It is our intent for Geography in our school curriculum to inspire pupils with a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
As pupils 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 want our children to gain confidence and practical experiences of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills in a variety of ways, settings and contexts.
'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 ... and in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.' Barack Obama
Agreed topics are taught as standalone Geography lessons but very often class teachers will make cross curricular links e.g. with the Literacy text chosen, Art, DT, Science etc.
We make the most of local experts and resources by visiting sights including Chelmsford Water, Ipswich transport museum and West Stow where the children can deepen and enhance their knowledge.
Our Geography teaching is planned through Threshold Concepts. We develop children’s skills in Geography e.g. the physical and human features of place and these will progress and develop each year that they are at St Mary’s so, by the time they leave us they are skilled Geographers who for example, understand the relationship between the physical features of a place and the human activity within them.
At St Mary’s we ensure the children experience a solid breadth of study in Geography where we are regularly revisiting, assessing and developing the skills of a Geographer. The children will then be assessed at the end of the topic in a variety of ways eg poster, debate, presentation.
Our school driver, Community, can be seen in our Geography curriculum through our work on local geography and local visits. For example, our Year 1 children visit Ipswich town to develop their understanding of Ipswich as home and use maps to explore their local area.
Our second school driver, Whole Child, is central to the key skills we focus on and develop in Geography such as being ambitious, resilient, knowledgeable, reflective, collaborative and environmentally aware.
Our final school driver, Communication, is developed in Geography in a variety of ways. We use things like presentations to the whole class, holding debates, creating fact files and meeting experts in their field presenting children with a range of purposes and audiences for developing those key communication skills.
We demonstrate the impact of our excellent Geography teaching in a variety of ways. The use of our whole school drivers, Community, Whole Child and Communication in all that we do, really allow us to demonstrate the impact our curriculum has on all of the children.
Children enjoy the variety of our Geography lessons, including local geography, and, like in History, learn a variety of transferable skills such as thinking and problem-solving skills. These skills have an impact in other subjects in our curriculum such as English, Maths and Science.
When the children leave in Year 6, they leave us ready to continue developing their skills in KS3 and beyond.
Threshold Concepts for Geography
- Investigate places
This concept involves understanding the geographical location of places and their physical and human features.
- Investigate patterns
This concept involves understanding the relationships between the physical features of places and the human activity within them, and the appreciation of how the world’s natural resources are used and transported.
- Communicate geographically
This concept involves understanding geographical representations, vocabulary and techniques.