Why do we teach Geography?
The new National Curriculum for 2014 sets out why we teach Geography:
'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 frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth's features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.'
The aims of Geography in our school are:
Children learn to be competent in the geographical skills needed to:
Curriculum & School Organisation
Medium term planning is incorporated into termly holistic plans. Evidence of the teaching and learning in geogrphy is seen in children's Learning Journey books, class and school displays and photographs. Coverage and progression is monitored by the Subject Leader. The Geography Subject Leader ensures policy is in practice and is implemented across the school.
As a Foundation subject, Geography is part of a broad and balanced curriculum where the time allocation for teaching will be accordance to coverage across the school year.
Geography and the EYFS
We endeavour to give all of our learners a well-planned and well-organised environment that gives children rich, stimulating experiences. The Early Years Foundation Stage of learning begins when the child is two and extends until the end of Year Reception.
As with the KS1 and KS2 curriculum there are strong cross-curricular links in relation to the teaching and learning of Geography e.g. through role play, art, reading, writing, speaking and listening for example but the key Early Years Outcomes for Geography are included within Understanding of the world:
Early Learning Outcomes
Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
Find out about past and present events in their own life, and in those of family members and other people they know
Find out about and identify the uses of everyday technology and use IT and programmable toys to support their learning
Build and construct with a wide range of objects, selecting appropriate resources, tools and techniques and adapting their work where necessary
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
Ask questions about why things happen and how things work.
The continuous and enhanced provision will also support learning linked to Geography.
Key stage 1
Pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They should understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.
Pupils should be taught through different aspects of geography to:
Human and physical geography
Geographical skills and fieldwork
Key stage 2
Pupils should extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world's most significant human and physical features. They should develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.
Pupils should be taught to:
Human and physical geography
Geographical skills and fieldwork
Teaching and learning style
At Wrenbury, we use a variety of teaching and learning styles to teach Geography. We believe that this can be achieved by working on skills and enquiries which are familiar to the children. We encourage children to ask as well as answer geographical questions. We offer the opportunity to use a variety of data, such as maps, statistics, graphs, pictures, and aerial photographs, and we incorporate the use of IT in Geography lessons where this serves to enhance their learning. Wherever possible, we involve the children in 'real' geographical activities, e.g. research of a local environmental problem or use of the Internet to investigate a current issue.
The learning environment
We promote the subject of geography through displays within the classroom and in shared settings in the school.
Curriculum enhancement opportunities
Wrenbury provides children with the opportunity to maintain curiosity beyond the classroom through outdoor areas, educational visits, homework tasks and, wherever possible, through visitors to school. This can be seen within the Geography Curriculum.
Assessment, Recording and Reporting
We currently assess children's learning at the end of a series of lessons through class teacher's judgments, Afl and an assessment task. The children are assessed as 'above expectation', 'online' or 'below expectation'. This information is collated annually by class teachers.
The Geography Subject Leader monitors coverage, standards and progression through collating evidence from Learning Journey books, displays with classrooms, cohort assessments, lesson observations and pupil voice. The Geography Subject Leader will produce a curriculum review at year end and this feeds into action plans and an annual report to governors.
Monitoring, review and evaluation
Monitoring the standard of children's work and the quality of teaching in Geography is the responsibility of the Geography Subject Leader. The Geography Subject Leader is also responsible for supporting colleagues in the teaching of Geography, informing staff of developments in the subject and for providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school.
The Geography Subject Leader provides an annual curriculum review and feedback form which will be shared with Governors at the Teaching and Learning and Asssessment committee meeting. The professional development needs of staff are assessed through monitoring and where necessary further training is provided. This may be provided internally or externally as appropriate.
Our Critical Friend (member of the Governing Body) will also be invited into school to monitor Geography. This may be to talk to children, observe Geography taking place and meet with the Geography subject-leader to discuss the standing of Geography in school. Each year the Critical Friend will complete feedback which will inform future monitoring.
The school buys into the Education Library Service and is able to aqcuire a wide range of resources to support the teaching of geography in school. Teachers are also proactive in sourcing other resources eg maps and use of websites /IT to support and enhance the teaching and learning within this subject.
Where possible, the Geography Subject Leader attends CPD meetings or liaises with colleagues from other schools for the latest developments in Geography and this is shared with staff formally (staff meetings) and informally (ongoing professional dialogue). Good practice is shared with staff through professional skills dialogue and sharing and through subject leaders working alongside colleagues. Where staff request further CPD, the subject Leader will arrange in liaison with the head.
Curriculum Risk Assessment
Staff are asked to use professional judgment with regard to pupil safety in individual lessons. Where it is deemed necessary, individual lesson risk assessments will be completed.
Links with other subjects
Our Holistic approach enables our teachers to create a range of cross curricular links with other NC subjects. The evidence of this can be seen on our termly Holistic plans. As part of our teaching of Geography there will be opportunities to develop environmental education and an awareness of global citizenship.