The intent of the Geography curriculum at Grayswood Primary School CE Primary School is to stimulate the children’s interest, curiosity, knowledge and understanding of the wider world and its people. Learning experiences should allow children to develop locational knowledge, place knowledge, knowledge about human and physical geography, geographical skills, and fieldwork skills, as well as a growing understanding of geographical terms and vocabulary. The Geography curriculum at Grayswood enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas, and which can and are used to promote their spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development. Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject, which develops and understanding of concepts, knowledge, and skills. The curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferable, throughout their time at Grayswood and also to their further education and beyond.
Geography at Grayswood is taught using the Kapow scheme of learning with each class covers 3 units throughout the year. Topics are blocked to allow the children to focus on developing their knowledge and skills, studying each topic in depth. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in Foundation Stage to have an ‘Understanding of the World’ including people, culture and communities by the end of the academic year.
The National curriculum organises the Geography attainment targets under four subheadings or strands:
• Locational knowledge
• Place knowledge
• Human and physical geography
• Geographical skills and fieldwork
The Grayswood curriculum has a clear progression of skills and knowledge within these four strands across each year group and ensures that our units cover each of the National curriculum attainment targets as well as each of the four strands.
It 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. 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 units, meaning that pupils gain a solid understanding of geographical knowledge and skills by applying them to answer enquiry questions. These questions are 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 present 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. The 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. Our Orienteering curriculum and the effective use of fieldwork educational visits are planned to enrich and enhance the learning experience.
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. This is achieved using questioning (both written and verbal), the provision of scaffolds such as word banks and sentence stems and through differentiated templates. Educational displays that answer key questions and large world maps help to create a rich learning environment for Geography topics.
Children will leave Grayswood with a deeper understanding of our world and that it is our world to explore and look after. Children can speak confidently and passionately about matters of the world and use geographical vocabulary confidently. They will be equipped with the knowledge and the skills of enquiry, explanation, discovery and discussion necessary for secondary school and their role in society.
The expected impact of following the Kapow Primary Geography scheme of work is that children will:
- Compare and contrast human and physical features to describe and understand similarities and differences between various places in the UK, Europe and the Americas.
- Name, locate and understand where and why the physical elements of our world are located and how they interact, including processes over time relating to climate, biomes, natural disasters and the water cycle.
- Understand how humans use the land for economic and trading purposes, including how the distribution of natural resources has shaped this.
- Develop an appreciation for how humans are impacted by and have evolved around the physical geography surrounding them and how humans have had an impact on the environment, both positive and negative.
- Develop a sense of location and place around the UK and some areas of the wider world using the eight-points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and keys on maps, globes, atlases, aerial photographs and digital mapping.
- Identify and understand how various elements of our globe create positioning, including latitude, longitude, the hemispheres, the tropics and how time zones work, including night and day.
- Present and answer their own geographical enquiries using planned and specifically chosen methodologies, collected data and digital technologies.
- Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum
Outcomes in topic and literacy books, evidence a broad and balanced geography curriculum and demonstrate children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge and skills. . Children are also asked what they have learned comparative to their starting points at the end of every topic, through questioning and quizzes. As children progress throughout the school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding an appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context. Regular school trips provide further relevant and contextual learning.
In summary, our Geography Curriculum will lead our children to be enthusiastic and responsible learners, evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice and their work.
Enrichment in Geography
In addition to the curriculum, we offer the following enrichment opportunities in Geography for children at Grayswood CE Primary School:
- Trip to Godalming to explore the local area
- Trip to Painshill Park with a geographical focus
- Trip to Gilbert White's House for an 'explorer day', linked to the Year 6 topic on Antarctica
- School grounds mapped out as an orienteering route
- Earth Day
- Links to our Eco Warrior projects
** Our progression of knowledge and skills is in the process of being updated