“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. 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.”
Primary National Curriculum for Geography 2014
GEOGRAPHY CURRICULUM STATEMENT
At Alfriston Primary School, our Geography curriculum aims to inspire pupils to become curious and explorative thinkers with a diverse knowledge of the world; in other words, to think like a geographer. We want pupils to develop the confidence to question and observe places, measure and record necessary data in various ways, and analyse and present their findings. Through our scheme of work, we aim to build an awareness of how Geography shapes our lives at multiple scales and over time. We hope to encourage pupils to become resourceful, active citizens who will have the skills to contribute to and improve the world around them.
OUR CURRICULUM INTENT FOR GEOGRAPHY
Our Geography curriculum encourages:
- A strong focus on developing both geographical skills and knowledge.
- Critical thinking, with the ability to ask perceptive questions and explain and analyse evidence.
- The development of fieldwork skills across each year group.
- A deep interest and knowledge of pupils’ locality and how it differs from other areas of the world.
- A growing understanding of geographical concepts, terms and vocabulary.
HOW WE IMPLEMENT OUR INTENTIONS
Geography is a foundation subject within the national curriculum for KS1 and KS2 and we follow the Kapow Primary’s Geography scheme of work. This scheme enables pupils to meet the end of key stage attainment targets in the National curriculum. The aims also align with those in the National curriculum. For EYFS, the activities allow pupils to work towards the ‘Understanding the world’ Development matters statements and Early learning goals, while also covering foundational knowledge that will support them in their further geography learning in Key Stage 1.
The National curriculum organises the Geography attainment targets under four strands:
Our geography curriculum has a clear progression of skills and knowledge within these four strands across each year group. Our ‘progression of skills and knowledge’ document shows the skills taught within each year group and how these develop to ensure that attainment targets are securely met by the end of each key stage. Geographical key concepts are woven across all units rather than being taught discretely, and these are laid out in the ‘Progression of geographical concepts’ document.
Our ‘National Curriculum coverage’ document shows which of our units cover each of the National Curriculum attainment targets as well as each of the four strands in Key stage 1 and 2. The document also reflects which Development matters statements and Early learning goals are met in each activity within the EYFS units.
The Kapow curriculum is a spiral curriculum, with essential knowledge and skills revisited with increasing complexity, allowing pupils to revise and build on their previous learning. Locational knowledge, in particular, will be reviewed in each unit to coincide with our belief that this will consolidate children’s understanding of key concepts, such as scale and place, in Geography.
The two EYFS units provide a solid foundation of geographical skills, knowledge and enquiry for children to transition successfully onto Key stage 1 Geography learning, whilst also working towards the Development matters statements and Early Learning Goals. These units consist of a mixture of adult-led and child-initiated activities.
Cross-curricular links are included throughout each unit, allowing children to make connections and apply their Geography skills to other areas of learning. Our enquiry questions form the basis for our Key stage 1 and 2 units, meaning that pupils gain a solid understanding of geographical knowledge and skills by applying them to answer enquiry questions. These questions have been designed to be open-ended with no preconceived answers and therefore they are genuinely purposeful and engage pupils in generating a real change. In attempting to answer them, children learn how to collect, interpret and represent data using geographical methodologies and make informed decisions by applying their geographical knowledge.
Each unit contains elements of geographical skills and fieldwork to ensure that fieldwork skills are practised as often as possible. Kapow Primary units follow an enquiry cycle that maps out the fieldwork process of question, observe, measure, record, and present, to reflect the elements mentioned in the National Curriculum. This ensures children will learn how to decide on an area of enquiry, plan to measure data using a range of methods, capture the data and present it to a range of appropriate stakeholders in various formats.
Fieldwork includes smaller opportunities on the school grounds to larger-scale visits to investigate physical and human features. Developing fieldwork skills within the school environment and revisiting them in multiple units enables pupils to consolidate their understanding of various methods. It also gives children the confidence to evaluate methodologies without always having to leave the school grounds and do so within the confines of a familiar place. This makes fieldwork regular and accessible while giving children a thorough understanding of their locality, providing a solid foundation when comparing it with other places.
Lessons incorporate various teaching strategies from independent tasks to paired and group work, including practical hands-on, computer-based and collaborative tasks. This variety means that lessons are engaging and appeal to those with a variety of learning styles.