Geography At Cawthorne
At Cawthorne Primary School, we understand the value of Geography within the curriculum and the importance of making links on a local, national and global level and providing a rich curriculum that develops children’s cultural capital. We believe Geography should inspire a lifelong curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. In a changing world, we see an interest in Geography, Geographical knowledge and skills as essential reflecting our school’s core purpose which is to promote “life in all its fullness”. We intend that all our children, regardless of their need or starting point, are equipped to achieve their full potential in Geography. Our teaching aims to equip children with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to understand interactions between human and physical processes and features. As children progress through school, we build on and extend the scale of their understanding and knowledge of the world, its people, environments, changes, landscapes and processes. The Geography curriculum is successfully adapted to meet the needs of all children by ensuring practical, immersive and hands on teaching that promotes independence and fluency. We plan to provide our children with interactive trips and visits locally and nationally.
The teaching and implementation of Geography at Cawthorne is based on the National Curriculum. The learning objectives are outcome focused and are progressively more challenging for our children as they move through school; we implement this through the use of key enquiries. Important subject knowledge is implicit in each enquiry but is balanced with adequate time and opportunity for our pupils to master key skills and outcomes by ‘doing less better’. This ensures progression in both the complexities of content and in terms of pupils applying their knowledge to achieve higher order outcomes. By choosing the subject content effectively we ensure that appropriate and specialised geographical vocabulary is introduced and consolidated with pupils. Key question led and enquiry based learning enables our pupils to achieve higher order outcomes by interrogating information and applying skills from one context to another. At Key Stage 1, many of the questions are more tightly defined ‘Who’, ‘What’, ‘Where’ and ‘When’ questions however at Key Stage 2 a more open ended approach is apparent with a clearer focus on ‘Why’ and ‘How’ questions. Each enquiry has a key question underpinned by several sub-questions for the pupils to master in turn as they progress through the investigation. Our Geography curriculum is based on a two year planning cycle to support split year group classes and key stages.
EYFS - The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of Geography through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World – The Natural World and People, Culture and Communities’. Children find out about and develop a sense of the world around them through planned topics and everyday experiences. There are some adult-led activities to follow up on whole class learning and discussion points, although much of the learning in this subject will be developed through the Continuous Provision and the Enhanced Provision, both in the classroom and in the outdoor learning environment. They are exposed to geographical language through a text and language rich environment. Children learn about features of their own environment such as school, home, community and their local village/town through first-hand experiences both indoors and outdoors. They learn how environments may differ through the sharing of non-fiction books, stories, poems, small world play, role play and videos. Children are given time to discuss, comment and ask questions about what they observe about the world around them and are encouraged to be active learners and explore interests further. Mapping becomes a specific geographical focus in the EYFS and learning opportunities are planned to support this.
KS1 - During KS1, we challenge and support our children to carry out six key geographical investigations through the Connected Geography programme, this will form the basis of Geography teaching. These investigations and key questions will ensure there is coverage of the key areas within the National Curriculum: Locational Knowledge, Place Knowledge, Human and Physical and Skills and Fieldwork as well as using and applying subject specific vocabulary. Our children will use maps, aerial photographs and geographical data and fieldwork skills to recognise, identify, describe, observe, reason and explain the interaction of people with their environments.
KS2 – Throughout KS2, learning and teaching builds on the knowledge and understanding, skills and attitudes outcomes at KS1. Key geographical investigations are taught and built upon covering the key areas of the National Curriculum; these will be taught within each of the key enquiries through the Connected Geography programme. Opportunities are provided, during lessons, for pupils to reach explanations from data they have collected and presented; conclusions about topics, places and issues they have studied; make judgements about things they learn both from their own personal perspective and through empathising with the position of others; and evaluate what they have learned and come up with their own questions to investigate.
Achievement at Cawthorne is defined as knowing more, remembering more and being able to do more, this is reflected in the children’s geography work as they progress through school building on the early skills in EYFS and developing and refining them as they move through school. Children at Cawthorne are enthusiastic to learn about geography from an early age. Through geographical enquiry, pupils are confident to discuss new knowledge and vocabulary with their peers and class. Children’s vocabulary and language skills are enhanced, their Cultural Capital is increased and therefore our children have a wider understanding of the world in which they live in.
At Cawthorne, teachers will use a sample of outcomes to assess children’s knowledge and understanding in each enquiry to build a developing picture of how a pupil is progressing as a young geographer. Key skills will be highlighted after they have been taught and this information will be used to inform future lessons ensuring all children are supported and challenged appropriately. In our Foundation Stage, children are assessed within Understanding of the World and their progress and attainment is tracked termly. All children’s progress is reported to parents in our end of year report.