At Gillingstool Primary School, we aim to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with the 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.
Pupils will be taught about the locations of the world’s continents, countries, cities, seas and oceans. They will develop skills of interpreting sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and geographical information systems. Where possible, we will link Geography to other subject areas developing our cross-curricular contextual learning. Specialist vocabulary for each topic is taught and built on.
Geographical themes are informed by the National Curriculum and are designed to be progressive, outlining the skills, knowledge and vocabulary that are taught in a sequential way, building on prior knowledge. The curriculum has been designed to link to the local area helping our children to make sense of topics in Geography – for example Thornbury and Cardiff. As children move through the school we begin to move from not just local geography but to national and global topics, for example studying disasters and climate. Good local geography enables the pupils to gain a sense of place, engage in community learning where they may become producers of knowledge e.g. in a traffic survey as well as learning to use local information e.g. mapping skills.
Teachers create a positive attitude to geography learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards. Geography is taught in blocks throughout the year so that children achieve a depth in their learning. Where possible the class text in English is linked to the topic to provide contextual learning opportunities e.g. Meerkat Mail and Greek Travel brochures. There are also links through geography to other areas of the curriculum, with children for example, creating explanation texts (volcanoes and earthquakes) and using and applying Maths skills in graphing, position and direction and measurement.
The key knowledge and skills for each topic has been identified and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group and across the school. By the end of Year 6, children will have locational and place knowledge from local, national and global perspectives. They will understand key aspects of physical and human geography and will have confidently developed skills in fieldwork.
Each topic has a knowledge organiser (including vocabulary) for all children to use. There is a unit quiz with assesses prior and gained knowledge allowing children to see their own progress across the term. Geography lessons are scaffolded for those that need support to provide equity in provision and to maintain high standards of achievement for all pupils. Where our topics have a link to local geography e.g. Thornbury and Cardiff, pupils go on trips to and have visits from local experts to enhance the learning experience.
At Gillingstool Primary School, in Geography we strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning by providing investigative and enquiry learning opportunities. We work on an ‘I do, we do, you do’ format to explicitly model strategies when learning new concepts. This is alongside work scaffolds so that every child can engage and participate fully. Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning which helps pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of the key aspects of their learning. Outcomes evidence a broad and balanced Geography curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge through the pre and post learning quizzes, pupil discussions and through regular teacher book looks. Children will complete research independently through homework projects to further their own enjoyment. The school environment will be Geography rich through displays, resources and vocabulary.