Geography at Stocksbridge Junior School
At Stocksbridge Junior School, we value Geography. Every child is a Geographer. Geography is a fundamental part of our psyche; it helps us to explore our identity and how we relate to others. Our high-quality Geography education will instil within our pupils a uniquely powerful perspective of our ever-changing world. We aim to blend core knowledge about the world around us as well as nurturing personal knowledge so that our pupils recognise how our values affect the ways that we use and change the world around us.
Engendering a love and appreciation for the world around us within our pupils is vital. We want our pupils to be ambitious and believe they truly can become a cartographer, architect, tourism officer, environmental consultant or even a weather forecaster! Our Geography curriculum is designed to promote curiosity and provoke insightful questions about the world we live in. It is ambitious, incites a passion for learning and encourages our pupils to be inquisitive so that they have an understanding of how to be an upstanding member of society who is knowledgeable about how to take care of our world.
Our Geography curriculum is designed to ensure that pupils have a secure understanding of the four strands of the National Curriculum: Locational knowledge, Place knowledge, Human and Physical Geography and Geographical skills and fieldwork.
At Stocksbridge Junior School, our teaching of Geography is ambitious and our intention is to equip pupils with essential geographical skills, which will enable them to develop their knowledge of people, places and environments; both human and physical. Our aim is to provide pupils with quality first Geography teaching, alongside a breadth of memorable experiences, to ensure that we shape pupils into curious and considerate global citizens.
Our Geography teaching will help pupils to acquire and develop the skills and confidence to undertake investigations, problem solve and seek answers to their own questions through exploration and research. By inspiring pupils’ sense of responsibility for the environment and people of the world we live in, we can increase their awareness of our changing planet and what is needed to improve and sustain it for future generations. Through our teaching, we intend to develop the respect for and interest in different cultures and an understanding of the relationship that the United Kingdom has with other countries.
Our Geography curriculum aims to equip pupils beyond the minimum statutory requirements of the Geography National Curriculum. It aims to appropriately prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
Through our Geography teaching, our intention is to instil within our pupils a love, appreciation and respect for the local community that surrounds them in order for pupils to develop a strong sense of place and belonging. We also want to ignite a desire amongst pupils to explore the cultures, foods and human and physical features that exist in the wider world.
At Stocksbridge Junior School, our Geography curriculum is designed with these key concepts from the National Curriculum at the heart of every lesson:
- Locational knowledge
- Place knowledge
- Human and Physical Geography
- Geographical skills and fieldwork
The teaching of Geography is interleaved with the teaching of History, which means that Geography lessons are taught every two weeks. Additional time is required when conducting fieldwork studies. Our curriculum involves three Geography-led enquiries within each year group; each enquiry involving between 6-10 lessons. Taking on this enquiry- based approach allows for us to go into more depth in relation to locational knowledge and geographical processes. The enquiries have been organised so that, within each year group, core skills, knowledge, vocabulary and concepts are acquired in the Autumn and Spring terms. What has been learnt and acquired in these terms will then be applied towards the end of the year in the context of a place-based study. Place knowledge is therefore cumulative and comparative.
Our Geography curriculum follows the National Curriculum and provides pupils with an array of enriching learning opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom. With an emphasis on mapping skills and fieldwork, Geography plans ensure that mapping skills go progressively more in depth as pupils progress through school. There are opportunities within enquiries for pupils to draw and interpret a range of maps at different scales. Pupils can then apply their mapping skills through planned opportunities to work like a geographer within the school grounds and local area.
To truly appreciate the local area and wider community and to provide pupils with the awe and wonder that Geography can have when brought to life, we ensure that pupils have the opportunity to conduct fieldwork studies every year.
At Stocksbridge Junior School, we use Oddizzi to support the planning, teaching and assessment of Geography lessons.
At Stocksbridge Junior School, our pupils develop, extend and build upon their Geography learning throughout Key Stage 2. Medium Term plans outline the end points for each Geography enquiry which detail the substantive knowledge that pupils should have acquired during that enquiry. There are planned opportunities within each Geography lesson to revisit and retrieve knowledge to ensure that this knowledge is becoming ‘sticky’ and is becoming embedded in pupils’ long-term memory. With a strong emphasis in the Geography planning on the teaching of vocabulary, there are planned opportunities within each enquiry to allow pupils to ‘Write like a Geographer’. This is an effective way for teachers to assess the impact of how well pupils have understood key concepts and vocabulary and how well they can apply this to an independent piece of writing.
At the end of an enquiry, summative assessment papers are completed by pupils. Questions will link explicitly to the substantive knowledge that pupils will have acquired and results from these assessments will inform teachers’ planning, will help to address misconceptions and will highlight any knowledge that has not yet become ‘sticky’.
A range of formative assessment strategies are used within Geography lessons to effectively track pupils’ learning and to highlight any intervention that may need to happen at the point of learning. Strategies include:
- Word Ban cards
- Follow Me cards
- Cloze Procedure activities
- Kahoot quizzes
- Super six
To assess the impact of Geography skills and knowledge, we use a range of strategies including:
- Book Looks
- Pupil voice interviews
- Lesson observations
- Staff feedback questionnaires
The National Curriculum for Geography
Purpose of study
A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils 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 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 pupils 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 framework and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
- 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 (GIS)
- communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length
Subject content: Key stage 2
Pupils should extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They should develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.
Pupils should be taught to:
- locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe (including the location of Russia) and North and South America, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities
- name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, key topographical features (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time
- identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night)
- understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom, a region in a European country, and a region in North or South America
Human and physical geography
- describe and understand key aspects of:
- physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle
- human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water
Geographical skills and fieldwork
- use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied
- use the 8 points of a compass, 4- and 6-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world
- use fieldwork to observe, measure record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies