At East Sheen Primary, we aim to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all children. We aim to provide opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident and successful learners, with high aspirations, who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society.
We are guided by the National Curriculum for Geography (2014). The National Curriculum for Geography aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – including their defining physical and human characteristics
- Understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time
- 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
-interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems
-communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.
Our intent is that our teaching of Geography will inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Our teaching should equip children 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. As children progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
Geography lessons focus on developing geographical skills and children working as geographers. Our lessons aim for our children to form justified opinions on both the human and physical features of our world, understanding their impact as well as issues in society and the environment. Our children will develop the ability to ‘zoom in’ and ‘zoom out’ in order to view processes and their impact from local, regional, national and international perspectives. Our children will become good geographers who can research, using geographical skills, and present their views on what they have learnt and reach an answer to a question and compare findings. They will leave ESPS with a passion and sense of curiosity for the world and the people who live there, whilst understanding where they live in the world compared to other places.
We intend for our children to have real life experiences and learn about geography in an active and creative way. Links to History, Science and other subject areas are also explored. The planning of learning always begins with the skills and knowledge that needs to be taught and enrichment opportunities, and opportunities to apply learning, are carefully mapped.
Geography is taught in blocks throughout the year using Thinking School methodology, so that children achieve depth in their learning. Key knowledge and skills taught in each topic have been mapped out across the curriculum to ensure progression throughout each year group. By the end of Year 6, children will have a secure understanding of the world around them and fieldwork skills. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between locations, focusing on the human and physical features. This is particularly poignant at East Sheen as we have pupils from a diverse cultural background. At the beginning of each topic, children are able to convey what they know already as well as what they would like to find out. This informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of children’s different starting points.
Planning is informed by and aligned with the national curriculum (2014). Cross curricular outcomes in geography are specifically planned for, with strong links between history, art and science lessons identified, planned for and utilised. The local area is fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice, enabling further contextual learning. Lessons are differentiated to enable all learners including those with SEN or EAL to access the curriculum. Challenges are given and higher level questions are asked to those children who are working at greater depth.
At East Sheen Primary School, we have a wide range of resources to support the teaching of Geography. Each classroom has access to a range of world maps, globes and interactive materials. We also use our school grounds and local environment for map work and field study, including visits to the Thames, Richmond Park and a residential trip to Henley Fort in Y4.
A big emphasis is put on children learning key geographical vocabulary, vocabulary is displayed in every classroom and in KS2 a specific word is focused on each week. KS2 children also have their own key vocabulary pages to refer to for each topic.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year.
Our Geography Curriculum is high quality, well-thought-out and is planned to demonstrate progression.
Outcomes in topic and English books as well as classroom displays, photos and end of topic assemblies evidence a broad and balanced geography curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Children review the agreed successes at the end of every session with support from their teachers. Children also record what they have learned comparative to their starting points at the end of every topic.
As children progress throughout the school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding an appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context. Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning which helps pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of the world around them. By the end of Year 6, our learners will be provided with the opportunities to develop real world skills required within the Geography curriculum. They will be able to collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through personal experiences of fieldwork; interpret a range of sources and to communicate information in a variety of relevant ways.