At St Mary’s Bryanston Square Primary School, we shape our geography curriculum to ensure it is fully inclusive to every child. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Geography; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills; and for the children to develop a love for geography.
At St Mary’s Bryanston Square our underpinning belief is that geographical education enriches the lives of all young people and it is a lifelong ‘conversation’ about Earth as the home of humankind.
At St Mary’s Bryanston Square Primary School, we strongly believe 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.
The geography curriculum at St Mary’s Bryanston Square Primary School 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.
We aim for a high quality geography curriculum which should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. Our teaching equips pupils with knowledge about places and people; resources in the environment; physical and human processes; formation and use of landscapes. We also want children to develop geographical skills: collecting and analysing data; using maps, globes, aerial photographs and digital mapping to name and identify countries, continents and oceans; and communicating information in a variety of ways.
We want children to enjoy and love learning about geography by gaining this knowledge and skills, not just through experiences in the classroom, but also with the use of fieldwork and educational visits.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in geography, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Geography is taught as part of a half-termly topic, focusing on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum.
At St Mary’s Bryanston Square Primary School, we ensure that geography has the same importance given to it as the core subjects, as we feel this is important in enabling all children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences. 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. 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 students start to learn about their locality and where they live understanding London as their city where they live. This moves onto learning about the UK, Europe and finally countries across the world drawing comparisons between them.
Fieldwork is a hugely valuable aspect of geography in our school that helps to motivate and inspire pupils, which in turn raises standards of attainment. It is statutory for all key stages and ideally should be done at least once in every year by every year group. Key Stage 1 might focus on the school grounds and the immediate locality of the school, i.e. what can be reached by walking, whereas Key Stage 2 pupils would investigate the wider locality and/or a contrasting locality to the one in which they live.
Planning is informed by and aligned with the National Curriculum. Consideration is given to how greater depth 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 and skills.
The Early Years Foundation Stage follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year.
We ensure that children at St Mary’s Bryanston Square Primary School, are equipped with geographical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world. We believe that many geographical skills are in fact life skills which once mastered will help pupils live a fulfilling and successful life.
The geographical skills and knowledge that we would like our children to acquire:
- Interest in their surroundings and knowledge and understanding of the physical and human processes which shape places.
- Knowledge of other cultures and respect and understanding of what it means to be a positive citizen in a multi-cultural country.
- Sense of curiosity and wonder at the beauty of the world around them.
- Enquiry, investigation, problem solving and decision making skills.
- Commitment to sustainable development and an appreciation of what ‘global citizenship’ means.
- Knowledge about their own locality and the interaction between people and the environment.
- Knowledge of how to use, draw and interpret maps of different scales, and the vocabulary necessary to carry out effective geographical enquiry.
- Map reading skills to globes and atlas maps and the ability to identify geographical features.
- Ability to formulate appropriate questions, develop research skills and evaluate material to inform opinions.
- Ability to work geographically in a range of appropriate contexts, using a variety of materials and equipment including other people’s experiences and knowledge.
How can parents help?
- When you are out and about in your local community, talk about what is happening around you
- Discuss places, the environment and how it has changed and the reasons why it has changed
- Ask questions about what you see
- When you are travelling to places, talk about why you are going there
- If you are using a map, encourage your child to help you find a town or city with you. Discuss the route.
- When you go on holiday discuss how the places you visit are similar or different to where you live
- Use your local library to find answers to questions that your child might be asking
- Watch the news and keep up with current affairs to help deepen their understanding of global issues
- Use websites such as the BBC News website:bbc.co.uk/news to discuss current affairs relating to Geography (eg floods)