Our approach to Teaching Geography

Intent

At SS Mary and John’s Catholic Primary Academy we believe that 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.

Our aims are that our children gain:

  • A deep and sustainable learning
  • An ability to ask questions about the world around them
  • An ability to build on previous knowledge
  • An ability to reason about a concept and make connections using locational knowledge
  • An ability to use and apply geographical skills in real-life
  • The ability to identify similarities and differences between where we live and the wider world.
  • Develop a respect, interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes

Implementation

Geography at SS Mary and John’s Catholic Primary Academy is taught in units throughout the year on alternate terms to History. Through their work in Geography, children learn about their local area and compare their life in this area with that in other regions in the United Kingdom and in the rest of the world. As pupils progress, they deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. They learn how to draw and interpret maps and use subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical Geography, with accuracy and confidence.

Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills for each unit and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school. A progress map of core objectives is used to ensure planning follows a clear route of progression throughout the key stages. Geography is led by an enquiry approach where each unit has a ‘big question’ and each lesson has subsequent questions to deepen understanding. At the beginning of each topic, children are able to convey what they know already as well as what they would like to find out after looking at a unit marker which outlines the big question, key objectives and geographical vocabulary. This informs the units of study and also ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of children’s different starting points. New vocabulary is discussed and for children with SEND or EAL recorded visually in books as a constant reference point. Each Geography lesson will include feedback time, key questions, key objectives, success criteria, key vocabulary, prior learning, differentiation, challenge and next steps.

In the Early Years, pupils explore geographical themes and content through the Understanding of the World strand of the EYFS curriculum. This involves guiding the children to develop a sense of their physical world, as well as their community, alongside opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. They are assessed according to the Development Matters attainment targets.

Consideration is given to how greater depth will be taught, learnt and demonstrated within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. Cross-curricular outcomes in Geography are specifically planned for, where appropriate. The local area is also utilised and teachers plan for wider opportunities to learn outside the classroom.

Impact

The curriculum will enable teachers to consistently plan and deliver lessons of the highest standard and at the end of each year, children will achieve age related expectations in Geography. They will retain the knowledge and skills learnt from each unit of work and make clear links in there learning. 

As children progress through the school, they acquire key knowledge and skills and develop a sound knowledge and understanding of both human and physical Geography. Children will appreciate their local area and its place within the wider geographical context.

Our children will gain an interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.