Our aim at Northbourne CE Primary School is to develop children’s sense of place by helping them to understand who they are, their heritage, and what makes our local area unique and special. We aim to inspire children’s curiosity, interest, and appreciation for the world while equipping them geographical skills needed to develop their knowledge or places, people, and human and natural environments.
As geographers, pupils are exposed to a rich and balanced curriculum that provides them with new vocabulary and knowledge. As pupils progress through our school they will develop an insight into the links between physical and human processes and how landscapes and environments have changed and continue to change. Where possible, geography is planned alongside history to ensure that children have a secure understanding of how changes have occurred over time. Through our geography curriculum, we aim to deepen children’s cultural awareness so that they gain an understanding of what it means to be a positive citizen in a multi-cultural country. We support the children to develop their understanding about issues facing the world and the importance of caring for the world in which we live. Our geography curriculum is designed to be inclusive and meet the needs of all children.
At Northbourne Geography is taught in blocks throughout the year so that children can achieve depth in their learning and have a clear understanding of the disciplines of the subject. Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each blocked topic and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school. Where possible, Geography will be linked to other core and foundation subjects such as History, Art and Design, and DT so that meaningful connections will be made as pupils increase their knowledge, skills and understanding of the world. Geography in our school will be underpinned by the study of real places and discovering how people living there are influenced by and affect the environment of those places. We will develop pupils’ knowledge and geographical understanding by first immersing them in the area where they live and then by gradually widening their horizons and increasing their awareness of their town, their region, their nation, other lands and continents. We encourage children to become geographers through collecting, analysing and communicating through discussion our findings.
At Northbourne, fieldwork and first-hand experiences will be fundamental to the teaching and learning of geography. The local area is fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. We are incredibly fortunate to have a vast amount of outdoor space, including woodlands to allow children to be hands on with the environment.
Each year group has a planned mapping lesson inspired by the Royal Geographical Society which is taught at the beginning of the first unit studied. The knowledge and skills developed are then used and referred to throughout every geography lesson. Mapping lessons have been carefully planned to ensure progression as the pupils move through the school.
At the beginning of each topic, children are able to convey what they know already as well as what they would like to find out. This informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of children’s different starting points. Each class will have a working wall that will display key vocabulary and relevant information for that particular topic which will be used and referred to during geography learning. Knowledge organisers will be used and regularly referred to support children in retrieving key knowledge and embed their learning.
Assessment at Northbourne is on-going to ensure that understanding is being achieved and that progress is being made. Teachers monitor progress and adjust their teaching accordingly through their weekly planning and ensure both verbal and written feedback is given to the children as soon as possible.
The geography subject leader will also assess the impact of teaching through incidental monitoring including book looks, learning walks and pupil interviews. Good geography practice is shared and discussed during staff meetings and, where possible, with wider DEALT schools.
Geography at Northbourne CE Primary School will inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. As children progress throughout the school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding an appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context. Regular school trips provide further relevant and contextual learning.