INTENT – The Geography Curriculum
Geography ties closely with our school curriculum aims – through it pupils can learn to be change-makers, to be happy and healthy, inquisitive and creative. For this reason, it is our ambition for our pupils to leave Hunton and Arrathorne School with a love of geography which will last them a lifetime.
Through our geography curriculum it is our intent that children will deepen their knowledge, both of the immediate locality and of the wider world. Through carefully chosen key questions they will develop their geographical enquiry skills and gain knowledge which will last them a lifetime.
Furthermore, we have adapted the geography curriculum at our school to be bespoke to the children’s experiences and the geographical location of the school. For example, KS1 children begin by looking at why their local town of Bedale is special, whilst Upper Key Stage 2 children take advantage of our location close to the Yorkshire Dales to answer ‘Why is the Yorkshire Dales a tourist honey-pot?’ When studying localities, comparisons will always be drawn to our specific location – relevant links drawn between key features of North Yorkshire such as the Yorkshire Dales, the North Yorkshire Moors, the Pennines and the history of Jorvik.
It is our aim for children to leave our schools as competent geographers having a broad opportunities to practise skills and a regular diet of fieldwork, the opportunity to experience geography in context and have the fundamental knowledge of the UK and wider world they will need in later life. We also to inspire children as geographers through topics which will engage them such as investigating natural disasters and the impact of tourism. Geography is everywhere!
IMPLEMENTATION – Rationale
Our geography curriculum is carefully designed to consider the needs of our pupils in terms of its sequencing and progression. In Year 1 the pupil’s study the immediate village locality; this is further developed by the local town in Year 2. In Lower KS2 pupil’s investigate environmental change in their area and the impact of megacities; whilst in Year 5/6 this locational knowledge is furthered by a close study of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and National Parks across Britain.
Similarly, units which focus on climate and the weather; trade and contrasting localities allow the children to gain knowledge and skills which accumulate over time.
Key to our geography curriculum is the linking of disciplinary concepts as children dive deeper into the subject. We recognise these in geography as maps, location, size, landscape, country, city, place, environment, physical, human and climate and links to these are drawn in all schemes of learning – regular reference to these disciplinary concepts allow children to develop their thinking like geographers.
The long term plan is carefully structured so children in different year groups study key questions which form under a similar umbrella – this allows staff subject knowledge to be shared; it allows our small school to come together to celebrate ‘launch and landing’ days and parents to become part of the learning cycle.
The global curriculum is also a key part of our geography learning. As change-makers, global projects are identified within each year group which are celebrated in school.
We choose to follow the Collins Connected Geography scheme of work as a basis for our geography planning. This ensures teachers are clear about the skills and knowledge which pupils will need to build, as well as core vocabulary for each unit of study.
The progression map is supplemented by a glossary of key vocabulary to ensure consistency and progression in vocabulary as well as a document which supports staff in including children with SEND in geography. ‘Sticky Sheets’ provide an overview of the substantive key knowledge children will know and remember during their studies.
We aim for all of our children to leave us as geographers- they should have a solid knowledge base which will stand them in good stead for future education. We aim to teach them about their local area through carefully progressive units. Crucially, we have created a bespoke curriculum which allows them to investigate geography which is relevant to them now and, importantly, as adults of the future – for example through the exploration of sustainable tourism when studying contrasting localities.
Pupil’s understanding in geography will be assessed through low stakes quizzes and retrieval practise linked to the ‘sticky knowledge’, this will be supplemented with an assessment of skills using our tracking system. Through fieldwork children will gain skills which will be useful in later life. Careful links between subjects such as science, history, computing and mathematics will allow children to gain a depth through other areas of learning.