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Christ Church CE Primary School

'With God,
all things are possible' (Matthew 19:26)

  Geography  

 Geography is a subject which holds the key to our future.

Michael Palin

Intent

At Christ Church, our vision is firmly rooted in our belief that ‘With God, all things are possible’ (Matthew 19:26). We do this by nurturing, developing and celebrating the God-given talents of each child within a caring Christian community. Our core values, based upon the teachings of Jesus Christ, are closely linked to our vision and underpin all we do. We fully believe that all children, without exception and without exclusion, are loved by God and should feel safe and valued within our school community. Our Christian values are at the heart of all we do. They underpin teaching and learning and every aspect of daily life in school. Our shared values influence our behaviour and our motives, helping us to aspire to become local, national and global citizens. They are based on our belief that CHRIST is within all of us. We believe our children have the right to a fulfilled and happy life. We strive to provide every opportunity through an ambitious geography curriculum that offers opportunities for growth; spiritually, morally, socially, emotionally and academically, so our children experience life in all its fullness.

Our ambitious geography curriculum has been designed to offer a high-quality education that equips pupils to develop a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Through geography, we aim to develop pupils’ understanding of the world in which they live through the study of place and environment to make a positive contribution as local, national and global citizens. We aim to provide a basis for pupils to understand their role within the world, by exploring locality and how people fit into a global structure and develop their cultural capital. In order to develop this understanding, we endeavour to help pupils learn through experience including practical and fieldwork activities. We aim to create a firm foundation of knowledge and develop skills in order to build confidence, resilience, enthusiasm and a passion for geography in our children.

The key principles behind our geography curriculum are to:

  • Increase pupils’ awareness, knowledge and understanding of other cultures;
  • Help children understand and learn about the geography of their local area;
  • Equip children with the skills to interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes and aerial photographs;
  • Give children the skills needed to collect, analyse and communicate data gathered through fieldwork;
  • Ensure children can communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical skills and writing at length;
  • Develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places and understanding of their defining physical and human characteristics;
  • Understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world and how they change over time;
  • Link geography topics with Steps to Read schemes of work, to enhance our learning and development in reading.

In order to help build a firm foundation for individual growth in all learners, we believe John Sweller’s theory on Cognitive Load being central to developing learning and understanding. We understand to overcome the limits of our working memory, the importance of chunking and automating information in long term memory. We are developing our understanding of intrinsic and extraneous load. The key idea of Cognitive Load Theory is to minimise extraneous load and optimise intrinsic load. Therefore, Geography will be taught once a week, every other half term and each year group will learn three topics per year. Each week, children will recap on previous learning to embed knowledge into the long term memory. In line with this understanding, we believe that threshold topics will link together common concepts that run between subjects and through the curriculum. Steps to read will often drive learning in Geography.

As a school, we believe in using growth mindset alongside cognitive load theory. Our foundations as a school believes deeply in personal growth, creating aspirations and widening horizons for life. One theory that we have introduced is the concept of Carol Dweck’s growth mindset. As a school, we actively encourage growth mindset, using her theory of 'The Power of Yet' as a base. We believe that all members of our community should adopt this approach and understand that they are on a learning curve that will give you a path into the future, especially when learning in geography.

Implementation

As a Church of England school, the Christian faith is the foundations of everything that we do at Christ Church. We strongly believe that our geography curriculum should focus on positive well-being, self-awareness, relationships and the wider world. The skills that are taught in geography enable learners to develop skills and understanding, which equips learners to make positive choices, widen horizons and create aspirations for life as local, national and global citizens.

To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in geography, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Geography is taught as part of a half –termly topic, every other half term, focusing on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum.

At Christ Church, we believe that it is important to enable children to have a broad and balance geography curriculum. To ensure whole school consistency, our geography curriculum is taken from the National Curriculum suggested areas of study. Staff and children have worked hard to discuss and design their curriculum. Through exciting lessons, effective resources and visits to our local area, we aim to excite and intrigue our children to find out more the world around them. At Christ Church, we work to develop subject knowledge and key skills whilst ensuring inclusion for all abilities. We ensure high quality CPD for all staff to ensure a good subject knowledge is displayed by all staff.

All lessons are started with by revisiting learning from the past in order to build on and consolidate learning over time. 

Impact

The personalised teaching of Geography at Christ Church results in engaging lessons, which provide our pupils with a firm foundation of our world. This foundation will help to guide and develop them as they complete their primary phase and prepare them for life as local, national and global citizens.

Assessment is being developed across the curriculum and in Geography. It is used to inform planning and tracking progress and gaps. This takes place within lessons in many ways, including as a recap of previous learning at the start of the lesson or through periodic quizzes. Every topic has an end of unit piece of work to showcase learning. Staff across school use INSIGHT on a termly basis to assess statements pupils are working towards, secure in, exceeding or mastery. At the end of the academic year, each pupil will be given a corresponding level appropriate to their understanding that reflects attainment for the academic year.

Pupil voice is used periodically throughout the year to ascertain enthusiasm and knowledge of Geography across school, the understanding of taught concepts and pupils’ ability to talk about the different aspects of Geography. In order to evidence the knowledge developed throughout school, each child has a Geography book which is being developed so it will clearly shows their progress throughout the curriculum. The introduction of the Junior Leadership Team this year has really given an extra dimension to subject leaders. They support Leaders in monitoring and improving subject areas through the curriculum.

To evidence skills developed throughout Geography, pupils understand and utilise subject specific vocabulary. As well as this, BLIPPIT is used to showcase displays, learning, discussions and SEND support. By the end of key stage 2, pupils will be able to:

  • Have a clear of location and place and can discuss this further, sometimes with prompts;
  • Secure a good understanding of physical and human geography;
  • Use accurate technical and subject vocabulary,  which will develop as they move through the school;
  • Use and interpret a range of sources, with confidence, for example, maps, globes, atlases, aerial photographs. 

Additional Information and Resources

Please click on the links below to find out more about our Geography Curriculum:

National Curriculum Programme of Study: GeographyGeography Long Term Plan

Geography Progression Document

 Geography Vocabulary Progression - Under review

Geography and Development Matters

Geography Early Years OverviewGeography Reading SpineEco Reading SpineGeography Recovery Curriculum