At Morven Park Primary School, we value the important role that Geography plays in the daily lives of our pupils. The study of geography involves our pupils exploring the relationship and interactions between people and the environments in which they live and upon which they and all life on Earth depends. Many of the pupils who now attend our school will live to see the next century and inhabit a world of 11 billion people. The many opportunities and challenges that will arise during their lifetime will be very much about geography at personal, national and global scales. What we intend pupils to learn in geography reflects this throughout the curriculum.
The National Curriculum will provide the structure for our geography curriculum. We will follow the aims set out below:
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.
At Morven Park Primary School our geography curriculum aims to deliver a progressively more challenging curriculum from Early Years and Years 1 through 6 both in terms of the complexity of the subject knowledge we want our pupils to acquire and also the critical thinking skills we support them to utilise to ensure they understand the significance of that knowledge. These anticipated outcomes in knowledge and understanding and skills acquisition are detailed in the objectives of the teachers’ planning. In terms of the geographical techniques we want our pupils to master as they progress through the school our curriculum planning has been informed by our identification of the coverage required at Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2.
At Morven Park Primary School our geography curriculum is progressive and has continuity with the provision for geography established in the Early Years Foundation Stage. This is where our young geographers begin their journey as they explore their immediate environment and begin to gain a curiosity for the world around them. Following on from this our young geographers in years 1 and 2 begin to deepen their curiosity through an engaging curriculum and enrichment activities. These include; exploring their local environment, creating their own maps, visiting local farms and woodland. In lower KS2 our geographers begin to observe, challenge and use geographical skills to answer questions. Their learning experiences and a residential visit to the Peak District fuels a natural curiosity and they become increasingly aware of the human geography and the part they play in it. They begin to question the valuable commodities that the world has to offer as they explore water. In years 5 and 6 our geographers begin to apply their knowledge as they explore deeper questions about sustainability and the natural environment. They can now use their knowledge and understanding to question, justify and reach their own conclusions about matters that affect them and their world.
At Morven Park Primary School, we adopt many enquiry-focussed approaches to learning and teaching geography, which supports our pupils to become young geographers. We structure learning through the discreet teaching that is relevant both in places and themes studied. Our teaching promotes questioning from our pupils and critical thinking as they progress through the year groups, building upon knowledge already gained from previous learning and enriching experiences and seeking to further their own curiosity about the world in which they live.
We provide varied learning opportunities for our pupils including; trips and excursions; geography club; map work; GIS; photographs and PowerPoints, equally we assess our pupils in varied ways such as observation when listening to their discussions, photographs, drama and written work to record their outcomes. This supports understanding and through this variety, they are able to acquire the sticky knowledge needed to build upon as they progress through school. Progression throughout the school is clear, as our young geographers make links to prior learning and delve deeper into familiar themes such as the local area.
Teachers make summative judgements based on the assessment criteria suggested and the requirements of the National Curriculum, which underpins teachers' planning. Essentially each themed geography topic will enable pupils to fulfil the requirements to be young geographers, using geographical vocabulary and obtain geographical techniques including fieldwork and mapping skills.
By the end of Key Stage one
In Key stage one pupils working as young geographers will have demonstrated that they can use effectively a range of geographical skills and simple geographical techniques including fieldwork.
Pupils will be expected to:
Identify, describe, compare and contrast and offer reasons for the similarities and differences they observe in the physical and human geographical features of their school grounds, the locality of the school and a number of contrasting environments in the United Kingdom and around the world. In achieving this pupils will have shown a capacity to use accurately a wide range of basic geographical vocabulary together with simple fieldwork, mapping and aerial imagery techniques to observe, present and communicate geographical information. Consequently they possess a sound locational knowledge of the basic geographical characteristics of the United Kingdom, the wider world (Continents, Oceans, North and South Poles and the Equator) and can also identify, describe, compare and contrast and suggest reasons for daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and contrasting hot and cold locations in other parts of the world.
By the end of lower Key Stage 2
In Key stage two our pupils will have built upon previous knowledge gained and be able to demonstrate the use of geographical vocabulary; geographical techniques and have developed critical thinking towards relevant geographical topics and themes.
Pupils will be expected to;
Demonstrate geographical understanding by describing and explaining in basic terms the similarities and differences in the physical and human features of their home area and a region in North America, including offering some reasons why both places are changing. They will also be able to locate, describe and explain some of the reasons for the distribution of globally important physical and human geographical features including climate zones, deserts, tropical rain forests, earthquakes and the world’s largest urban areas. Additionally they will also be able to identify, describe and explain the significance on a world map and globe of important lines of latitude and longitude, the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn together with the Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Greenwich Meridien and Time Zones. They will now demonstrate more detailed locational knowledge of the geographical features of the United Kingdom together with those of the other countries and locations around the world they study. In achieving the above pupils show they understand and apply some specialised subject vocabulary and use effectively more complex techniques to gather, present and communicate geographical information, including digital technologies, inside and outside the classroom.
By the end of upper Key Stage 2
Pupils will be expected to;
Demonstrate that they can interpret a range of sources of geographical information including GIS and communicate their knowledge and understanding in a variety of ways e.g. through oracy, maps, numerical and statistical techniques and writing at length. Through the study of physical features such as rivers and mountains pupils show that they understand how distinct landscapes are formed by natural processes and can make basic informed judgements about some of the challenges and benefits they present to humans. Pupils show, for example, through investigating the impact of volcanoes, the rationale behind Fair Trade and role of National Parks in the United Kingdom that they are able to evaluate information from conflicting viewpoints and perspectives and make their own informed judgments and geographical decisions. In achieving this pupils use mostly specialised subject vocabulary and techniques to communicate their knowledge and understanding.