At Darrington C of E Primary, it is our intention that Geography is taught through specific lessons. Work is blocked and is linked to other areas of the curriculum when appropriate. Teachers make it explicit to children that they are learning geography skills, knowledge and vocabulary and that they are being ‘Geographers’.
Teachers use the National Curriculum to provide a progression grid that builds on skills, knowledge and vocabulary of Geography. Teachers then devise a long term plan to ensure that children are revisiting and building on prior knowledge, skills and vocabulary.
Geography is important in our school as it provides a means of exploring, appreciating and understanding the world in which we live and how it has evolved. We explore the relationship between Earth and its people. It stimulates curiosity and imagination. Wherever possible, we aim to build upon the child’s ‘Personal Geography’ by developing geographical skills, understanding and knowledge through studying places and themes.
Our units of work are designed to be bespoke for our children and their experiences. Staff continually review and adapt work and learning to meet our children’s needs. Fieldwork sessions are incorporated into the units of work to actively engage the children in their learning.
At Key Stage 1, our pupils develop knowledge about their own locality in Pontefract, the United Kingdom and the World. They can understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.
Key Stage 2, pupils extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This includes the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. Our pupils develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.
All learning will start by revisiting prior knowledge. This will be scaffolded to support children to recall previous learning and make connections.
Staff will model explicitly the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning to allow them to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.
Learning will be supported through the use of knowledge organisers that provide children with scaffolding that supports them to retain new facts and vocabulary in their long-term memory. Knowledge organisers are used for pre-teaching, to support home learning and also as a part of daily review.
Consistent learning walls in every classroom provide constant scaffolding for children. Tier three subject specific vocabulary is displayed on the learning wall along with key facts and questions, and model exemplars of the work being taught.
Weekly curriculum quizzes are used to review learning and check that children know more and remember more. These are based on the Kagan research and require children to think deeply. Learning is reviewed also on a termly basis, after a period of forgetting, so that teachers can check whether information has been retained.
Geography assessment is ongoing throughout the relevant cross-curricular themes to inform teachers with their planning lesson activities and differentiation. Summative assessment is completed at the end of each topic where geography objectives have been covered; an objective tracker is used to inform leaders of school improvements or skills that need to be further enhanced.
Our geographers will be given a variety of experiences both in and out of the classroom where appropriate to create memorable learning opportunities and to further support and develop their understanding.
At Darrington C of E Primary, evidence of the children’s learning can be found in their topic files in Key Stage 1 or in topic books in Key Stage 2. Topic books in KS2 enable the children to make cross curricular links.
The children’s learning and understanding is assessed against the 2014 National Curriculum statements for Geography. This is both ongoing, to inform future planning, and summative to share with staff, leaders and parents. This ensures the pitch of lessons is well matched to need and that, by the end of each key stage, required content within the National Curriculum is adequately covered to prepare pupils for the next phase of their education. Leaders conduct pupil conferencing and interviews with the children to discuss their learning and establish the impact.