reminders are provided through the ‘big book.’
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year.
Within geography, we strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning by providing investigative and enquiry based learning opportunities. Emphasis is placed on investigative learning opportunities to help children gain a coherent knowledge of understanding of each unit of work covered throughout the school. Children will deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes and how this affects landscapes and environments.
In line with our Equal Opportunities Policy, we are committed to providing a teaching environment that promotes learning. Children are given opportunities to work with others, listen to each other and treat everyone with respect:
At our school we teach geography to all children, whatever their ability. Geography forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our geography teaching we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make progress. We use a range of strategies to support pupils and ensure that pupils’ needs are catered for in each aspect of the curriculum. A few of these, particularly relevant to geography are:
For our more able pupils we will expect:
At St Joseph's the children's learning is assessed using the skills progression tool on Cornerstones where we are able to individually track the children's personal progression.
At St Joseph's geography is taught via our Cornerstones curriculum with terms 2, 4 and 6 having a specific geography focus. Please see our plans in our curriculum section and class pages for more specific information.