St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School – Geography Curriculum Statement
At St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School, we want every child to be happy and enthusiastic learners of Geography, and to be eager to achieve their very best in order to fulfil their God-given talents. We firmly believe that the recipe for success is high quality first-wave teaching in Geography, which is central to the life of our happy, caring school.
‘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.’
National Curriculum 2014
Intent – What we are trying to achieve?
•Our principal aim is that children leave St. Mary’s Catholic School with a wide range of happy and rich memories in Geography formed through interesting and exciting experiences driven through vehicles that enhance a child’s awareness of their own abilities and strengths as a learner; thus ensuring that children see learning in Geography as an on-going process not a one-off event.
• Children will meet the National Curriculum expectations in Geography https://primarysite-prod-sorted.s3.amazonaws.com/st-marys-catholic-stafford/UploadedDocument/b92202dbcdbf41bea387dae62c4cedf2/primary_national_curriculum_-_geography-1.pdf
which will be taught by highly-qualified, enthusiastic staff who will support children to develop mastery of concepts and inspire enthusiasm and interest in the subject.
• All children will study Geography for 1 hour every week
• Opportunities will exist for children of all ages to experience learning beyond the classroom. This will allow them to enrich their knowledge by, for example, visiting places they may not normally consider or places of geographical interest or conducting geographical surveys within the local area to gain relevant information that will contribute to the curriculum vehicle (e.g. land use mapping of retail to find maximum sales opportunities).
• Children will develop a deep understanding of the subjects they are studying. They will increasingly use their prior knowledge to solve problems and develop the sophistication of Geography.
• Children will understand how Catholic virtues and British Values relate to Geography.
• In Geography, children will develop the skills to consider human and physical geographical characteristics, gain appropriate working knowledge of locality and conduct meaningful fieldwork.
• Children will develop a real understanding and appreciation of the world learning from the best that has been developed and said. For example, local planning officers, retail managers and project and site managers.
Scheme of Learning
The Scheme of Learning follows the National Curriculum. It allows for appropriate sequencing and aims to secure long-term memory as well as the enjoyment of learning a geography. The progression of skills in geography is mapped on the following:
Geographical knowledge is sequenced in the following link:
The above links demonstrate our aim to ensure that children are prepared for secondary education in the key areas of Location Knowledge, Place Knowledge, Human and Physical Geography, and Geographical skills and Fieldwork.
Implementation – How do we translate our vision into practice?
• The curriculum hours in Geography are non-negotiable and will be followed by all staff in the school. Fixed timetables will be set before the academic year and monitored by the Senior Leadership Team of the school.
• Subject specialists from our partner secondary school, will be integral to the planning process. This will aid transition to Key Stage 3.
• The subject leader for Geography will meet the senior leadership team on a monthly basis to evaluate provision in order to ensure that teaching and learning in Geography is outstanding. Where necessary, staff will receive coaching and training in Geography.
• Carefully designed schemes of learning in Geography ensure consistency and progress of all learners.
• Vehicles drive learning throughout the term. Therefore, Geography is taught through the vehicle.
• Vehicles include guest speakers who are specialists in their field, trips to businesses, fieldwork to relevant places of interest, innovative use of technology such as GPS mapping systems, to name but a few.
• Geography is taught individually but plays a key role in the achievement of the learning aims of the vehicle. For example, a focus on the local housing market may include a visit to the town planning office to enable pupils to conduct a land-use survey of Stafford and identify areas of need. Through discussions with a town planner, pupils will understand the process of an application which could lead to them considering a site for development, conducting local surveys and pitching their idea to the Borough council.
• Success criteria in every Geography lesson are set in order to guide children to achieve their potential. This ensures work is demanding and matches the aims of the curriculum.
• High quality teaching responds to the needs of children. Spiral learning is a key focus of all formative and summative assessment with teachers actively marking work in lessons in order to identify misconceptions early.
• High quality input from experts and educational resources complement the delivery of specialist learning admirably. Children understand how Geography is used in the wider world including careers.
Each lesson will include live marking (as per the Marking and Feedback Policy). Books will be marked fortnightly following the Marking and Feedback Policy. Homework is not formally set in geography, although investigative homework will be given and children are encouraged to take part in enrichment opportunities such as visiting different counties, using compasses on fieldwork and making effective use of the school grounds. High quality teaching responds to the needs of children. Spiral learning is a key focus of all formative and summative assessment with teachers actively marking work in lessons in order to identify misconceptions early. The assessment grids below are used to plan and to formally record an overview of progress of each child:
The children are taught to use specialist geographical vocabulary and terminology confidently, which is recorded using the following record:
Geography is taught through vehicles. This results in excellent cross-curricular opportunities. For example, a vehicle focusing on the creation of a museum of ancient civilisations could result in geography lessons studying the characteristics of the world’s most significant human and physical features in Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt or Benin. This ensures that children are engaged and interested in the subject through the excitement of the vehicle.
Children will learn about areas of significant geographical interest such as the links between climate, biodiversity and human settlement, the development of cartography and its impact, the work of important geographers both in the past and today, such as Sir David Attenborough.
They will also experience the following during Key Stage 2:
- Meeting and talking to geography specialists including secondary teachers and University professors
- Fieldwork to places of local interest
- Visits to at least one county and city in the UK
- Use computer software to identify places in the world and understand their key physical and human characteristics
- Use GPS systems, OS maps and aerial photographs
- Gain an understanding from business leaders regarding the importance of learning about geography e.g. during zoom meetings, listening to visiting speakers and trips e.g. to Veolia and from economists regarding the key areas in human geography.
Impact – What is the impact of our curriculum on the students?• Children are happy learners within Geography. They experience a wide range of learning challenges within the subject and know appropriate responses to them, such as informed choices regarding current environmental issues e.g. limiting the use of plastics.
• Through Geography, children deepen their appreciation of their faith and fulfil their God-given talents. As followers of Christ, they understand that they are called to look after and protect the world God has given us.
• Visits within Geography have enriched the lives of the children and they are able to discuss how the experience impacted their knowledge and understanding.
• Children of all abilities and backgrounds achieve well in Geography reflected in outstanding progress that reveals a clear learning journey. Children talk enthusiastically about their learning in Geography and are eager to further their learning in the next stages of their education. The objectives of each Year group can be found at:
https://primarysite-prod-sorted.s3.amazonaws.com/st-marys-catholic-stafford/UploadedDocument/afb89fe3a8fd4b7e940dccd99cf1299a/progression-of-skills-in-geography.pdf AND https://www.stmaryscatholicprimarybrewood.org.uk/years-1-6/
• There is a proven track record of test success that reflects the impact of deep learning.
• Clear outcomes focus and guide all Geography development plans and drive improvement.
• Fundamental British Values are evident in Geography and children understand how it can celebrate difference.
• Through wider reading in Geography, children will: develop a deep and consolidated knowledge and understanding of the curriculum with current real-life examples, an understanding of real-world examples of floods; earthquakes etc. within their lifetime, read materials including horrible geographies; BBC bitesize; National Geographic; BBC news along with a range of library books tailored to children’s reading ages and through this exposure, children will produce work that is influenced by the best of the best.
The high-quality geography education at St Mary’s 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.