“The study of Geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.” Barack Obama (Former US President)
A geographer leaving All Saints Primary School will have a meaningful knowledge and understanding of the world that is relevant to them. Through our carefully planned and sequenced curriculum, children will have opportunities to develop their understanding across a wide range of contexts, from local to world Geography so they know more and remember more. Children will revisit common themes and concepts within Geography such as place, space and interconnections and develop their understanding of abstract terms such as trade, economy and migration. Children will also learn to use a number of progressive geographical resources such as atlases, sketch maps, digital maps, OS maps, keys, symbols, compass directions and grid references. Using maps, atlases and digital maps, children will develop locational and place knowledge to name continents, countries, counties, cities, oceans, seas and mountains. We know that through carefully planned repetition and links to prior learning children will be able to recall and name many famous and well-known landmarks and places across the world. They will have a good understanding of the key terminology and vocabulary to explain a detailed range of human and physical features and processes such as the water cycle. They will also develop an understanding of how settlements have evolved over time and the impact this has had on the formation of places, the use of land and subsequently the impact on environments, climate change and sustainability. Children will be able to compare their own environment to others, explain how this environment has developed and how their places are interconnected with others. Children will also explore the impact of people on a place, how cultures and diversity develop. We will also challenge children to critically think about the future impact people’s footprint will have on the world and what we can do about it.
Our Geography curriculum is taught as part of termly projects which usually start with the introduction of a big idea or question which will develop the children’s curiosity whilst drawing on prior knowledge, skills and understanding. Local Geography is an important area of learning at All Saints Primary School. In Foundation Stage, children are taught about their immediate environment through observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps. This gives the children an excellent foundation in learning about their local environment. This is further built upon in Year Two during their ‘Street Detectives’ project where children develop their knowledge of key landmarks and services in the local community and how changes occur over time. Furthermore, they learn about the impact they can make as the younger generation, for the benefit of their town. Year 3 explore the culture and environment of city life in their ‘Urban Pioneers’ project. They develop their knowledge of building design, urban art and photography and they also explore how urban environments can be improved, thinking about their immediate local environment. In Year 6, children use OS maps and the eight compass points to locate the cities and ports bombed during the Blitz in their ‘A Child’s War’ project. They also look closely at the surrounding areas, considering why these places were vulnerable to bombing, including investigating their local area. Maps are then drawn by the children that include areas that were bombed, and other geographical features are included, such as rivers and railways.
At All Saints School the Geography curriculum is ambitious and designed to give all pupils, particularly disadvantaged pupils and including pupils with SEN and/or disabilities, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. We use strategies from the NASEN guidance to support our scaffolding within Geography teaching. This includes, but is not limited to the following list;
- Enlarged maps or resources,
- Maps, atlases, artefacts, models and photographs are accessible and labelled clearly.
- Pre-teaching of key geographical vocabulary.
How can I support my child with their Geography learning?
1. Go on a journey together
When out on a journey, either on foot or by car, share the road map or a map on a phone app to help your child follow the route, while you talk about where you are going. To build on their knowledge, you could ask them to draw their own map of their journey to school which includes any natural or man-made features along the way.
2.Out and about in your local area
Chat about local physical features, attractions and activities. You could even develop this idea by using role play, asking your child to be a tourist guide for the local area for visiting friends and relatives.
Compare a different location with your home area. You could ask your child to talk through the similarities and differences, for example. Half terms and holidays also provide an opportunity for a museum visit or a trip to a tourist attraction. There are many free museums in our local area which are well worth a visit!
Some age-appropriate computer games can provide your child with a view of distant places and new countries. They enable your child to be transported instantly to another place. Prompt their thinking with questions, such as: What might the weather be like in this place? Why might the road have been built where it is? What might the time distance be? Questioning can then lead to many, rich Geographical discussions which can develop children's curiosity of the world around them.