The Geography Curriculum is designed to allow pupils to transfer key knowledge to their long-term memory. At St Joseph’s, our Geography curriculum is designed to develop children’s cultural capital by delving into children’s curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
Children investigate a range of places – both in Britain and throughout the world – to help develop their knowledge and understanding of the Earth’s physical and human processes. We are committed to providing children with opportunities to investigate and make enquiries about our local area, so that they can develop a real sense of who they are, their heritage and what makes our local area unique and special to ensure breadth, balance, continuity and progression.
This results in building new skills and knowledge based upon what has been taught before. We develop children’s experiences and understanding of geography by igniting their curiosity about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes through memorable learning opportunities for example, trips to immediate locality (including the beach, Hengistbury Head and the New Forest) and further afield with residentials at Leeson House and Avon Tyrell. The school provides a coherently planned curriculum, sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge, skills and cultural capital through informative teaching and learning activities and enhancement experiences.
Alongside this knowledge and understanding, children will develop geographical skills; collecting and analysing data and using globes, maps, photos and digital mapping tools and develop a range of investigation and problem-solving skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas. Critical thinking will be encouraged when considering local and global geographical issues. Children will know and use subject specific vocabulary and will communicate their knowledge in a variety of ways. Practical research and enquiry are key aspects of Geography teaching and every child will take part in fieldwork every year.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3: 16-17
Carefully designed schemes of learning in Geography ensure consistency and progress of all learners. Children are given the opportunity to learn from practical investigations, guest speakers who are specialists in their field, fieldwork to relevant places of interest – Christchurch town centre, trip to the park, local areas of geographic significance (Jurassic coast). Geography is taught individually but also is taught through cross-curricula studies as appropriate. For example, looking at food, how it comes to us from the world, food miles and how it travels to us, the impact of food miles and environmental issues around this. High quality teaching responds to the needs of children with formative and summative assessment being used by teachers in lessons in order to identify misconceptions early.
Outside of school 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. We also encourage children to share their experiences of countries they may have visited with their families to share their understanding of the wider world and teaching will look to encourage children to make links and observe differences with the geography of Christchurch.
In KS1, children begin to use maps and recognise physical and human features to do with the local area, building to using maps to explore the continents and oceans of the world in year 2. Further, in year 2, children will begin to compare where they live to places outside of Europe and ask and answer geographical questions. In KS2, map skills are developed further using digital maps, more keys and symbols and children begin to use more fieldwork skills. Through revisiting and consolidating skills, our lesson plans and resources help children build on prior knowledge alongside introducing new skills and challenge. All children expand on their skills in local knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography, mapping skills, weather and climate and fieldwork. Across both key stages, children have a range of opportunities to experience geography through practical engaging tasks beyond the classroom. Key words are also highlighted in each lesson, to be used by children to deepen their geographical knowledge.
We expect that, by the end of Year 6, our pupils will have the skills and knowledge they will need to access the KS3 Geography curriculum. They will have sense of curiosity about the world and a mental ‘bucket-list’ of places in the world they would like to find out more about or visit in the future. Our pupils will have an awareness of, and an interest in, the world around them and be able to think critically about real life local and global issues and understand their impact on the world around them.
Geography Trips and Visits in 2023
This year our children have been very lucky to have some external opportunities to enhance their learning in Geography. Our Ducklings went to Longdown Activity Farm to learn about a farm and look at how different animals live and what they eat. Year 5’s residential to Leeson house saw them looking at land use, coastal features and the underlying geology that affects our local landscape. They looked at local animals and adaptations to their habitats alongside learning about how the area is conserved for its wildlife value. During an orienteering session, they put their map skills to good use. Finally, our Year 6 children walked to Hengistbury Head to study the land features and the work of humans and nature on a local environment, specifically the coastline.