Our Geography Rationale
Developing young geographers
Creating a sense of ‘Here and There’ and ‘Then and Now’ has provided the basis for the LAT Geography curriculum overview. A clear vision that Geography should be one of the predominant drivers beside the curriculum alongside the LAT ‘We Will’s’ ensures that all of our children have the opportunity to find out about the world around them and explore their place within it. The local context is vitally important to give our children an idea of Plymouth and the South West’s role in local, national and world geography.
Intent | Why do we teach what we teach?
A key driver of our LAT curriculum, our Geography curriculum intends to develop children’s knowledge, curiosity and fascination about the world and its people as well as their place within it that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. It is intended that children develop geographical vocabulary, knowledge and concepts across the three geographical strands of location/place, human/physical geography and geographical skills and fieldwork.
The National Curriculum is set as the minimum expectation for all schools within the LAT. Each school in the LAT has looked at the contextual needs of their children and woven these into their geography curriculum.
Children in EYFS begin to develop a vocabulary to describe their immediate environment and to explore some key geographical themes through the concept of ‘everyday geographies.’ Through exploring spaces and manipulating objects within environments they begin to develop an understanding of the world around them. Play opportunities reflect both the immediate environment and those further afield. EYFS particularly focus on the concept of place, their feelings about place and the development of language related to position.
Children at KS1 develop an idea of their own local environment and then go on explore the physical and human geography of their locality in a regional, national and global context. Key concepts are introduced such as settlement, land use and the impact of the local environment on man’s activity.
As they move into KS2, the content and development of key concepts expand to look at Human and Physical Geography within Europe and the world. The concepts of settlement, land use, trade and the distribution of natural resources are explored within the physical and natural environment and the potential conflicts this creates.
The key physical and human characteristics of places, countries and major cities studied in KS1 and 2 support the KS3 curriculum requirements for locational knowledge. The focus on similarities and differences between places from Early Years onwards supports the place knowledge requirements for KS3.Develping an understanding of how humans interact with places and the impact of physical processes on the landscape and human activity also serves to underpin the KS3 requirements for human and physical geography.
From Early Years pupils are encouraged to use photos, maps which build throughout KS1 and 2 so that by the end of KS2 pupils can successfully use a variety of maps, atlases, globes, digital mapping to locate places and draw conclusions about places at various scales. In addition, every year group undertakes fieldwork enquiry which build the skills required progressively from observing, talking and exploring in Early Years to explaining and reasoning in KS1, measuring and collecting data in LKS2 and hypothesising, justifying and drawing conclusions in UKS2. These fieldwork skills again have been considered carefully to ensure pupils are ready for the demands of the fieldwork element of the KS3 geography curriculum.
Through the overarching concepts of Place, Space and Environment, children build their understanding progressively of settlement, diversity, climate, interconnection, scale, land use, trade, landscape, landforms, environmental resources and sustainability, revisiting them and developing their ideas during their Geography learning journey from Early Years to Key Stage 3 and beyond.
Implementation | How and when do we teach what we teach?
The Geography curriculum is deliberately designed so that knowledge, concepts and skills are built upon progressively. A sense of location as well as the development of key Geographical concepts have been used to create flow within this spiral curriculum.
For every unit, teachers plan a sequence of lessons which purposefully build progression and depth. An age-appropriate knowledge organiser, outlining the knowledge (including vocabulary) that all children must learn and apply in lessons, enables teachers to plan with progression and continuity in mind as well as providing Enquiry questions. A graphic organiser, created at school level, is also used alongside the knowledge organiser to support children in embedding their knowledge into their long-term memory. Tiered vocabulary, which is progressive, is built into every unit. At the start of each unit, children are given opportunities to recall what they last learnt about the concepts they are about to be taught. Strategies to reinforce the embedding of knowledge and vocabulary include dual coding and retrieval practice. Oracy underpins all learning with opportunities to discuss, debate, share ideas and opinions planned in. Scaffolds are in place to support children or personalise the geography learning where necessary, eg dual coding, adapted tasks, adult support, and encouraging children to consider their learning from different perspectives enables additional challenge.
Our Geography curriculum is enriched by fieldwork opportunities which enable children to deepen their understanding of their locality, the world around them, their geographical vocabulary, geographical processes and the impact of human interaction with the physical environment.