At Preston Manor Lower School, we teach Geography in a way that inspires in pupils a curiosity and fascination with the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources, natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
Geography is organised into a long-term plan identifying which units of learning will be covered across the year, ensuring that it is broad and balanced, enjoyable and engaging, challenging and meets the needs of all learners in our school. Sequenced lessons ensure that there is progression. Knowledge and skills are built upon across the half-term. Progression is also clear across the year groups.
It provides opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident and successful learners with high aspirations, who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society.
From Reception to Year 6, children will increase their long-term memory by building a bank of knowledge and skills which they can apply across the curriculum. Through teaching these units of learning, the teachers will further develop their subject knowledge of the subjects they are teaching.
By the end of Reception, the children will be able to understand how they can care about the environment, starting from their homes, schools and community places. They explore the key physical features, including forest, hill, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather, key human features including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop. Adults pose questions that are open-ended questions, such as “How can we…?” or “What would happen if…?” to develop critical thinking at an early age. In addition, children read rich texts identifying physical features of an area such as, beach, cliff coast, sea, ocean etc.
By the end of KS1, the children will have focused on the geography of where they live and how this environment impacts on their way of life. Aerial photographs, simple maps with basic symbols in a key, simple fieldwork and observational skills are utilised to study the geography of the school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment. Because Preston Manor Lower School is diverse, the rich cultural backgrounds add context to extending the children’s knowledge of the location of the United Kingdom in relation to the rest of the world. Children apply key geographical skills to explore a given environment ranging from the seaside, the four regions of the United Kingdom and extending to the Caribbean and Africa. This allows the children to explore the physical and human aspects: distinguish between tropical, temperate and hot climates and research how humans interact with these environments.
By the end of KS2, the children’s growing knowledge of how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time progresses through a place and skills-based approach. At a local level, microclimate studies are carried out promoting the use of geographical equipment such as compasses, wind vanes and wind roses. Children investigate an environmental issue caused by a change in the environment: river pollution and eutrophication and, as a way of promoting sustainability, recognise how people can improve the environment. On an international level, ideal countries are chosen from the seven continents of the world and utilised in helping children deepen their understanding of the formation of landscapes and environments. Earthquakes and volcanoes are contextualised to the Caribbean islands, rivers and mountains to Africa and South America, coasts and plains to Asia and the United Kingdom. Through teachers’ pedagogy and practices, children are encouraged to raise questions, analyse sources using key geographical vocabulary and draw geographically sound conclusions backed with evidence.
The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the children in our school.
Geography is planned and taught for a half-term, or can be taught in blocks. Educational visits and visitors are arranged to enhance the children’s learning experiences. Displays will support, reflect and celebrate the children’s learning.
Knowledge organisers are sent to families before the unit of learning is taught to allow the children and their family to discuss the forthcoming learning and carry out further research to support the learning.
They will have the opportunity to read around the subject. It also highlights the knowledge and vocabulary the children will gain. The children will also complete a home learning project to support their learning. CPD has been planned across the year to support the teaching and learning process, focussing on planning, challenge, questioning and developing cultural capital.
Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. Children feel safe trying new things. In Geography, children will be very clear about why they are learning the content taught to them. By the end of the unit of learning, the children will have acquired new vocabulary and new knowledge, which they will be able to recall and improve their long-term memory. They will be able to use the skills they have learnt in the curriculum. Children will make progress over time, which will be clear in their books. The subject knowledge and pedagogy of learning for teachers will be improved. Individual teachers will be supported through targeted CPD.