Geography at Whitehouse Primary
Geography teaching at Whitehouse Primary School aims to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring skills and knowledge to help them to think like geographers. Our curriculum is designed to inspire children’s curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. We aim to provoke thought and questions firstly about their own locality and increasingly about other parts of the United Kingdom, Europe and then the wider world. This will enable children to draw comparisons about their lives and heritage, along with those of others, developing a sense of self. Allowing children to build on their prior knowledge about what makes Stockton-on-Tees and the North East special and unique.
Each year, children learn about a new continent, and compare and contrast this with the following years study. Allowing, continual reflection and consolidation of what has been taught before. Meaning learning is remembered for life. Our geography curriculum combines skills, knowledge and geographical vocabulary to allow children to tackle real life problems through their understanding of human and physical geography. They learn how to make greater sense of the world by organising and connecting information and ideas about people, places, processes and environments. We aim to promote children’s moral, social and cultural development helping them to have a greater understanding of their place in the world, and their right and responsibilities to other people and the environment. They are encouraged not to form stereotypes of places and people as they understand we are all similar in so many ways. Planning is centred on the National Curriculum programmes of study, but also is threaded through the curriculum and lessons, through our Cultural, European and International Studies Week.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Within the Early Years Foundation Stage, there are seven areas of learning where the theme of investigation and talking about what can be discovered run throughout, the children are encouraged to investigate what they have seen/discovered. Specifically pupils work through objectives within the ‘Understanding the world’ area of learning where they about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.
Key Stage 1
Throughout KS1, we explore the children’s curiosity of who they are and how they are the same or different from others, building on the children’s prior learning of families in EYFS. This enables children to develop their knowledge and appreciation of their local area, heritage, special memories, custom and traditions and growing up. They will have the opportunity to walk to the local woods and drive around the local area in the school’s mini bus to enhance their understanding of where they live. As part of cultural studies week, the children will then use this knowledge to compare their local area with the local county of North Yorkshire progressing onto comparing UK countries later on in the year. In Year 2, children build upon this understanding by exploring other countries and continents around the globe. Children develop their understanding of where they live, in relation to other countries around the world. Children continue to develop their understanding of other cultures through English texts and compare the UK to Africa, somewhere completely different to them.
Key Stage 2
The principal focus of geography in KS2 is to enable pupils to broaden their view of the world around them by learning about physical and human geography through the continents of Oceania, North America, South America and Asia. In lower KS2, the children are introduced to the theme of natural and man-made disasters which is built upon in upper KS2. Also links are made to conflict and dilemmas, with a focus on refugees (dilemmas and issues around the world) and rainforests (physical geography of the world including climate zones) which again is developed in upper ks2 more deeply with a focus on war and the physical geography aspects of volcanoes and earthquakes. Natural disasters are explored further in upper KS2, which is a natural progression and builds on knowledge from hills. Mountains in KS1 and rivers in Y3. In Y6, Brazil focuses on the geographic development of place knowledge around the world and builds on the skills and knowledge of human and physical geography in comparison to London.
Ultimately, at Whitehouse, we aim to ensure that the children develop a sense of passion and commitment to geography, showing strong application and enthusiasm to learn more through cultural, European and international studies weeks. Fundamentally, we want to ensure that our children are encouraged to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity when undertaking geographical enquiry and investigations.
At Whitehouse Primary School, we have built our inclusive geography curriculum around a progressive framework that ensures knowledge, skills and vocabulary are firmly embedded in children’s long-term memories. Teachers planning allows children to be repeatedly exposed to key geographical vocabulary which is appropriate and accurate, and which develops and evolves from EYFS through to KS2.
Most of the geography themes in the Foundation Stages are taught through the early learning goals that focus on understanding the world. They focus on knowing the similarities and differences in relation to places, objects , materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments may vary from one another.
In both Key Stage 1 and 2, Geography is taught for at least 1 hour per week. Where possible, links are made to the current class project and cross-curricular links are made with other subjects. Children collect, analyse and present a range of data, gathered through experiences of fieldwork, to deepen understanding of geographical processes. Educational visits and trips are planned to support learning outside of the classroom and providing first hand learning experiences to deepen knowledge and understanding.
Enquiry based learning in KS2, provides opportunities to investigate and make enquiries about their local area including within the school grounds so that they can develop of real sense of who they are and what makes our local area unique and special e.g. walk to the local woods to explore the local area. Encouraging the children to answer their own questions through enquiry based learning either independently or when solving problems collaboratively with their peers.
Ensuring a range of cross-curricular opportunities to develop and consolidate pupil’s learning through our Cultural, European and International studies weeks.
As children progress throughout Whitehouse, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context. Children are equipped with key geographical skills and knowledge that is pertinent to geography with a real life context.
They have a deep understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes and how this affects landscapes and environments.
Children understand how human and physical processes impact on their local area and beyond and consequently on their futures.
Pupils are able to speak about geographical ideas using age appropriate and content specific vocabulary confidently and with interest.
Children are equipped with geographical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world. We want the children to have thoroughly enjoyed learning about geography, therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future.