At St Jude’s, it is our intent that our teaching of Geography will inspire pupils to be curious and fascinated about the world around them and its inhabitants. We have agreed curriculum drivers which run through all our curriculum subjects. We strive to ensure, that this sense of curiosity will remain with pupils for the rest of their lives, equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need to reach their full potential. In order to enable our children to have a curious mind set, we aim to ensure that enquiry based learning is woven through our geography units of work and that pupils act as detectives; generating their own geographical questions and then carrying out independent research.
We intend to provide our children with enrichment opportunities to explore their rich and diverse local environment. It is our intention to plan geography lessons that teach pupils about global natural and human environments; thus developing their knowledge of the world around them. Running alongside the children’s exploration of the world, we intend to enable pupils to have deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As children progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. We intend to create learners who have the perseverance to transfer geographical knowledge and skills into everyday life.
Geography at St. Jude’s is linked to our topics so that pupils can achieve depth in their learning. Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each topic taken directly from National Curriculum objectives. The progression of skills is carefully planned and this is tracked across the school via a progression map. The progression map is cross referenced to pupil’s knowledge organisers which are stuck in pupil’s book at the beginning of every geography unit. Teacher’s plan geography lessons that centre around the key knowledge and skills that pupils need to acquire and this is carefully outlined in the pupil’s knowledge organisers. Every geography lesson begins by reviewing the key knowledge from the previous lesson to check the pupils geographical understanding. At the end of every lesson the teacher assesses whether each pupil has fully understood and retained the key facts and this informs their planning for the next lesson.
At the beginning of every geography topic, pupils begin with an overarching enquiry question and discussion, this ensures that teaching is informed by pupil’s starting points and their interests. The first lesson of each geography unit, is an enquiry based lesson where the pupils have an opportunity to explore a range of resources linked to their topic. This enables them to generate their own questions that they want to investigate in the topic ahead and this encourages their perseverance and independence to find their own answers. The geography provision is well resourced with a range of programmes and materials (including digimap, atlases and globes) to support effective teaching and learning throughout the topics.
Enrichment plays a vital part in geography teaching and learning at St. Jude’s. We believe that geography should be taught using an enquiry- based approach therefore we provide regular opportunities for all pupils to carry out field work to enable them to experience their local area in an explorative and hands on way. We ensure that field work is taught in every year group throughout the school. In the Summer Term pupils participate in Wigan Geography Day where all pupils carry out a whole day of field work activities where they explore a range of local landmarks including Trencherfield Mill, Scotman’s Flash and the Liverpool and Leeds Canal. All fieldwork is then evaluated and used to enhance further learning in the classroom. Mapping skills are planned progressively and children are given the opportunity to read and follow maps, as well as mark routes on a map. Educational visits are another opportunity for the teachers to plan for additional geography learning outside the classroom. At St. Jude’s, the children have many opportunities to experience geography on educational visits near and far, in Y6 they carry out a residential trip where they use map reading and orienteering skills in an environment which contrasts to where they live. In Y5 children are also given the opportunity to take part in a trip to London to explore the physical and human features of the capital city.
- Pupils will enjoy exploring the local area and carrying out enrichment activities they will develop the skills to help them navigate and understand the environment around them, including using compasses, reading maps and planning and sketching routes.
- They will be able to talk confidently about the ‘sticky knowledge’ that they have retained from each geography lesson.
- The children’s geographical skills will develop progressively as they move through school to prepare them to be competent and curious geographers in the future and achieve their full potential.
- They will have a secure understanding of the world around them and how it has been shaped.
- Educational visits and residential trips will enrich the lives of the children and they will be able to discuss how their experiences impact on their geographical knowledge and understanding.