At Mary Dean’s CE Primary School we believe that Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. Children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it. The geography curriculum at Mary Dean’s 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 an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. We seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives; to promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. The curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferable, throughout their time at Mary Dean’s and also to their further education and beyond.
Geography at Mary Dean’s is taught by focusing on the three key areas – place (location, human and physical features), space (phenomena) and environment. Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each topic and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school. Knowledge organisers are used to provide a summary of key facts, knowledge and vocabulary for each unit taught. All classes display a large world map which is used to link lessons to their geographical location. At the beginning of a unit, children revist what they have already learned and build on this knowledge. The local area is fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. Field work is undertaken starting with the school grounds in the Foundation Stage, a study of local beach and the local are in KS1, a depth study of the local village ‘Tamerton Foliot’ and Dartmoor in LKS2 and a river study in UKS2. Opportunities to teach geography through other subjects are used for example: using a weather APP; using devices for mapping and research; reading non fiction texts and stories that lead into lessons and mathematical skills such as those linked to map work. Lessons are varied to include practical and recorded work and include all children.
Outcomes in topic and literacy books, evidence a broad and balanced geography curriculum and demonstrate children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Children review their successes in achieving the lesson objectives at the end of sessions. Children also record what they have learned comparative to their starting points at the end of every topic and undertake retrieval activities to embed prior knowledge and end of unit assessments. 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. They learn to be global citizens and appreciate the world around them and understand the impact they have as individuals. Regular school trips and local field work provide further relevant and contextual learning.