Studying geography equips pupils to be able to answer life’s big questions about who we are and why we do the things we do. Delivering a quality geography curriculum is key at Garden Suburb Juniors when inspiring our children to become confident global citizens who know who they are, understand the world and their place in it. Through this deepened understanding of our world, pupils will have the opportunity to identify changes over time and to assess the issues that we all face into the future. Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject which provokes thought, questioning, research and exploration. Discovering more about our world and everything in it, is sure to inspire curiosity and enthusiasm, creating global citizens with a life-long love for learning.
Through our Geography curriculum we intend to:
- Equip pupils with knowledge and understanding of diverse places, people and resources as well as providing opportunities to compare, contrast and identify change through time.
- Develop a deep understanding of the Earth’s natural and human environments including the key physical and human processes which created these environments and continue to shape the world we live in.
- Provide a curriculum designed to develop openness and respect for others, equipping children with transferable skills which may be used to more fully understand their cultural, social and moral worlds.
- Provide a progression of skills which will give the children opportunities to remember and revisit key concepts and skills. In doing so, the children will develop a knowledge and understanding of the world’s physical and human processes and the increasing complexity and interdependence between them.
Within the geography curriculum, the skills which the children are expected to develop can be grouped under three headings:
- Place and Locational Knowledge
- Human and Physical geography
- Map Skills and Fieldwork.
At Garden Suburb Junior School, we have mapped the progression of these skills across the year groups to ensure the children have a clear path of progression within these key areas which builds upon prior learning and prepares children for the journey ahead. The subject is taught in blocks throughout the year which provides children with the opportunity to study a subject in depth. In order to broaden the children’s ability to communicate geographical information, each year group has cross-curricular geography topics mapped throughout the academic year. As a school, we are very fortunate to benefit from a local area which provides extensive opportunities to deliver learning outside of the classroom, namely, local conservation parks and English Heritage’s Kenwood House.
To deliver our Geography curriculum we will:
- Provide children with the opportunities to collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes.
- Teach children to interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and geographical Information Systems (GIS).
- Teach pupils to communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.
- Map progression of skills across the school to clarify prior knowledge within specific subject areas and ensure planning provides opportunities for children to remember, revisit and develop key concepts and skills.
- Provide enrichment opportunities to embed learning. E.g. visits to nature garden and local conservation parks, visits to local area to consider environmental issues, visits to local heritage site to look into land use over time, Y5 visit to local Affinity Water to learn about the water purification system and global water uses and Y6 residential trip to the Isle of Wight to contrast two localities and develop an understanding of coastal erosion.
The learning that happens in class appears in children’s books as evidence of a broad and balanced geography curriculum and demonstrates each child’s acquisition of key vocabulary and knowledge relating to locational knowledge, place knowledge and human and physical geography. The children are then able to use the knowledge and skills they have learnt and apply it to the wider world when participating in fieldwork. This helps children to progress throughout the school, developing a deep knowledge, understanding an appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context of London, the UK and the world.
The impact of our Geography curriculum is measured by:
- Skills demonstrated and clear objectives met in outcomes in books, evidencing children’s learning within the geography curriculum.
- The children’s ability to communicate their geographical knowledge and vocabulary.
- Children who are able to apply the skills they have learnt in the classroom to complete investigations and fieldwork.
- Children who are willing and able to discuss their place within the modern world and how their actions can have global effects.
- Passionate and committed children who have a love for geography and a real sense of curiosity about the world and the people who live in it.
As a school, we believe that part of fostering a love for learning is creating experiences and opportunities to apply knowledge beyond Geography lessons. Around the school building, we have displays exploring different time zones, Spanish vocabulary and ‘flag of the week’, linking us to our global neighbours. Part of appreciating our place in the world involves holding school-wide events for days of significance in other countries and cultures - celebrating the diversity we have here at Garden Suburb. Every class selects a ‘Language of the Week’ to be used each day, allowing children to share a little bit of their wider culture with their friends. Some children are even lucky enough to have pen pals in a school in Spain, who we love to learn from and share experiences with. We also like to consider the things that we can do, as a school, to make a positive impact on our world. We have a clothing recycling bank in the school playground and each year celebrate World Fairtrade Day to encourage conscientiousness around consumption. The school also has a Climate Committee who successfully implemented an ‘Anti-idling’ campaign to improve the air quality in our local area.
Class teachers use their experience of formative assessment techniques coupled with their knowledge of the children to evaluate each child’s understanding in relation to the lesson objective. Through this process, any gaps in learning are identified and action is taken when planning subsequent lessons to revisit the missed objective. Opportunities for the children to self-assess their work against clear success criteria are provided which encourages pupils to take an active role in their learning and identify any objective they are yet to achieve.