Geography Curriculum Statement
The Intention of the Geography Curriculum at St John Fisher School is to inspire children’s curiosity, interest and appreciation for the world that we live in. We intend to equip children with geographical skills to develop their knowledge through studying places, people and natural and human environments. As geographers, pupils are exposed to a rich and balanced curriculum that provides them with new vocabulary and sticky knowledge. As pupils progress through the school, they will develop an insight into the links between physical and human processes and how landscapes and environments have changed and continue to change.
Our geography curriculum is being developed alongside our history curriculum and where possible, geography is interwoven with history to ensure children have a good understanding of how changes have occurred over time. As the national curriculum states, ‘teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.’ The topics taught have been specifically selected to ensure all pupils make progress and embed knowledge throughout their journey through our school. Children at St John Fisher RC Primary School learn about their local area of Haughton Green, Denton and Manchester and compare life with that of other regions in our country and other parts of the world.
At St John Fisher School, we use the Focus Curriculum to support the planning of topics that weave Geographical knowledge and skills progressively through each topic.
The curriculum is designed so that it is ambitious for all learning and key objectives are clearly outlined for each year group in a progressive way to ensure knowledge, skills and understanding are built on and extended, year upon year (for example, a thread of learning: Year 2 - I can name the capital cities of the United Kingdom; Year 3 - I can name the capital cities of six European countries). Knowledge organisers detail the key learning points of the topic with additional information or key vocabulary that will be covered within the unit. This also provides a useful tool that children can use throughout the topic to re-cap learning. Pre-learning and post-learning exercises are used in a variety of forms to asses prior and current knowledge. Pre-learning tasks, are used to recap the children’s previous topics that link or support the new topic to be taught. This helps to ensure progression and to build upon prior learning. At this point teachers will clearly explain how prior learning links to the new topic being covered. At the start of each lesson children will be given “flashback 4s” This is four questions that links to prior learning either from a previous lesson within the current unit or prior learning from previous year groups. Post-learning tasks, often used at the end of a topic help to inform next steps and to assess knowledge, skills and understanding gained. Pre- and post-learning tasks, as well as formative assessment opportunities within topics, determine children’s understanding and inform planning and support teacher assessment judgements within the curriculum area. These opportunities take a variety of forms and can including debates, quizzes, leaflets, presentations, etc. Long-term and medium-term planning, learning intentions (‘Can I…?’ statements) and challenge questions develop a greater depth of understanding and critical thinking, as well as linking in other curriculum areas, where purposeful. Educational visits are a key feature of our geographical skills and enquiry planning. The staff plan a range of trips to enrich the curriculum, making meaningful cross-curricular links. We are incredibly fortunate to have a vast amount of outdoor space, including our own Forest School Area and woodlands which is used to support the teaching of Geography skills.
We believe that the impact of the Geography Curriculum at St John Fisher inspires our children to want to investigate the world around them. All children will realise that they have choices to make in the world, developing a positive commitment to the environment and the future of the planet.
Continuity and progression within the curriculum is built around essential knowledge, understanding and key skills within Geography. The ‘Essential Knowledge, Skills and Understanding’ within the Learning Challenge Curriculum helps us guarantee that the children are developing these essential skills, alongside National Curriculum requirements. Through our curriculum, pupils learn to think critically and ask perceptive questions.
In order to ensure our aims have been met, we scrutinise Geography through:
- Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught.
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Moderation where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
- Sharing good practice in staff meetings.
- We use of our termly ‘St John Fisher Great knowledge Share’ where a representative group from each year group comes together with the curriculum coordinator to share their learning.
- To support teaching, staff access a range of resources and planning including Oddizzi and Royal Geographical Society.
- Marking of written work in books against the schools marking policy.