Geography Curriculum Statement
At St Richard’s we have developed our geography curriculum to ensure it is fully inclusive for every child. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Geography; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills; and for the children to develop a love for geography.
During the national lockdown in 2021, we taught Geography lessons live via Zoom. Staff continued to use the long-term plan enabling children to still access the Geography units. Children in school and those at home were able to access their lessons. Staff did make some adaptations to the lessons to ensure the activity set could be carried out at home allowing all to access the same learning. During the summer term staff looked out the key knowledge and skills for their year groups and prioritised the teaching for any gaps in knowledge and skills that would impact future learning.
St Richard’s serves a large and varied catchment area and the town of Atherton is identified as a poor socio-economic area. We aim for a high quality geography curriculum which should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. It is our intention that the children have many opportunities to learn about the world in which they live. This includes the children in each year group learning about their local area, allowing our children to develop their sense of identity and to feel valued. Our teaching equips children with knowledge and develops their geographical skills whilst learning about their local area. In addition to local studies the children learn about the location of different countries, cities and towns in the UK and worldwide, as we know that children learn best when they make real life, relevant and contextual links. We intend to equip pupils with knowledge about places and people allowing them to make observations of human and physical processes and to carry out research. Children develop their geographical skills using maps, globes, aerial photographs and digital mapping to name and identify countries, continents and oceans. The children are then given opportunities to communicate information in a variety of ways. We want our children to enjoy and love learning about geography and across school we provide children with enrichment experiences because we know that many of the children in our catchment have limited access to these.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in geography, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Our EYFS assessment of children on entry reveals that most children are generally below average in communication and language skills. As a result of this the curriculum is carefully planned with careful modelling of vocabulary related to positional language. The children are encouraged to talk about their environment and through the use of texts they will explore how other environments might be different. Throughout the year the children have opportunities to explore similarities and differences in places and observe and talk about seasonal changes.
Across KS1 and KS2 Geography is taught as part of four units per year group, focusing on the knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. At St Richard’s, we ensure that geography has the same importance given to it as the core subjects, as we feel this is important in enabling all children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences. Geography is taught once a week in Years 1-6 for an average or an hour each. The timings of these lessons however are flexible depending on the content being covered and the skills being developed. We carefully plan each unit thinking about the key concepts and vocabulary that will be covered. Knowledge maps are used to make links to the children’s prior and future learning to help them know where their learning fits in. Across a unit of work, the children’s knowledge will be developed by them using their geographical skills to obtain the information that they need. Each week, they will build upon this knowledge so that by the end of the unit the children can think and talk confidently about geographical concepts.
The intended impact is for our children to have developed their listening, attention, communication, language skills and writing through a wide and rich geography curriculum. We want to ensure that children at St Richard’s are working at the expected stage for their age and are equipped with geographical knowledge and skills that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3. It is our intention that children will be inspired by our geography curriculum, therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future.