“The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexities of our world.”
- Barack Obama
A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the framework and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils:
develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time
are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length
The Geography curriculum sparks curiosity and ignites passion for learning to inspire every child to realise and exceed expectations. We want our children to be curious about the world they inhabit, and gain the information and skills required to help them better understand and explore it. Our aim is to deliver richly connected knowledge and skills, which are revisited and built upon, leading to high levels of long-term retention. We use the outdoors along with classroom-based teaching, trips out, and visitors in making learning purposeful in real contexts. We create learning opportunities for all to succeed. Resources and planning are carefully matched to the learning tasks and activities with pupils learning needs in mind. They will leave St Michael’s better able to understand their world, its people, and how it is evolving.
Geography is taught from Early Years (as Understanding the World) through to year 6. Throughout this time, the children will learn new skills and knowledge, as well as further developing their understanding in what they already know. The children will learn about different aspects of both human and physical geography, and develop skills to help them interpret the world around them, such as map reading. They will look closely at their own local area, and be able to compare it to different places, evaluating the similarities and differences they see.
We use formative assessment information in every Geography lesson as part of our teaching and learning cycle. Teachers use this information to inform their short – term planning and adapt their planning accordingly. This means that skills in Geography are progressive and build year on year. Assessment is completed through exemplification or outcomes of pupils following a unit of work, for example, Double Page Spreads.
The children at St Michael’s will leave the school equipped with both the skills and knowledge required to access both physical and human geography at Key Stage 3. They will also be able to better understand the diversity of their planet and be fuelled with a desire to explore more of it.