The intent of our geography curriculum at St Bart’s is to develop pupils’ curiosity and fascination about the world, encouraging them to ask and answer questions of things within and beyond their lived experience. We aim to promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Through a well-sequenced and balanced curriculum design, delivered through a variety of disciplines within an enquiry based approach, children will have opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to ‘become geographers’ in every sense of the term. In turn, this understanding of how different geographical concepts and components fit together and impact upon the natural and man-made environment, children will be inspired to be positive contributors to their world, thus contributing to essential elements of their personal development and sitting alongside our exploration of Global Goals.
At St Bart’s, children first start developing their curiosity for the world in EYFS, especially through the Knowledge and Understanding of the World area of learning. Children use the characteristics of effective learning to ask questions and help understand their own place in the world. The world is exciting and interesting. Children are encouraged to observe the natural and manmade environment, ask questions, explore and use critical thinking to help solve problems in a range of different environments. Children want to know why things are as they are and geography can reward this inquisitiveness.
Geography is taught as a discrete subject in KS1 and KS2, with links made to other subjects wherever possible. Topics are organised to cover all of the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum in an interesting and comprehensive way. Through each topic, a variety of enquiry led questions are posed to help children consider the many aspects of geographical knowledge and understanding. The delivery of lessons is varied, depending upon the knowledge that is being acquired. Children learn knowledge through direct instruction, observation and field work. They complete research and read appropriate texts to support their learning. They read a variety of maps which become increasingly complex, helping them to understand how places are represented and where they are in relation to others. This is dome at local, regional, national and global level with maps, atlases, globes and through the use of technology. Children are encouraged to reflect on the knowledge and skills that they have used to help them understand how they are being geographers and the importance of what they are learning in contexts beyond the classroom. In each lesson, children are encouraged to retrieve previous learning in a variety of ways to that they can learn and remember more. Geography is a key subject in which children’s personal development can be significantly enhanced. Woven into the curriculum design are opportunities for children to apply our key character skills as children are provided with opportunities to work collaboratively, gather and present information and aim high. There are also multiple links to our study of Global Goals which is key to ensuring children understand the influence of human actions on the world in which we live and how they can make a positive contribution at many levels.
Children will leave our school with a fascination for our world. They will develop an understanding of geographical phenomena, starting with a sense of their own place in the world and broadening this to a more complex understanding of the wider world and how physical and human geography are connected, the way in which landscapes help to shape people and how they live and are also shaped by us for our own advantage. They will start to understand some of the ways in which human behaviour has a detrimental impact on the environment but also how they can make positive contributions. All children, regardless of their start point or circumstances, through a culture of aspiration for all, will be supported to have developed analytical and observational skills, posed and answered questions and become confident in presenting findings. Subject specific vocabulary will have been developed and used in context. Pupils will be ready to further develop their natural curiosity and expand their embedded knowledge and understanding as they progress to the next stage of their education.