Geography is about curiosity, exploration, and discovery. It gives children the power to see places in new ways, even imaginary ones. Geography also helps children to understand and make sense of the world.

 

The St. Edward’s Geography curriculum is knowledge rich. This means the knowledge children will gain has been carefully specified, ordered coherently and builds over time. As children work through our geography curriculum they will know more, understand more about the world around them. A good geographical understanding relies on firm foundations of knowledge and skills. The skills our curriculum develops, like the knowledge, are specified, ordered coherently and progress over time.

This curriculum structure helps pupils to deepen their understanding of physical and human geographical processes, fostering curiosity and fascination for the world we live in. Approaching primary geography with a knowledge rich focus means that the knowledge children will be taught has been identified, in each year group, in each unit and in each lesson. As children work through the curriculum they will know more and understand more about their local area, the UK, Europe and the World.

This rigorous approach, covering and going beyond the requirements of the National Curriculum, leaves nothing to chance, building geographical knowledge and understanding in a way that builds on children’s prior knowledge, allowing them to make meaningful connections and gain an understanding of how our world is connected. Conceptual understanding is at the heart of our curriculum. Children will learn about key geographical concepts such as place, space, the environment and interconnection. Over time, working through an essential process of elaboration, children will add to their conceptual understanding with many examples of geographical knowledge in context. Children will become more skilled at answering questions such as; what is it like to live in this place? What are the challenges of this environment? How have people changed this landscape over time?

Children will gain an understanding of what geographers do, what they look for and what they may say about a place. They will discover explorers such as Ibn Battuta, Roald Amundsen and Captain James Cook. They will look at the migration of both animals and people, studying the impact migration and colonialism had on places such as Australia and New Zealand.

Each year our geography curriculum begins with a ‘Spatial Sense’ unit that explicitly teaches geographical skills such as locating places on a map, positioning items on a map, using symbols in a key, interpreting scale, reading climate graphs, identifying locations using co-ordinates, interpreting population data, identifying elevation on relief maps and more. The spatial sense units for each year group are positioned at the beginning of the year to explicitly teach skills which will then be used in context throughout the rest of the year as children apply those skills to learn more about people, places and the environment. The spatial sense units build on prior knowledge before moving children on as the level of challenges increases from year to year. In Key Stage One the Spatial Sense units require children to undertake fieldwork and use observational skills to study the geography of their school and the surrounding environment. In Year 5 children will study a further unit on local geography where they undertake fieldwork to observe, record and present the human and physical features in the local area, focussing on an issue that the local area faces. The aim of the spatial sense units is to build children’s geographical literacy so that they are able to use an atlas, maps and geographical data with ease to answer questions they may have about the world.

National Curriculum Programmes of Study

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 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. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.

Aims

The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of 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 their understanding of geographical processes
  • interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length