At Riverside Primary, we believe that Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. Children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it. Geography is naturally an investigative subject and one that develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. The curriculum is designed to ensure that teaching equips pupils with knowledge about a diversity of people and places, natural and human environments and a deeper understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. This enables children to develop their knowledge and skills that are transferrable to other curriculum areas as well as promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. As pupils progress through the school, their growing knowledge about the world helps 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 and skills are progressive and sequenced to provide explanation of how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. Our curriculum seeks to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people.
As part of our curriculum design led by Cornerstones, Geography at Riverside Primary is taught in and as part of topics throughout the year so that children can achieve depth in their learning. Teachers are supported to identify the key knowledge and skills of each topic and these are mapped across the school to ensure that knowledge is built progressively and skills are developed systematically. Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic. Children are asked what they already know and what they would like to find out. This ensures that teaching is informed by the children’s starting points and that it takes account of pupil voice, incorporating children’s interests. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. At the end of each topic, key knowledge is reviewed and consolidated as necessary. Children complete an assessment to inform teachers of what they have learnt and what they have enjoyed. Geography is well resourced and specific resources are mapped to specific year groups and topics to support effective teaching and learning. The local area is fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice.
Our topic books evidence a broad and balanced geography curriculum and demonstrate children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge relating to each of the identified national curriculum strands, as appropriate to each key stage. This includes locational knowledge, place knowledge and human and physical geography. This is in addition to the development and application of key skills which is supported by fieldwork.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following strategies:
- Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary
- Children’s contribution to class discussions
- Verbal and written outcomes from learning
- Initial and final assessment of learning sheets
- End of topic quizzes
Teacher judgements are formed as to whether pupils are emerging, expected or exceeding for their conceptual understanding, knowledge and skills. As part of monitoring carried out by the Geography lead, pupils are interviewed to moderate teacher based assessments. This is also supported by the scrutiny of pupil’s books, lesson observations and environment checks to ensure that there is correct delivery of the curriculum and to highlight areas for improvement.
As children progress throughout the school, they develop a deep knowledge, understand and appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context. Geographical understanding as well as children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is further supported by the school’s specific drives. These include ‘Language of the Month’ where children consider the origins of the languages spoken across the school and ‘Cultural Day’ in which they celebrate the school community’s cultural diversity. Children learn about careers related to geography from members of the local and wider community, with special skills and knowledge during events such as Science Week and Careers Week. This ensures that they are well prepared for the next steps of their education.