Geography is an essential part of the curriculum, it provides a means of exploring, appreciating and understanding the world in which we live and how it has evolved. Geography explores the relationship between the Earth and its people through the study of place, space and environment. It contributes to the cultural, social, spiritual and moral life of children as they acquire knowledge of a range of different cultures and traditions, and learn tolerance and understanding of other people and environments. Geography at Our Lady's extends far beyond the walls of the classroom. Our aim is to provide the children with a breadth of memorable experiences, to shape our pupils into curious and considerate global citizens. We also intend for the children to develop an in-depth knowledge of our community and locality. By the time our students leave us, they will be well equipped with the skills and the knowledge to explore the world around them and have a greater understanding of their planet. We intend to promote children’s interest and understanding about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
The aims of Geography are;
~ Developing a sense of place.
~ Developing skills in investigating the physical and human features of the pupils’ surroundings.
~ Increasing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the different communities and cultures within Our Lady's, their locality and the world and understanding how these all relate to one another.
~ Developing pupils’ competence in specific geographical skills (such as use of maps, secondary sources, computing, aerial photographs, data logging equipment and considering evidence from a range of sources).
~ Develop a sense of responsibility and respect for our school grounds, earth, its people and its resources.
~ Developing an awareness that the world extends beyond the pupil’s own environment.
At Our Lady's, our Geography curriculum follows the National Curriculum and provides children with an array of enriching opportunities, with a strong focus on outdoor learning and developing geographical enquiry skills. In lessons, children also develop their geographical enquiry skills though exploring physical environments, human interactions and how the two areas intertwine with each other. Geography curriculum planning at Our Lady's is closely linked with History and Science planning so that links can be made between topics. Our curriculum is carefully planned and our Knowledge and Skills progression mapping sets out the skills and themes covered in each year for each key stage. These plans define what we will teach and ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of work across each term. Teachers are supported with knowledge organisers for each learning block which outlines the key learning for the topic. Our principal aim is to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in Geography and we use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our Geography lessons. We believe in whole-class teaching methods, using the I do, We do, You do approach, and combine this with enquiry-based research activities. We believe children learn best when:
- They explore our local area, through walks, visits and fieldwork, including places of interest and the use of using digital maps.
- They visit a variety of different physical environments.
- They have opportunities to compare life in Stockport with other towns and villages globally.
- They see nationally recognised landmarks in real life.
- They talk to people who have lived and grown-up in different parts of the world (guest speakers etc)
- They explore the culture of different countries through in-school themed days, for example multicultural markets.
We recognise the fact that we have children of differing ability in all our classes, and so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies which are differentiated by task, expected outcome and/or support from peers or adults.
The impact of our curriculum is that children will understand geographical vocabulary and the different strands of Geography, with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Children will begin to make relevant links from geography to other curriculum subjects, such as history and science.
We use a range of strategies to assess what skills and knowledge the children have attained each term including the following:
- Subject Spotlight meetings.
- Knowledge organiser assessments and feedback.
- Pupil voice
- Regular feedback each lesson
- Staff CPD
At Our Lady's assessment is an integral part of the teaching process. Assessment is used to inform planning and to facilitate differentiation. The assessment of children’s work is on-going to ensure that understanding is being achieved and that progress is being made. Feedback is given to the children as soon as possible, and marking work is guided by the school’s Marking Policy. Attainment is assessed summatively at the end of each unit of work against the requirements of the National Curriculum on teachers’ knowledge organisers. Pupil’s achievements in the subject are reported to parents on the end of year report and to the next class teacher through transition meetings.