Eastling Primary School
Policy written: January 2020
Review date: January 2021
Geography is a valued part of the curriculum, providing a purposeful means for exploring, appreciating and understanding the world in which we live and how it has evolved. Geography explores the relationship between the Earth and its people through the study of place, space and environment. Geography is concerned with pupils learning about their own locality, whilst becoming aware of and developing knowledge and understanding of the world beyond their own environment.
Geography encourages children to learn through experience, particularly through practical and fieldwork activities. At Eastling primary school we believe it is important to build a geographical curriculum that endorses the importance for outdoor learning to build a curiosity for learning to help them to know more, remember more and understand more.
The strands in Geography are:
- Locational knowledge
- Place knowledge
- Human and physical geography
- Geographical skills and fieldwork
The aims of geography are:
- To inspire in pupils about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
- To provide pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments.
- To develop a growing knowledge about the world to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments.
- To obtain Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills.
- To enable children to learn and explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
Within the Early Years Foundation Stage, geography is included as part of Understanding the World. The children learn to investigate similarities and differences, the local environment and cultures and beliefs, fostering the skills essential to developing historical understanding. This is set out in the early year’s curriculum as children needing to:
- observe, find out about, and identify features in the place they live and the natural world;
- Begin to know about their own cultures and beliefs and those of other people;
- Find out about their environment, and talk about those features they like and dislike.
Key Stage 1
During Key Stage 1, pupils investigate their local area and a contrasting area in the United Kingdom or abroad, finding out about the environment in both areas and the people who live there. They also begin to learn about the wider world. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this, they ask geographical questions about people, places and environments, and use geographical skills and resources, such as maps and photographs.
Key Stage 2
During Key Stage 2, pupils investigate a variety of people, places and environments in the United Kingdom and abroad, and start to make links between different places in the world. They find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. Pupils carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this, they ask geographical questions, and use geographical skills and resources, such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and ICT. Children will develop geographical enquiry skills, including asking geographical questions, collecting and recording information and identifying different views. They will acquire the appropriate practical skills associated with Geography, including using suitable vocabulary, fieldwork techniques and maps, plans and atlases. Pupils will use secondary sources of information with accuracy, including aerial photographs, satellite images, etc. As well as making its own distinctive contribution to the school curriculum, geography contributes to the wider aims of primary education. Teachers will ensure that links between subjects are maximized, including history, science and computing.
As we have mixed-age classes, we do the medium-term planning on a two-year rotation cycle. In this way, we ensure that children have complete coverage of the National Curriculum but do not have to repeat topics. See long term plan for Geography on the website.
It is encouraged that teachers plan opportunities to use the school grounds, local environment and going further afield to conduct geographical fieldwork. When sessions lead to leaving the school grounds staff must adhere to the Kent Authority Risk Assessment procedures using Evolve. Any water activities or work near water requires at least 10 weeks notification and application prior to the visit. (See additional risk assessment policies for further information and clarification.)
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural opportunities
Geography is an excellent vehicle for developing children’s learning in this area. Discussions about the use of the world’s resources and the impact of different events on the lives of local people deepen the children’s ability to understand and empathise with fellow humans across the globe. The opportunities to explore ‘putting yourself in someone else’s shoes’ abound in the study of geography and it is embraced during the teaching wherever possible.
Role of Co-ordinator
The Geography co-ordinator leads the maintenance and development of the subject.
They are responsible for assuring quality and standards in the subject by:
- Taking the lead in the development, evaluation and amendment of schemes of work as and when necessary.
- Identifying training needs of staff through monitoring and performance management review.
- Acting as a consultant to colleagues on resources, fieldwork possibilities, curriculum changes, classroom teaching ideas.
- Monitoring and evaluating pupils’ work, colleagues’ planning and classroom teaching.
Health and Safety
The School’s policy for visits and excursions will be adhered to for all trips. A copy of the Health and Safety policy can be found in the school office. This is supplemented with county guidance concerning Educational Visits.
Ensuring continuity and progression in learning
Whilst knowing more is an integral part of continuity and progression it is nevertheless just one element of it and merely sequencing subject content will not ensure on its own that our pupils become better geographers. To ensure continuity and progression for all pupils the curriculum is carefully organised EYFS – Year 6 to ensure that our pupil’s knowledge and understanding of geography develops because:
- Expected subject outcomes in terms of developing as a young geographer increase in complexity and level of challenge as detailed above and are used as the starting point for all planning of content delivery and learning and teaching enquiries;
- There is increasing breadth and scale of study through the curriculum moving progressively from personal experiences to local, regional, national and global perspectives informed by the guidance of the National Curriculum;
- The curriculum becomes progressively more complex developing from discrete facts and bodies of information to conceptual awareness and generalised knowledge about more abstract ideas;
- The mastery and application of geographical tools and skills occurs in more precise and complex contexts;
- The focus of what pupils learn becomes gradually more issues based enabling them to explain links, patterns and processes and be more informed and mature in their thinking and self-reflection in terms of recognising the importance of attitudes and values about contested matters;
Record Keeping and Assessment
The Geography co-ordinator will oversee planning and monitor pupil’s work. At the end of each unit, the key knowledge, understanding and where appropriate fieldwork skills will be assessed by the class teacher. The teacher will assess the child as either working towards the expected level, attaining the expected level or exceeding the expected level.
Assessment will be undertaken using the following methods:-
• observation of pupils
• talking with pupils
• marking written work
• peer assessment
• the evaluation of discussion
Please also refer to the School Assessment Policy.
We believe that all children irrespective of background, race, gender and capability should have equal access to the curriculum as stated in each curriculum policy.
The school makes every effort to respect and reflect pupils’ religious beliefs and take community views into account when teaching Geography. A copy of the school’s equal opportunities policy can be found in the school office.
At Eastling we recognise the need to cater for children with special educational needs. Work is differentiated to assist in children’s learning in terms of:
- learning outcomes
- teaching methods
Tasks can be broken down into small steps, giving children achievable goals. Vocabulary can be pre-taught. Word banks and visual cues can be provided, using symbols and words (using Widgit online). Activities should reinforce children’s understanding of the subject. The more able children should be given open-ended tasks and opportunities for further research and more challenging study.