Geography at St Laurence's
A high-quality geography education should inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip children 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 children progress throughout their time at St Laurence's, 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.
End of Key Stage One Expectations
At the end of KS1 children will have developed an understanding and the skills of map-work, locating where they live locally and in comparison to the United Kingdom. They will have developed a widening geographical understanding of their world, places, people and environment through their Power of Reading topics and be able to apply Geographical vocabulary to their work.
End of Key Stage Two Expectations
At the end of KS2 children will build on the Foundations of KS1 extending their Geographical knowledge of the world, places, people and environments beyond the UK. They will compare, contrast and make predictions based on this knowledge
They will be able to independently and confidently use Geographical skills to develop their understanding of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features.
Geography Aims at St Laurence's
- 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
- 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.
Our Geography curriculum at St Laurence’s is designed to enrich and develop children’s curiosity and captivate their interest in the world and its people. We are committed to instilling a love of geography in our children and work hard to provide an interesting and varied curriculum that interests and intrigues our children while meeting the needs of all backgrounds, cultures and abilities. We aim to ensure a progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills.
Starting from EYFS through to key stage 2, the children will be taught various geographical terms both in our local area and worldwide. We will provide our children with opportunities to investigate and make enquiries about their local area to develop a sense of who they are, their heritage and what makes our local area unique and special.
We also develop the children’s ability to apply geographical skills to enable them to confidently communicate their findings and geographical understanding to a range of audiences. We will create every opportunity to link Geography to other subjects and staff will follow their curriculum maps to ensure progression throughout the school. We will also monitor progress regularly through book scrutiny and evidence of a range of work. The children track their own knowledge and understanding of the specific historical vocabulary through a traffic light system both pre and post topic. This is a fluid working document.
At St Laurence’s the geography lead is provided with additional planning days each year in addition to their PPA, to plan the geography curriculum. In addition to this, we have additional staff meetings set aside to plan the curriculum together as a whole school team. As part of this planning process, we looked at knowledge and skills that should be acquired in each year group which includes key vocabulary, trips and visiting experts who will enhance the learning experiences. We maintain strong links to the National Curriculum guidelines to ensure all aspects, knowledge and skills of Geography are being taught across all year groups and it is progressive.
We differentiate our work for all abilities whilst following children’s interests to ensure their learning is engaging, broad and balanced. We encourage our children to think as geographers and a variety of teaching approaches are used based on the teacher’s judgement.
Assessment and tracking of individual children’s progress is based on half-termly assessments that ensure good or better progress. This impacts the children by accelerating the rate of progress for all, including those children with special educational needs. Vulnerable children and children with learning difficulties are identified early and well supported through intervention programmes that are individually tailored, effectively taught and closely monitored in terms of pupil outcomes.
Children have a variety of books for foundation subjects with additional records being kept on tapestry, floor books and Seesaw.
We use an ongoing monitoring system that helps staff ensure that all topics and skills are being taught in relevant year groups.
Educational visits are opportunities we take advantage of to plan for additional geography learning outside the classroom. The children have opportunities to experience geography on educational visits, these include exploring the local area including orienteering within the school grounds, visiting the local recycling centre, as well as trips to local woods and using map reading skills during residential trips.
Our Geography Curriculum is a detailed, high-quality document which is planned to demonstrate progression and consistency throughout the school. The children following our curriculum are assessed each term and placed in our assessment bands working below, working towards or working at in geography. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes
- Pupil discussions about their learning
- Book scrutiny
- Whole school action plan which is a working document
- Staff and pupil questionnaires
- Subject monitoring days
- Teacher judgements are discussed and moderated both internally and externally at subject cluster meetings with local schools.
- Collation of class, year group and whole school data
- Images and videos of children’s practical learning
Within geography, we strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning by providing investigative and enquiry-based learning opportunities. Emphasis is placed on investigative learning opportunities to help children gain a coherent knowledge of understanding of each unit of work covered throughout the school.