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St Peter's

CE Primary Academy

Strive Beyond; Defy Limits

Geography

Geography Curriculum Statement

 

 

“Geography is the study of earth as the home of people’ -Yi-Fu Tuan”

 

Curriculum Intent:

 

At St Peter’s Primary Academy, our intent is to produce a first-class Geography curriculum for all our children which inspires children’s curiosity and interest to explore the world that we live in, whilst igniting a love of learning.

 

Geography is by nature an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. The geography lessons at St Peters will encompass this and seek to inspire children’s curiosity of the world and its people, it will provoke thought about both natural and human environments, together with ensuring children have a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human features.

 

The lessons will be underpinned with a focus on developing geographical skills and ensuring sound progression of knowledge and a sequenced understanding of key concepts. As teachers we aspire to ensure that the skills taught are transferable throughout their time at St Peter’s and also into their further education. Our core aims are:

  • To be competent geographers who can collect, analyse and interpret a range of geographical sources using field work effectively.
  •  To be confident geographers who have a deep contextual knowledge regarding the world’s locality and an intuitive understanding into the physical and human features of our globe.
  • To be ethical geographers who are able to discuss and debate.
  • To be individuals who recognise and celebrate diversity. Children are are able to examine their own life experience and life knowledge and compare it with other areas and experiences.

 

Ethics

St Peter’s strongly believe that the discipline of geography is particularly well positioned to address the teaching of ethics. Geography deals with many “inherently controversial subjects, from population control to environmental change” (Vujakovic & Bullard, 2001: 276), providing a significant range of contemporary topics in which to engage in rich ethical discussion. Situated in a rural location with 91% of the local community White British, as a school, we are always incredibly mindful of the need to equip our children with a global perspective and ensure they have an appreciation of the diversity of the wider world.

 

Each topic with Geography will have an ethical discussion as part of its teaching sequence. Ethics within our Geography curriculum will focus upon:

 

  • Sustainable development
  • Environmental change- recognising that environmental changes have an ethical dimension, captured by the question: who gets what, where and why (and why care)?
  • Effects of the environment on people and places through the opportunities and challenges it presents for economic development and human settlement
  • Reflecting on the extent to which the environment contributes to people’s sense of identity.

 

Curriculum design and implementation::

 

Our overarching aim for Geography at St Peter’s is for all children to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it and to promote inquisitive and active geographers. Our curriculum is designed in such a way that, over the course of study, teaching is designed to help learners to remember in the long term the content they have been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.

 

To develop well rounded and successful geographers we take our guidance from The National Curriculum and we expose our children to planned and differentiated lessons which are taught with a clear geographical objective engendered by an enquiry-based gateway question. As part of our topics we incorporate high quality stimulus texts so as to engage the children yet further and highlight the importance of reading in the wider curriculum.

 

Thanks to carefully planned progression documents we can ensure that during our dedicated afternoon lessons, that are taught in topics so that children can achieve depth in their learning, we can ensure continuity and progression across the key stages. We recognise Geography as an investigation into the world with a focus on skills and deepening knowledge and understanding. The core components of our curriculum are as follows:

 

  1. Acquiring information - This part of the teaching process refines the children’s geographical enquiry and supports them in thinking about what they need to find out and how they will present the information as independent learners. Questions grids are an example of a strategy to help hone children’s thinking and allow children to take ownership over their learning.
  2. Selecting Information – Children are now encouraged to decipher the best information that supports their geographical line of enquiry. This set of lessons allows children to organise and analyse their information and to begin to provide answers and explanations to their initial gateway question.
  3. Producing – Once children have completed their enquiry and have drawn conclusions and understood key facts and knowledge, the children have opportunity to produce their learning in a relevant and coherent way. By interweaving Geography and the Computing curriculum we will ensure children are able to present their learning in an age appropriate yet ambitious way e.g. Prezi.  See Computing implementation for further detail.
  4. Evaluating – This is a vital part of our teaching process as the children comprehend whether they have answered their question and met the success criteria. If the answer is yes the children are ready to publish. However, if the answer is no the children can improve and refine to ensure that their learning sticks.
  5. Cognitive strategies- The topics have been designed so that teachers take account of the findings of Pearson, Roehler, Dole and Duffy (1987) which identified six cognitive strategies to support pupils’ learning strategies. These strategies are based around building schema, synthesising information and fixing problems in our understanding. Each topic will focus on the fundamentals of:
  • What do I already know?
  • What is most important?
  • What connections can I make?
  • What inference can I make?
  • How can I synthesise this?

 

Knowledge Acquisition and Lesson Design:

 

To ensure depth within our enquiry-based geography curriculum we believe there are essential components within our sequence of learning to ensure our children become passionate and successful geographers.

 

We want children to be inquisitive geographers therefore our lessons will begin by asking questions that will encourage discussion and deeper thinking about the world, which then leads to the next step within our teaching sequence. As such, all lessons begin with an enquiry-based gateway questions e.g. Why can’t a meerkat live in the North Pole? As well as this enquiry question, learning objectives are always shared with children at the start of the lesson and great care is taken to ensure these objectives are age appropriate and accessible for all children.

 

The structure of each lesson will be as follows:

 

Starter – All lessons will begin by recapping prior knowledge and discussing Tier 3 vocabulary in detail. Following this will be the Introduction of the key enquiry question for the lesson.

Main body of lesson- Each lesson will begin with a focus on location. Following this, each lesson will include activities which incorporate fundamental geographical skills whilst ensuring deep understanding of geographical subject knowledge.

‚ÄčPlenary - reflection is a core component of teaching at St Peter’s and gives all children the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding and reflect on the learning process. Children add cumulatively to a knowledge organiser to demonstrate their ever growing subject knowledge.

 

Impact:

 

To measure the impact of this approach we will ensure that the emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning which help children gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of the world both locally and globally and their place within it due to our enquiry-based gateway question.

 

We introduce knowledge organisers to the children at the beginning of each topic, which gives children the opportunity to record what they have learnt during the twice weekly session. This is then used as a comparative to their starting points at the end of every topic.  In addition to this we will pupil conference with children on a regular basis to assess their understanding, retention of facts and opinions towards geography. Evidence of impact is also demonstrated through presentations created in Computing.

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