“The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together”.
Geography is an important part of a child’s education and we encourage our children to be young explorers. We want to help enhance their thinking and learning skills, to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of their locality, environment and the wider world. As young explorers, our aim is to inspire their curiosity and provide them with the tools to question events and study physical and social features in the world they live in.
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.
We aim to develop Geographical knowledge by providing a wide variety of experiences through visits, fieldwork and to develop educational knowledge through Geographic specific teaching. When teaching Geography, we initially focus on the local area and compare with other locations both within and outside the United Kingdom developing knowledge and skills through the years in school. Children experience map work, developing their skills within school and through extended fieldwork. Children are given every opportunity to develop and build on their Geographical skills through their primary years. Cross curricular links are made to maths with grid referencing and graphs, science with recycling and art with the story of water project.
By the end of Key Stage 2 our children are able to:
- Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features
- Use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world
- Use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies.
This year we have been fortunate enough to be involved in ‘The Story of Water. This is an arts based learning programme which aims to inspire teaching through creativity while meeting key National Curriculum objectives in Geography. Some of our children were involved in a workshop organised by the joint efforts of our Geography and Art & DT subject leaders. Children were motivated, curious and above all enjoyed their chance to be creative in their Geography lessons. Children were provided with tasks that encouraged them to listen, explore and investigate their new found questions derived from the skills of being individual thinkers. Children in Year 4 were also introduced to Layers of London this is a map-based History & Geography website developed by the Institute of Historical Research. Users can access free historic maps of London and contribute stories, memories and histories to create a social history resource about their area. This provided another cross curricular link to Geography. It proved to be very useful when the children made educational visits to our local library and Hanworth Park House to learn about local landmarks, landscapes and major changes that have occurred over time. Children later had the opportunity to add their stories on Layers of London.
In KS2 children are given the opportunity to use their mapping skills to plan their school trips. In the past we have planned visits to a couple of landmarks; The Steam Museum, Brentford, where children took part in a water cycle workshop and Tate Britain, London. At the end of Year 6, children plan their residential trip to; The Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, as part of their extended fieldwork.