Within our federation, we believe that Geography should be taught in a way that inspires curiosity and a love of learning about the world around us. We aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that allows children to develop their geographical knowledge, skills and understanding progressively from the Early Years Foundation stage to the end of Key Stage 2.
As children enter our Early Years setting, this is the first opportunity we get to see how a child interacts with their environment and how the environment influences them. Our strong and experienced Early Years team follow the EYFS Statutory Framework which aims to guide children to make sense of their physical world and their community. In doing so, this allows them to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment which is the first step in becoming a geographer at our Federation.
KS1 and KS2 teachers then build upon skills taught and laid out in the foundation stage to maintain strong links to National Curriculum guidelines. All staff aim to ensure that the knowledge and skills of Geography are being taught across all year groups in meticulous detail so children in our federation have a strong sense of belonging and community which is weaved throughout our curriculum.
Geography lessons are planned using a clear progression of skills to build pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the world and the interaction between physical and human processes. Quality first teaching is at the heart of the planning process and teachers know how to plan in order to meet the needs of all geographers in their cohort. At Orchard Lea Federation we build geographical expertise from their local area to the wider world.
Children will build a foundation of knowledge in key areas of Geography including locational knowledge, understanding of human and physical features and geographical and fieldwork techniques. Opportunities to develop their skills and fieldwork using maps and atlases (both physical and digital) will be provided for all pupils. Through the use of real-world examples, we will develop children’s geographical enquiry skills by encouraging them to ask questions, collect observations and analyse data.
It is our aim to develop a deep subject knowledge for all our children and key skills are revised continually throughout each school term. We always aim to make connections to prior learning and so staff work hard to develop further children’s geographical understanding by building upon key skills taught year on year. At Orchard Lea Federation we foster an understanding of language and vocabulary and the introduction of various geographical terms and topical words each half term help embed learning at a higher level. Geography assessment is ongoing and informs teachers with planning lesson activities and differentiation; it will be tracked against the Geography progression of skills objectives.
Based upon the National Curriculum and the individual needs of our children, we have created a Geography progression map, which sets out the objectives taught in each year group. We alternate our Geography and History topics ensuring that our children receive a well-rounded teaching of the humanities subjects throughout the year. At times, we take the opportunity to create links between the two subjects and other areas of the curriculum to help solidify the learning taking place.
Each individual lesson has content that is differentiated between, and within, year groups so that learning is age-appropriate and high expectations are maintained. Children use learning journeys to record learning in a way that is memorable to them at the end of each unit or lesson. We use enquiry and writing in Geography as an opportunity for children to showcase what they have learned and embed their knowledge. Maps and locational awareness are referenced throughout the school and the curriculum and teachers are encouraged to show these links when appropriate during all lessons to help to develop an awareness of the globe. Our whole school oracy focus underpins our vocabulary-rich Geography curriculum.
Teachers use questioning and encourage pupil-led questioning. Providing opportunities for discussion and investigation to support the development of vocabulary, which is explicitly taught and modelled by teachers in every lesson. Key geographical knowledge and language (such as, the name and location of continents, countries, capital cities and oceans) is revisited frequently, to make learning memorable, relevant and easy to retrieve. From EYFS to the end of KS2, pupils are encouraged to consider how they are impacted by geography of varying types as well as the impact they have on their immediate and wider environment.
We support learning with trips to inspire our children and widen their cultural experiences. For instance, our Year 4 rivers learning involves a visit to Chichester harbour and KS1 have the opportunity to visit their local area. Teachers are also encouraged to use a range of resources such as videos, photographs and newspaper articles during lessons to help create immersive learning experiences.
Evidence of this learning will be found in books, sometimes in the form of photographs or other forms of media or analysis. This will show clear progression across the Key Stages and throughout the Federation. All children will be able to access the Geography curriculum by ensuring suitable scaffolding and support is in place to remove any barriers the children may have when accessing this subject. Enrichment opportunities are offered to all children who are mastering the knowledge and skills for their age range, additional opportunity and challenge is incorporated into the learning journey.