Geography

The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together. 

Barack Obama 

At Van Gogh Primary, Geography is a highly valued subject.  Geography stimulates and ignites pupils’ curiosity about the human and natural world around them. At our school, we endeavour to contextualise the children’s learning in Geography, so that they are encouraged to understand and relate what they are learning in class to their real lives in order to give them a better understanding of the world and a sense of belonging.

BrixtonGeography lessons should reflect global changes and explore relevant issues affecting the world in which we live. Geography will help pupils to raise and answer questions about the Natural and Human world. It will enable pupils to think critically about the impact human activity has in the natural world, cities and population amongst others. It will spark pupils’ curiosity about places and people. It will promote knowledge, interest and fascination about diverse places, their differing natural geography, human environments and resources. Geography should help pupils to become knowledgeable citizens, concerned about the future of the world. Geography should help students to understand key geographical concepts and skills, thus having an awareness of the connections that exist between people and places.

Key Curriculum Principles

1. Enrichment: Geographical skills will be supported by outdoor learning and employing fieldwork skills. Well-planned fieldwork in the local area will maximise children’s Geography learning through providing them with a range of rich, memorable experiences. These include: field trips to local parks, reservoirs, canals and museums; links with local businesses and people, e.g. visits to our local market; visitors and workshops in-school, e.g. Eco-Active recycling workshops. 

2. Deliberate Practice: Students will build on their knowledge of globes, maps, atlases and aerial photos. They will apply and develop this knowledge routinely. KS2 Students will interpret Ordnance Survey Maps, including using grid references and online resources to enable them to develop an understanding of where they are in relation to the rest of the world. Developing procedural knowledge through geographical enquiry.  This enquiry approach aims to develop proficiency in asking relevant questions, collecting and analysing data, and drawing conclusions.

3. The bigger Picture: The knowledge that children will learn through each geography unit is clear and develops their understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Furthermore, children will develop an understanding that the choices they make will have an environmental impact.  All children should participate in activities which promote a greater understanding of their place in the world, and their rights and responsibilities to other people and the environment.Pupils should develop a sense of being a global and responsible citizen. 

IMPLEMENTATION

How is Geography taught in KS1?  

Geography is taught over two terms in the academic year.  The Geography units are covered in Term 3 and Term 4. Teachers should be teaching one lesson a week although it is up to year groups to decide whether they wish to block all lessons or teach them over the course of the term.  Children will participate in fieldwork activities which promotes geographical knowledge and understanding by bridging the divide between the classroom and the real world. All children from the Early Years onwards will be exposed to globes, atlases and online resources to enable them to develop an understanding of where they are in relation to the rest of the world. Work should be completed in History/Geography books. 

The layout in books should be:

  • A cover page for the unit of work

  • Knowledge organizer 

  • Mind map (What we know and what we have found out – same format as Science)

  • Photos of field work for the unit of Geography being studied (constructed as a whole class task, photo evidence in books and on classroom display boards)

An enquiry question should be used at the start of the unit to help direct pupils thinking and search for evidence. At the end of the unit it is expected that pupils will revisit the mind map and complete it in red pen. They should highlight what they have found out.  They should be able to write simple sentences with some technical vocabulary. 

How is Geography taught in KS2

Geography is taught over two terms in the academic year.  The Geography units are covered in Term 3 and Term 4. Teachers should be teaching one lesson a week although it is up to year groups to decide whether they wish to block all lessons or teach them over the course of the term.  Children will participate in fieldwork activities which promotes geographical knowledge and understanding by bridging the divide between the classroom and the real world. All children from the Early Years onwards will be exposed to globes, atlases and online resources to enable them to develop an understanding of where they are in relation to the rest of the world. KS2 children should collect, analyse and present a range of data, gathered through experiences of fieldwork, to deepen their understanding of geographical processes. Pupils should use and interpret a wide range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes and aerial photographs. All children should participate in activities which promote a greater understanding of their place in the world, and their rights and responsibilities to other people and the environment. Work should be completed in History/Geography books.  The layout in books should be:

  • A cover page for the unit of work

  • Knowledge organizer 

  • Mind map (What we know and what we have found out – same format as Science)

  • Photos of field work for the unit of Geography being studied (constructed as a whole class task, photo evidence in books and on class display boards)

 An enquiry question should be used at the start of the unit to help direct pupils thinking and search for evidence. At the end of the unit it is expected that pupils will revisit the mind map and complete it in red pen. They should highlight what they have found out.  They should be able to write detailed sentences and paragraphs  with some technical vocabulary. 

SEND and Inclusion

As in all areas of the curriculum, teachers should deliver ‘quality-first’ teaching and differentiate to support children with barriers to learning. On an individual basis, teachers should consider any limitations that a child has in accessing the planned lesson and provide resources, word banks, pictorial clues, adapted tasks and adult support.

With more able and ‘Greater depth’ pupils the use of open-ended questions should be used to promote deeper thinking and promote pupils to use prior learning to formulate ideas.  

Feedback and Assessment of learning

It is vital that all pupils are given feedback on the work they have completed.  Immediate feedback is the most valuable as it gives the opportunity to rectify and improve immediately.  Feedback can be marked on the work or given verbally however it should be evident that the pupil has responded to verbal feedback in the form of editing and improving.  Teachers should give feedback in conjunction with the ‘Feedback and marking policy’. 

  • Green highlighter for work marked correctly (specific attention to technical words, location, dates)

  • Pink highlighter for errors 

  • Teacher comments in green pen

  • Pupils editing in red pen

Mind maps should be completed in red pen at the end of the unit with all the knowledge that pupils have learnt.

Staff professional learning

Regular staff training is provided for the team. 

Cross curricular links

Where possible, teachers should plan for and promote the cross-curricular links between History and other areas of the curriculum:

  • Maths – Dates (numbers), chronology, place value

  • English - Essays, reports, sentence formation, diary entries, newspapers, 

  • Speaking & Listening – Debating, justifying, presenting, questioning

  • Art – Paintings, drawings, sketches

  • DT – Recreating objects/places 

Curriculum Overview

 

Spring 1

Spring 2

Year 1

Geography skills & Locational Knowledge

Seasons and Weather

Year 2

Geography skills & Locational Knowledge

Non-European study

(Ghana)

Year 3

Geography skills & Locational Knowledge

Rivers and Mountains

Year 4

Geography skills & Locational Knowledge

Volcanoes and earthquakes

Year 5

Geography skills & Locational Knowledge

Region of Europe study

(France)

Year 6

Geography skills & Locational Knowledge

Region of America Study (Amazon)

 

Enquiry questions

 

Enquiry Questions

 

Spring Term 1

Spring  Term 2

Y1

Geography skills and

Locational Knowledge

Seasons and Weather

 

Why is Van Gogh Primary School a necessity in our local area?

Why do leaves drop from trees in Autumn?

Y2

Geography skills & Locational Knowledge

Non- European Study (Ghanna)

 

Can you name the different continents and oceans around the world?

How does living in England compare to living in Ghana?

Y3

Geography skills & Location Knowledge

Rivers and Mountains

 

What does a topographer do?

How do humans engage with rivers?

Y4 

Geography skills & Location Knowledge

Volcanoes and Earthquakes

 

Why was the Panama Canal built?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of living near a volcano?

Y5 

Geography skills & Location Knowledge

Region of Europe study (France)

 

Which county does London belong to?

How does living in London compare to living in France?

Y6 

Geography skills & Location Knowledge

Region of America study (Amazon)

 

How do you read an ordnance Survey Map?

How has human activity affected the physical environment in Brazil?

View All News