Geography is a subject packed with excitement and helps us to better understand our world, its people, places and environments, and the interactions between them. Geography also helps us understand how and why places are changing, and to better imagine, predict and work towards, likely and preferred futures. Underpinning all of this is a strong spatial component that deepens our understanding of what places are like, why and how they are connected, and the importance of location.
At Thorne King Edward we are Geographers. We strongly believe that the teaching of geography gives children a sense of awe and wonder about the world in which they live, and that high quality geography teaching offers our children the foundations for a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it. It is by engendering excitement, creativity and critical thinking about the world that equips our children to make their own way in the world. We believe that learning to think geographically is a uniquely powerful way of seeing the world.
The geography curriculum at Thorne King Edward enables children to develop knowledge and progressive skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which can and are used to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. The aim, ultimately to allow children to know more, remember more and understand more.
Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. We seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives; to promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
We provide geography teaching that builds upon prior learning which prepares our children for the social, economic and environmental surroundings of our modern world. A key element to our teaching is the building of fundamental geographical knowledge and concepts that can be added to and developed each year, increasing memory recall and retrieval skills. This allows our children to advance their rational thinking skills in addition to developing a sense of curiosity and excitement about geography.
Children at King Edward are constantly exposed and immersed in developing their vocabulary acquisition. This key geographical language, increases children’s knowledge and understanding of not only the specific matter they are currently studying, but of the world they live in. Geography in our school is about developing our children’s ideas, philosophy and geographical thinking by allowing them to investigate and study the environment and world around them, regardless of their gender, ethnicity or ability which we achieve with a balanced and broad programme of study.
Geography at Thorne King Edward is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth within their learning; each block lasts for eight weeks. Within our curriculum we have identified the key knowledge and skills of each area of geography and consideration has been given to ensure progression across these areas throughout each year group, and that this is built on in future years. Further information of the key themes studied, when they under undertaken, and the progression across year groups can be found in the documents below.
By the end of year 6, children will have geographical understanding of locational knowledge and place understanding, fieldwork, human and physical features, enquiry skills and globes, maps and plans. New geographical vocabulary is present throughout all teaching of geography. In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in geography, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout our school. The children start to learn about their locality and where they live understanding Thorne as the town where they live. This moves onto learning about the UK, Europe and progressively onto the other continents around the world as they move through each year group, drawing comparisons between them.
Geography is also taught across the curriculum and will feature throughout the year within other subjects, especially history, and one of the themes undertaken each year is a joint geography/history theme. The local area is also fully utilised to support children in achieving the expected outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. Our children are provided with as many opportunities as possible for learning outside the classroom, benefiting their educational, social, physical and emotional development; we have a comprehensive visits programme which supports the development of cultural capital and this plays a major role in supporting the geography curriculum - details of this can be found in the King Edward Offer. We ensure geography is taught through lessons such as reading so children gain the important skills needed in particular through non-fiction text.
Children are given a knowledge organiser at the start of each theme which details some key information, dates and vocabulary. This is used to support children with their acquisition of knowledge and are used as a reference point. Displays within the classroom also support the acquisition of knowledge and help to create a rich learning environment for each geography theme.
Planning is informed by and aligned with the National Curriculum. Consideration is given to how key knowledge will be taught, learnt and demonstrated within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the key identified knowledge.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the Birth to 5 Matters’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an understanding of the world; people and communities and the world’ by the end of the academic year.
Following the completion of the unit of work assessments will be completed for all children, and this data is analysed to improve the children’s learning in geography.
At Thorne King Edward Primary School, our geography curriculum ensures our children make strong progress over time across key stages relevant to their starting points. They develop a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there. The children will
• understand how Geography has shaped their lives and the world today,
• have a good understanding of locational knowledge,
• have an understanding of where places are and what they are like.
As children progress through the school, they develop knowledge of the world around them and can also think about their local area and its place within the wider world. Additionally, we aim that our children will have the ability to form opinions, take responsibility and share an understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the environment.
The geography curriculum helps ensure our children have overcome the vocabulary deficit by exposing students to vocabulary which helps them to make sense of their world and supports their reading development.
The foundations we build within the children’s study of geography at Thorne King Edward ensure they are equipped with the geographical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3, and that they will continue to be interested in the developments of our planet throughout their life.