At Alkrington Primary school we recognise that Geography is the subject in which pupils learn the skills of understanding a locality and how and where people fit into its overall structure. Our curriculum goes beyond the National Curriculum by including learning that is relevant to our own locality and the children’s own experiences. Developing geographical skills is essential as children live in a world that is wide open to them. With opportunities to travel and work in different cities and countries across the world, pupils need to use efficiently maps, charts and other geographical data. Geography enriches other areas of the curriculum such as: English (communication skills), Maths (interpreting data), ICT (direct a programmable toy) and PSHCE (empathy with others).
The teaching of Geography would be difficult without acknowledging the future of our planet. The Geography Curriculum places great importance on the interaction between the physical and the human environment. We are an Eco-school offering many opportunities to make children aware of their impact upon their surroundings, their own responsibilities and how they can contribute to improving the environment, however small that contribution might be. It's our aim to provide a geography curriculum that will:
- help children to enjoy Geography and geographical enquiry;
- foster children’s sense of wonder at the beauty of the world around them;
- help children to develop an informed concern about the quality of the environment and the future of the human habitat;
- stimulate children’s interest in their surroundings and in the variety of physical and human conditions on the earth’s surface;
- enhance children’s sense of responsibility for the care of the earth and its people;
- encourage children to engage in an enquiry approach to Geography;
- develop in children an awareness of place both near and far;
- promote understanding of what it means to live in one place rather than another
At Alkrington Primary School we teach geography every other week in topic blocks carefully planned by teachers to ensure that they deliver information as outlined in our milestones document and stand-alone lessons ensure that children are taught all of the knowledge necessary in their learning journey throughout school. The milestones document contains the essential information from YR – Y6 to enable us to feel confident that we are supporting children in fully understanding and absorbing new information. Our pupils organise their knowledge, skills and understanding around the following learning concepts called ‘Threshold Concepts:
- Investigate places- understanding the geographical location of places and their physical and human features.
- Investigate patterns- understanding the relationships between the physical features of places and the human activity within them, and the appreciation of how the world’s natural resources are used and transported.
- Communicate geographically- understanding geographical representations, vocabulary and techniques.
These key concepts underpin learning in each milestone. Milestone 1– KS1 (Y1&2) Milestone 2– LKS2 (Y3&4) Milestone 3– UKS2 (Y5&6). Within each Milestone, certain themes are revisited. These are called the ‘knowledge Categories’ which are a way of expressing understanding of the threshold concepts and helping children to make connections between learned knowledge and new knowledge. This enables pupils to reinforce and build upon prior learning, make connections, and develop subject specific language.
Geography makes a significant contribution to the ELG objectives of developing a child’s understanding of the world through activities such as finding out about different places and habitats and investigating our locality. EYFS classes follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum guidance, as well as ‘Development Matters.’ Geographical activities are derived predominantly from the Knowledge and Understanding of the World area of learning although many of the Mathematics, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Communication and Language statements also apply. Specific geography tasks are planned, as well as following each child’s interests to develop their understanding of the world naturally through outdoor learning, current events, seasons and celebrations. We also develop our understanding of the wider world through getting to know each child and the things that make them unique so we can link them to the wider world.
Key Stage 1
During Key Stage 1, pupils investigate their local area and a contrasting area in the United Kingdom or abroad, finding out about the environment in both areas and the people who live there. They also begin to learn about the wider world. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this, they ask geographical questions about people, places and environments, and use geographical skills and resources, such as maps and photographs.
Key Stage 2
During Key Stage 2, pupils investigate a variety of people, places and environments in the United Kingdom and abroad, and start to make links between different places in the world. They find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. Pupils carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this, they ask geographical questions, and use geographical skills and resources, such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and ICT. Children will develop geographical enquiry skills, including asking geographical questions, collecting and recording information and identifying different views. They will acquire the appropriate practical skills associated with Geography, including using suitable vocabulary, fieldwork techniques and maps, plans and atlases. Pupils will use secondary sources of information with accuracy, including aerial photographs, satellite images, etc.
The impact of our Geography curriculum is measured in a variety of ways: questioning during lesson time, marking children’s written work, listening to child-led discussion, interviewing pupils across the school about their learning, book looks and using images/videos of children’s practical learning. By end of the Geography curriculum at Alkrington, our children will:
Have a growing knowledge of the world and their place in it.
Have a wider vocabulary of geographical terms.
Aspire to discover more about the world, through reading, travel or the media.
Know that they can use their voice to express themselves and their opinions.
Develop their geographical skills, such as, evaluation, creativity, problem solving and enquiry.
For each of the threshold concepts three milestones, each containing the knowledge the children need to understand the threshold concepts, provides a progression model. The detail included in these plans can be seen by clicking on the milestone links below: