The Importance of Geography
Geography raises and answers questions about the natural and human worlds. It provides children with the opportunity to explore the world in which they live. It develops knowledge of places and environments throughout the world, an understanding of maps and allows a range of investigative and problem-solving skills to be applied both inside and outside the classroom.
Geography provides a focus within the curriculum for understanding and resolving the issues concerning the environment and sustainable development. Geography allows pupils to develop their global dimension through learning about different societies and cultures, leading them to realise how nations rely on each other.
Geography can encourage pupils to think about their own place in the world, their values, and their rights and responsibilities to other people and the environment.
Key Aim of Geography
To develop children’s spatial awareness through a growing range of enquiry skills, knowledge and understanding of places and of the natural and made environments.
To extend children’s awareness of and develop their interest in their surroundings, leading to the identification and exploration of features of the local environment.
To observe accurately and develop simple skills of enquiry and, in so doing, to be aware of the changes taking place in their own locality and in other areas studied. Through these studies, gaining an appreciation of the ways in which human decisions influence these changes.
To use and be familiar with a variety of maps, including large-scale maps of their own neighbourhood, and to be able to apply simple techniques of map reading and interpretation. To gain familiarity with globes and atlas maps and be able to identify such features as continents, oceans, countries, cities, highland and lowland, coasts and rivers.
To acquire skills in carrying out observations and in collecting, organising, recording and retrieving information as part of an enquiry. To be able to use a variety of source materials to find information out about their own locality and about distant places. To be able to communicate their findings and ideas in a variety of modes: writing, pictures, models, diagrams and maps as well as through oral contribution.
To help pupils to act more effectively in the environment, both as individuals and as members of wider society.
Learning Across the National Curriculum
The National Curriculum can promote learning across the curriculum in a number of areas such as spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, key skills and thinking skills. The teaching of Geography can contribute effectively to these areas of learning.
Delivering the Geography Curriculum
Geography is delivered to Reception pupils within the ‘Understanding of the World’ Area of Learning through a cross curricular topic based approach at various points throughout the academic year.
Key Stages One and Two
Geography is taught within cross curricular topic work or as a discrete subject. The allocation of time spent studying National Curriculum Geography will vary each half term depending on the topic being studied as some topics lend themselves more to Geography than others, this may mean there is more emphasis on Geography one half term and less the next. The school will be using the Plan Bee scheme of work.
A variety of teaching approaches are presented to children throughout their Geography lessons. These include:
The organisation of the classroom will vary according to the activity that is being carried out. The formal classroom layout will alter when mixed ability or group work activities are taking place. As much as possible, use of the outdoor environment will be incorporated into children’s learning.
Assessment, Recording and Reporting
The subject approach to assessment, recording and reporting follows the whole school policy guidelines.
All pupils’ work is regularly marked with key assessment pieces linked to the main aspects of the geography curriculum being targeted in each topic covered. Pupils’ work in geography will be assessed regularly against the objectives outlined in medium term plans.
Reports to parents are completed during the academic year when indications are made as to the individual’s progress in this area of the curriculum. (Reporting of Geography at the Foundation Stage appears within the ‘Understanding the World’ section).
Inclusion and the Geographical Curriculum
In order to provide work that is appropriate to the learning experiences of the individual children, it is necessary for the teacher to be aware of the statements/individual educational programmes that apply to children in the class that he/she is teaching. Challenge is included in lessons to target the more able but also to improve the geography skills of all.
Teachers take account of the three principles of inclusion that are set out in the National Curriculum. These principles are related to how teachers plan and teach the curriculum through:
These principles are considered when selecting topics to be taught throughout the Foundation Curriculum and Key Stages 1 and 2 and in developing the chosen topics for use in the classroom (medium term planning).
Fieldwork is a vital ingredient of the Geography curriculum. Where possible, children are provided with opportunities to study topics within the outside environment.
Children irrespective of ability, race or gender are given full access to the Geography schemes of work. The use of differentiation by outcome allows children to respond to the work presented to them at the appropriate level.