A curriculum designed for Lyme Community Primary School
GEOGRAPHY – CURRICULUM INTENT
Purpose of study
The primary aim of our Geography curriculum is to provide each student with the knowledge, language and skills needed in order to understand the world around them.
Geography varies from the local environment that the students know well to the distant places that they have little or no previous knowledge about. We aim to take the students from where they are onto a global view of the world.
The study of Geography therefore starts with the students themselves and grows outwards. From this point the curriculum becomes more diverse to include topics on a contrasting UK region, contrasting regions from across the world, as well as studies about rivers, weather, settlement and environment change – linked to eco issues, such as reduced plastic use. Every year group works on an Eco-Strand linked to the Global Goals: this is to ensure our children are at the forefront of global issues and campaigning.
At Lyme Community Primary School, the context of our setting means that it important to immerse our students in a variety of geographical experiences; they will have a wide range of stimuli to enhance their knowledge including geographical workshops, visits from experts and fieldwork. Each geography unit of work taught will encompass ‘WOW’ moments, such a Ranger led walk around the local area, a visit to Liverpool Museum and an orienteering experience around the school grounds preceding an outcome to present their learning, such as a video of instructions, a persuasive leaflet or class assembly. This is a valuable opportunity to develop the oracy skills of our children. We use quality-assured resources from the Geographical Association, Oddizzi and Digimaps to ensure coverage of knowledge and skills, including progression.
In Early Years, their Understanding of the World develops as children take notice of everything around them. At Lyme, the children take part in a walks within the local area, talking about the environment around them. To develop their understanding of the wider world, the children learn about different countries and compare them with their own locality. Geography is explicitly taught in Reception as part of a focused session; in Nursery, knowledge and understanding of the world is developed through stories and child-initiated activities.
In line with the curriculum, geographical learning in the Early Years is planned for coverage and progression however, child-led learning means that the focus of geographical discussions will be personalised to the cohort of children.
All children in EYFS will participate in weekly seasonal Forest Schools sessions linked to the Understanding of the World curriculum.
In KS1 and KS2, each unit has a key learning question to support our children’s critical thinking and develop their oracy skills when articulating their answers. We ensure that subject-specific vocabulary is explicitly taught to broaden our children’s understanding and develop their bank of Tier 3 words. In KS1, students develop knowledge about the world, the UK and their locality such as ‘Where on Earth are we?’ They compare this locality with the UK. In KS2, students extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the UK and Europe, North and South America. Our aim is to develop the student’s geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.
As a Rights-Respecting School, we are keen to develop our children’s Global Citizenship, which we do through geography units of work, assemblies, Values lessons and Global Week. We strive for our children to be outwardly-looking global citizens who are knowledgeable, tolerant and educated about the wider world.
At Lyme, geographical knowledge and understanding is presented in a variety of ways using skills taught in English, mathematics, science, computing and art to develop more meaningful learning experiences. We believe children should be taught geographical content through a variety of hands-on learning experiences to develop them as geographers, for example handling artefacts, taking part in educational visits and communicating with children in contrasting localities through a variety of media. The teaching of geographical vocabulary is key for our children.
In the Early Years, children are assessed against the EYFS age related criteria within the strand of Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Understanding of the World.
At KS1 & 2 we use the National Curriculum objective statements to monitor individual pupil progress against the key stage expectations. We will use low-stakes assessment activities, such as quizzes and retrieval activities to assess and build on children’s knowledge and understanding. Children complete a baseline and an end of unit assessment activity linked to the unit’s key learning question. This information is then used to inform curriculum planning outlining how additional support or challenge can be provided in order to meet the needs of our pupils. Formative and summative assessment evidence is used to make a judgement based on the child’s knowledge, understanding and application of their learning – measured by depth of understanding shown when answering the key learning question each half term. This is recorded on SIMS (see Summative Assessment and Feedback Policy). This information is also used by teachers when reporting to parents.