Lickhill Primary School understands the need for all pupils to develop their geographical ability as an essential component of all subjects and as a subject in its own right. A good understanding of geographical knowledge and conceptual understanding helps to support pupils work across the curriculum. We recognise the field work plays an important part in developing skills and enhances the learning outside of the classroom.
- A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils 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 environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world helps them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge provides the tools and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
The aims of geography are:
The National Curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils:
· Develop knowledge of the location of places of global significance,
their defining physical and human characteristics and how they
relate to one another; this place knowledge should provide a sound
context for understanding geographical 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 children’s
understanding of geographical processes.
– Interpret a range of sources of geographical information,
including maps, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical
Information Systems (GIS).
– Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways,
including through maps and writing at length.
We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in geography lessons. We believe in whole class teaching methods and combine these with enquiry-based research activities and set independent tasks. We encourage children to ask and answer geographical questions. We offer them the opportunity to use a variety of data such as maps, statistics, graphs, pictures and aerial photographs and enable them to use IT in geography lessons to enhance learning. Children take part in role-play and discussions, and they present reports to the rest of the class. They engage in a wide variety of problem-solving activities. We involve the children in ‘real’ geographical activities e.g. research of a local environmental problem or use the Internet to investigate a current issue.
We recognise the fact that children have different geographical abilities and provide suitable learning opportunities for them by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this by;
· Setting common tasks, which are open ended and can have a variety of responses;
· Setting tasks of increasing difficulty, some children not completing all tasks;
· Grouping children by ability in the room and setting different tasks to each ability groups;
· Providing resources of different complexity according to the ability of the child;
· Using classroom assistants to support the work of individual children or groups of children;
We use the National Curriculum for geography as the basis for our curriculum planning. We make use of the local environment in our fieldwork and we choose a locality where the human activities and physical features provide a contrast to our local area based on the six areas of Human geography, Physical Geography, Interdependence, Place and Space, Scale and how it affects and shapes pupils lives. Ultimately these areas are interlinked in everyday events and occurrences.
Our medium-term plans follow the national schemes of work provided by the Government. Focus Educational resources are also used as inspirational starting points and link directly to literacy.
When possible we combine the geographical study with work in other subject areas. Children are encouraged to carry out geographical studies independently.
We teach geography in the Reception class as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. The provision in the Foundation Stage is linked to EYFS, especially the area covering Understanding of the world.
5 The contribution of geography to teaching in other curriculum areas
Geography makes a significant contribution to the teaching of English in our school because it actively promotes the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Geography in our school contributes to the teaching of mathematics in a variety of ways. Children study space, scale and distance. They also use graphs to explore, analyse and illustrate a variety of data.
Children use ICT in geography to enhance their skills in data handling and in presenting written work. They research information through the Internet. Educational software is used to support the learning e.g. CD-ROM, interactive white boards etc.
When and where appropriate children also have the opportunity to use cameras to record and use photographic images.
Geography contributes significantly to the teaching of personal, social and health education and citizenship. Children study about the way people recycle material and how environments are changed for the better or for the worse. Children are allowed to organise events which are matters of concerns to them. Thus geography in our school promotes the concept of positive citizenship.
We offer children in our school many opportunities to examine the fundamental questions in life through the medium of geography. For example, their work on the changing landscape and environmental issues such as climate change and deforestation leads children to ask questions about the evolution of the planet. We encourage the children to reflect on the impact of mankind on our world and we introduce the concept of ‘stewardship’ (global interdependence and understanding long term sustainability issues) in relation to sustainable development. Through teaching about contrasting localities, we enable the children to learn about inequality and injustice in the world. We help children to develop their knowledge and understanding of different cultures so that they learn to avoid stereotyping and acquire a positive attitude towards others. We help contribute to children’s social development by teaching them about society, and how it works to resolve difficult issues of economic development. Geography contributes to the children’s appreciation of what is right and wrong by raising many moral questions throughout the schemes of work.
6 Teaching geography to children with special needs
At Lickhill Primary School we teach geography to all children, whatever their ability. Geography forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children.
a) A realistic number of learning tasks, that are appropriate for assessment purposes, are identified in the schemes of work as key assessment tasks;
b) Teachers identify the different outcomes they would expect, normally between one and three, for each of the key assessment tasks for their topics.
c) Teachers then use topic specific assessment sheets to assess the work and record the outcomes pupils achieve.
d) This assessment information is used to assist teachers to plan their work with the class and prepare their reports to parents.
e) Reports to parents contain comments about individual pupil’s progress in the key elements of the subject together with suggestions about appropriate strategies for improvement,
f) The co-ordinator collects together a portfolio of examples of students’ work that illustrates pupil’s performance in each of the key assessment tasks.
Parents will be given opportunities to support and be involved in pupils’ learning in geography. Pupils will be encouraged to develop and extend their studies at home and to become aware of the value and potential of the subject in a range of different contexts.
The role of the subject co-ordinators
i) Producing an agreed geography policy and key stage plans which are compatible with the school’s overall curricular aims and which meet the statutory requirements
ii) Providing advice to teachers on appropriate resources, teaching strategies and approaches to assessment
iii) Developing an overview of the geography curriculum in the school to ensure that pupils experience a sufficient variety of key entitlement experiences and that the subject policy is put into practice
iv) Co-ordinating the purchase, organisation and storage of appropriate geography resources;
v) Collecting a portfolio of pupils’ work and teacher assessment in the subject to ensure consistency of standards and monitoring approaches to assessment to ensure that there are a sufficient variety of tasks
vi) Assisting with the regular evaluation and monitoring of the quality of provision in the subject, participating in the identification of agreed development tasks each year and reviewing the geography policy and key stage plans as appropriate;
vii) Keeping abreast of recent developments in the subject, attending relevant in-service courses and participating in the planning and delivery of school based INSET and discussions.
have sufficient resources in our school to be able to teach all the geography units. We are looking into a range of educational software, globes, a set of atlases and maps of the world/U.K./local area including ordnance survey maps that are relevant and up to date. In the library we have a good supply of geography topic books to support the children’s individual research. Focus Educational resources also add literacy and cross-curricular links with teacher resources to support many geographical themes.
Fieldwork is integral to good geography teaching and we include as many opportunities as we can to involve children in practical geographical research and enquiry.
The geography subject leader is responsible for monitoring the standard of the children’s work and the quality of teaching in geography. The geography subject leader is responsible for supporting colleagues in the subject and for providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school. The geography subject leader gives the head teacher a termly report to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the subject. We allocate a special time to review children’s work and for visiting classes to observe teaching in the subject.
Teachers and support staff are responsible in ensuring that curriculum activities in this subject area are safe. Therefore, it is important that they identify any hazards and assess the risks in the learning environment, whether in school or in the local environment whilst doing fieldwork. Staff members should ensure that children are taught to handle any equipment, tools, resources, and artefacts in the appropriate and safe manner.