In September 2021, a complete audit of the geography curriculum was conducted. On the back of the findings from this audit, the geography curriculum has been carefully mapped out and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. From the audit we also made the decision to ensure that improving the fieldwork and mapping skills of our children was a high priority. We want our children to acquire geographical skills that they can apply to their lives, such as map reading and collecting and interpreting data. We believe that our pupils need to be actively involved in making sense of their learning and have their views and opinions listened to. After completing pupil surveys it was found that the children of St. Bernadette’s are passionate about the environment and have real interests and concerns about climate change, we feel it is vital to ensure that we follow their interests and ensure we look at how our ever changing world is being affected by climate change within our topics where possible. We aim to have a high quality geography curriculum which should inspire a curiosity about the world in which we live and the people who live there. Our teaching of geography equips pupils with knowledge about places and people, resources in the environment, physical and human processes, formation and use of landscapes and the impact human beings have on the planet.
As mapping and fieldwork skills are a high priority within our geography curriculum at St. Bernadette’s we have chosen to begin our learning journey with each year group spending time exploring mapping with a block of lessons from the Royal Geographical Association in the Autumn term before beginning any topic work. This is to ensure every year group experiences hands on, progressive, map skills that they can then use and apply throughout the rest of the year within their geography topics. It is important that children develop the skills of a geographer by fully immersing them in all areas of the subject. Our local area is fully utilised to achieve desired outcomes, with opportunities for learning outside the classroom blocked into the year to develop our fieldwork skills through first hand experiences, which enhance the children’s understanding of their own locality, for example, a study of our local biome of Elnup Woods in Year 5.
Our Geography curriculum has been carefully mapped to ensure full coverage of the National Curriculum and the skills that we want our children to acquire in each year group have been mapped out in our Geography Skills Progression document. Teachers will decide the key knowledge they want their children to learn within their topics, taking into consideration prior learning, to ensure knowledge is built on year by year and sequenced appropriately.
A clear progression of skills will be seen across year groups, linked to the school’s Geography Skills Progression document, within the children’s Geography books. In addition to this our children will learn practical skills that they can apply to life outside of school, through their study of mapping and fieldwork. Our children will develop a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there, through their learning of Geography. Children will understand how Geography has shaped their lives and the world today, building a broad base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary. Children at St. Bernadette’s will have a good understanding of locational knowledge and have an understanding of where places are and what they are like. As children progress through the school, they will develop knowledge of the world around them, including their local area and its place within the wider world. Additionally, we aim that our children will have the ability to form opinions, take responsibility and share an understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the environment. Continuing to build on their knowledge, we hope that the children will continue to be interested in the developments of our planet throughout their life.