At Pencoys, we value Geography as an important part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. Our high-quality Geography education inspires a curiosity in our children and a sense of awe about the world around them. Geography at Pencoys aims to prepare pupils for life as a global citizen. Through the concepts of place, space and scale, environmental impact, sustainability, human and physical processes, interdependence and cultural awareness and diversity, teaching equips pupils with an understanding of knowledge about places, people, cultures, political systems, economies, resources and environments, exploring the links between them, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
- Place – focusses on the environment, both physical and human
- Space – highlights location and relationship
- Scale – introduces changes in perspective from local to the global.
Geography at Pencoys is driven by the school’s key drivers:
- Environment: Our Geography curriculum provides pupils with the knowledge and understanding about environments including: their locality, their nation and their world. Pupils are taught to value the natural work and develop a sense of awe and wonder about planet earth. Pupils will consider humanity’s impact on the natural environment, how our population explosion means we are consuming ever more natural resources and how we can work to create a more sustainable future.
- Community: Through Geography, children develop a sense place, purpose and identity, understanding they are an important part of their local and global community. Children learn how their local community is interconnected with the wider world. They explore the challenges facing their local area, as well as the diversity of communities in Britain and around the world.
- Communication: Subject specific vocabulary a key part of our Geography curriculum to enable pupils to clearly communicate their learning.
- Resilience: Our Geography curriculum is challenging. It encourages children to develop resilience as they learn new vocabulary and new concepts. It also is designed to foster a resilience in the face of global challenges e.g climate change with the understanding that they can make a difference.
- Curiosity: Our Geography curriculum uses enquiry questions to develop children’s curiosity. Importance is also placed on using geography as a window to the wonders of the world to foster this further.
- Creativity: In Geography, Children are encouraged to think creatively, by making links and decisions about their future especially in their role as global citizens.
The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time
are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.
Understanding the World
People Culture and Communities ELG
- Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts, and maps;
- Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
- Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and –when appropriate – maps.
The Natural World ELG
- Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing
pictures of animals and plants;
- Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them
and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has
been read in class;
- Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world
around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.
At Pencoys, Geography is taught over three half terms per year. These follow the whole school enquiries of: ‘What is our planet like?’. ‘Where do people live on our planet?’ and ‘How do physical and human processes change our planet?’
Our Geography curriculum breaks the national curriculum down in to small steps towards end points for each year group. These are outlined on the progression overview.
Medium Term Planning (MTP) is supported by a ‘small steps’ document for each block. Each step has an enquiry question which together progress towards the end points for that year group.
Our curriculum begins in the EYFS with pupils using stories, maps and first-hand experiences to start to develop an understanding of the world. In year 1 pupil’s place in the world is explored and the local area is studied in greater focus, including its key human and physical features and processes. This is then developed in Year 2 where children start to contrast and compare with other countries.
As children progress through KS2, the geographical sense of place and space is expanded and essential locational knowledge about the United Kingdom, Europe and the wider world is developed. This is taught and interwoven with a sense of scale as they move from a local to more global perspective. The importance of the world’s biomes as resources and the impact humans have on these is developed throughout the curriculum. We have placed high importance on developing an understanding of these biomes, as if children are to want to protect them for the future they need to first understand and value them.
Children are encouraged to reflect on geographical issues and their impact today. Field work is embedded in each year group which enables children to have first-hand experience of what it means to be a Geographer. We also use, local expertise, visits and organisations to support and inspire our children’s learning.
Each Geography block begins with a launch day which engages and reactivates prior learning linked to the block. During this day a ‘never heard the word’ vocabulary assessment and knowledge harvest is also undertaken. These are revisited at the end of each block alongside a ‘pop task’, to review and assess children’s understanding and learning. Ongoing formative and summative assessment against the steps informs planning for the next Geography lesson and block.
Through pupil conferencing, lesson observations, staff feedback and book looks we find:
- Our children are ‘thinking like geographers’, able to examine, question and enquire as geographers would.
- Are excited and engaged by geography.
- Make links between their lives and the lives of others around the world.
- Children have the skills and confidence to question and discuss controversial issues like climate change, plastic pollution and migration, making links to their own role as global citizens and showing empathy towards others.
- Use skills and knowledge from other subjects such as guided reading texts to support their geographical understanding.
By the end of their primary education:
- Our children will have a secure geographical understanding of the UK, its location within Europe and the wider world.
- Our children will know and understand how human and physical geography shapes our planet.
- Our children will understand the importance of the earth’s natural biomes as vital resources and how they can be preserved for the future.
- Our children will value and demonstrate pride in their location and see its links to the wider world.
- Our children will understand, discuss, communicate and question various methods of geographical fieldwork.
- Our children will be able to interpret and use a range of sources of geographical information including maps, globes, atlases and digital mapping technologies.
- Our children will use their geographical understanding to demonstrate as global citizens that they can help to make a positive difference -building a fairer, safer and more secure world for everyone.
- Our children will develop a passion for geography and the skills to prepare them for KS3.