Vision and intent for Geography
Our aim at Temple Meadow is to make teaching and learning as enjoyable as we can. To that end, we adopt an Irresistible Learning approach to our curriculum; packaging learning in a way that allows us to create memorable and adaptable learning experiences which include all National Curriculum requirements.
Cultural capital considerations for Geography
Given our context linked to high levels of deprivation, we are aware of the high need to support development of Temple Meadow pupils’ cultural capital. This is key to their future success in their next stage of eduction and in future life. We plan to ensure that the experiences we provide through our geography curriculum and by connecting learning across subjects, gives them confidence and the capacity to succeed in the future and to support a long term aspiration of all UK pupils achieving in society.
Implementation of Geography
We ensure pupils gain a clear understanding of often complex concepts by ensuring we allow for concrete and hands-on learning as a means to develop abstract understanding. For example, to gain a secure understanding of imaginary lines such as the equator and tropics, we manipulate spheres and explore how this geographical positional language helps us navigate our planet.
National Curriculum coverage
We implement all NC expectations for Geography. At Temple Meadow we have generated enquiry based questions to support our GLI (Geographical Learning Intentions) for each learning episode.
Geography enquiry based questions
We feel that Geography is best delivered around enquiry and that geographical enquiry is an active process of investigation in which pupils are fully engaged. We therefore focus our geography teaching around enquiry with each learning episode including, open-ended activities in which pupils are independently discovering things for themselves; as well as more tightly teacher directed activities and a full range of less or more structured approaches in between.
Enquiry based approach ensures that we:
- use thinking time effectively
- improve responses to questions to lead to more targeted, detailed and developed answers
- unpick reliability, viewpoints and challenge ideas
- improve engagement and focus
- challenge and extend ideas and improve understanding
- support pupils to question to a deeper level with focus and insight.
Strands and Long Term Plan
We have developed strands that allow pupils to develop knowledge and skills over time as they move through each year group. In Early Years the KUW (Knowledge and Understanding of the World) area of learning includes Geography skills.
Geography overview (Long Term Plan)
We have a detailed Long Term Plan (LTP) which maps the National Curriculum for Geography really clearly. Operationally the LTP is in the Geography Curriculum Folder. A snapshot of our KS2 LTP is shown below
Teacher view of the importance of Geography
When designing our curriculum Teachers generated the following statements as to why they consider Geography so important at Temple Meadow.
Our aim is for quality delivery and clarity of definitions throughout the school, supporting progression of knowledge and skills. Therefore, supporting each strand and for use in each learning episode there are agreed knowledge organisers.
Geography is taught discreetly and there is a clear timetable slot in 5 out of 6 terms.
Longitudinal study and continuous provision
Some elements of Geography lend themselves to Longitudinal Studies. These are studies over time. For example In Year 1, children study the weather, temperature and seasons through a Longitudinal Study – measuring and collating data.
We always ensure we have slots to support Continuous Provision. For example, something significant may be happening geographically such as a volcanic eruption; this develops a culture where we ensure learning is relevant and connects to wider external issues.
We use timetabled slot on non-assembly days to look at a range of issues/events across the world that have a Geography link and discuss/debate/reflect/hypothesise and acquire knowledge about them.
Vocabulary has high focus and children are expected to develop a secure understanding of required geographical terms. We make smart links to morphology (structure of words) and entymology (the origin of words).
Our Learning episodes ensure that pupils appreciate that they are ‘geographers’ and they are clear regarding the GLI (Geography Learning Intent).
Learning episodes cater for knowledge and retrieval and support long term memory retention by retrieval of previous sessions and from sessions over time.
Teachers are always mindful of inclusion and differentiation. Learning must meet the needs of all pupils. It must be relevant to our diverse community.
Making connections to other subjects
We make smart links to Maths, English, Science, History and Computing.
Continuous Provision and Longitudinal Studies support making connections.
Enabling learning environments
Every classroom has a globe to support curriculum coverage, continuous provision and children’s general curiosity about the world around them.
Atlases are stored in the Library and accessed by teachers as a resource to support learning in the classroom. We use a range of atlases dependent on children’s age, ability and the learning focus.
In addition, if a particular country, part of the world, concept or phenomena is being studied, maps and images will be displayed in the classroom for the duration of that unit to support learning.
Assessment is an ongoing process in Geography. Children receive verbal and written feedback (in line with our marking and presentation policy) in every lesson to allow them to make good progress.
Learning Intentions for each learning episode link to the statements on the Learning Ladders. Teachers and learning support gather evidence on children’s progress within the Learning Ladders and this allow us to track their progress, as well as identifying their gaps or next steps in learning. The Learning Ladders are kept ‘live’ by teachers, and are updated regularly, to maintain an accurate picture of progress in Geography.
Each strand within the learning ladders can be viewed broken down into each year group. This supports teachers with the knowledge of which skills will have already acquired and those they are working towards.
To build Cultural Capital to support lifelong success as learners and citizens, the curriculum at Temple Meadow must be experiential, hands on and imaginative. We value enrichment to support our values.
Trips and visits
When planning the delivery of the Geography curriculum for their year group, teachers are encouraged to look for opportunities where external vtrips and visitors to school will enrich teaching and learning and provide memorable experiences for all learners. These trips and visits are facilitated by following our school Trips and Educational Visits policy. There is no set quota of the number of Geography based trips or visits a year group is to experience in a year; along with all other wider curriculum subjects, trips and visits must support and enrich teaching and learning and are undertaken where there is significant value to leaning experiences.
Fieldwork is a key component of the national curriculum and at Temple Meadow we seak to ensure children are competent in the geographical skills needed to collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes. We have therefore specifically mapped into our long term plan opportunities for children to undertake experiences of fieldwork, whether this be using first-hand observations at Key Stage 1 to enhance their locational awareness or using fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features of the local area at Key Stage 2. Fieldwork is undertaken using a range of methods including sketch maps, plans, graphs and use of digital technologies. Fieldwork is undertaken in a hands on, experiential and irresistible approach, for example using positional language games, treasure trails and external visits.
At Temple Meadow, we promote a hands on, experiential and irresistible curriculum and as such, outdoor learning provides the domain and indeed the requirement for many of the national curriculum objectives to be delivered. Whether it be through undertaking fieldwork, going on an external trip or simply using the locality and school grounds to anchor learning and provide the concrete to the abstract, we promote and seek opportunities where possible to provide outdoor learning experiences.
Focus days are held when an opportunity presents itself either within school, nationally or globally to explore an issue/achievement/cause or concern. Focus days are determined by the Geography lead and are planned in terms of what form they will take, year groups involved, outcomes, display, assessment and stakeholder involvement. A focus day will present an opportunity where other curriculum subjects can lend themselves to facilitating the purpose of the focus, for example World Ocean’s Day may use writing skills to persuade people not to drop litter as it may end up polluting our seas. Focus days should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people.
Showcase of work