‘The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exist across continents. And in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.’
Geography forms an important part of our curriculum. We follow the National Curriculum with adaptations to suit the local circumstances of our school and embrace a broad-spectrum of stimulating topics. As a school, we aim to wholly develop each child’s geographical skills, understanding and knowledge. Progression is key, ensuring that children increase their knowledge of geography and the world around them over time – by building on what they already know and understand (their prior learning), we can ensure the children are ready for what they will go on to learn.
Our lessons are well sequenced, highly engaging and challenge all abilities. We celebrate geography all around school by having: a geography timeline on the KS2 corridor; a ‘World Around Us’ board in the entrance hall; a weekly geography quiz in our Values Assembly; a ‘One School Many Cultures’ board in the hall; world maps in classrooms from Year 2 upwards, celebrating the different languages spoken in each classroom and British Isles Maps in the classrooms of Reception and Year 1.
Our children have opportunities for developing geographical learning through our ‘Understanding of the World’ curriculum, which is designed to promote exposure to locational, place, and environmental knowledge as well as early geographical skills and fieldwork. Children are guided to develop a sense of their physical world, as well as their community, through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, and the environment.
KS1 and KS2
The geography curriculum is mapped to ensure alignment with the National Curriculum programmes of study. Key knowledge and skills relate directly and build towards the achievement of the end of key stage ‘end points’, informed by the KS1 and 2 National Curriculum statements for; Locational Knowledge, Place Knowledge, Human and Physical Geography and Geographical Skills and Fieldwork.
Children are introduced to basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.
The children learn to name and locate the four counties of the United Kingdom, the seas that surround them and their capital cities. They move on to name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans. Children develop a greater understanding of place, by comparing the geographical similarities and differences of hot and cold places. The children also study human and physical geography in order to compare a small area of the United Kingdom (Leeds), with a small area in a contrasting non-European country (India, specifically Mumbai).
The children begin to use geographical vocabulary to refer to key physical features (beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather) and key human features (city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shops.)
Children develop geographical and fieldwork skills. They learn to use world maps, atlases, globes and compass directions, as well as how to study aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features. They begin to develop simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their local area.
Children extend and develop their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom, Europe and South America; studying the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They continue to develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.
Children extend their locational knowledge through naming and locating European countries and their capital cities, as well as the countries of South America The children study the physical and human characteristics, of these countries, as well as those found in the United Kingdom. This is further extended to identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, the Equator, the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, the Arctic and Antarctic Circle, Greenwich Meridian and time zones.
The children build on their understanding of place by comparing the geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom, a region of a European country (Andulasia, Spain) and a region within South America.
Human and physical geography knowledge is extended to allow children to develop an understanding of aspects of physical geography; investigating climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, the water cycle and human geography; learning about types of settlement and land use, economic activity and trade.
Children continue to develop geographical and fieldwork skills. They learn to use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping; the eight points of a compass; four and six-figure grid references, symbols and keys and Ordnance Survey maps. They also use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features of Whitby, work conducted whilst on a river study and work carried out in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies.
At Parklands, by the time our children leave at the end of Year 6, we want them to have an understanding of the complexity of our world and an appreciation of the diversity of cultures that exist across continents. With the knowledge they have acquired through their primary school journey, we hope that our children will go on in life to bridge divides and bring people together