Geography

Our Geography leader is Mr Hellam.

Intent

At Towngate Primary Academy, we endeavor to ignite children’s curiosity about the world around them through our geography curriculum. We are determined to, alongside geographical knowledge, ensure that there will be a high focus on the development of specific geographical skills through discrete Geography lessons. This ensures that children know more and remember more.

The teaching of geography in our academy is intended to equip pupils to ask questions about the wider world around them, analyse evidence and statistics, think critically, and develop informed judgements so that they know more and remember more.

Geography is delivered as a discrete subject and wherever possible cross curricular links are exploited, particularly links with British values, our values based learning and SMSC, but also STEM subjects. However, teachers make it explicit to the children that they are learning geographical skills and encourage them to think like ‘geographers.’

Our Geography curriculum covers the skills outlined in the National Curriculum through broad, challenging and inspiring themes supplemented by the REACH curriculum. Progression is planned in knowledge, skills and vocabulary so that pupils by the end of year 6 have the cultural capital to be successful in Geography in their secondary school. The progression grid carefully builds on prior learning so that children can make sense of the subject. Progression allows for sensible cross curricular links to be made.  

Year group medium term plans ensure coverage of both the required knowledge and the subject specific skills. Individual sessions are planned to inspire, engage and challenge pupils in response to their needs. Children are given a wide variety of experiences both in the classroom and out. We encourage children to understand the importance of outdoor learning in order to build a natural curiosity about the world they live in and how it works around them.

Pupils are encouraged to think like geographers and develop their skills such as map and compass reading, collecting and analysing data as evidence and communicating geographical information in a variety of ways.

Implementation

Classes have a weekly review activity to recap previous learning and vocabulary. This might be posed as a question or rapid recall. During lessons children are exposed to geography specific vocabulary and taught these through repetition and meaningful use. Flash cards are used to recap and reinforce previously taught vocabulary. Opportunities are planned to study various countries around the world and compare them to one another to deepen children’s understanding. Knowledge organisers are available constantly so that children have access to key language and meanings, in order to help them understand and readily apply this knowledge to their written, mathematical and verbal communication skills, in a purposeful context. All new learning and skills is introduced in small steps with specific guided practice and opportunity for children to have a period of supported practice.

Learning walls specific to geography themes are used in lessons to highlight key knowledge and vocabulary. In order to allow children’s understanding to deepen, walls are covered in various map and atlas styles and photographs, so that children are immersed in the subject and the skills. Both fiction and non-fiction texts are used to develop children’s geographical understanding and links to our book-led curriculum. Book are displayed under working walls for children and access and a range of non-fiction texts are available in reading areas.

Our curriculum is enhanced through local walks, which are planned to allow children to make connections between STEM curriculum areas and geography. In order to do this successfully, children will be provided with local maps which will enable them to navigate and apply their geographical skills when accessing the local area.

Impact

As a result of the Geography curriculum in place, pupil voice from across the academy shows that pupils are developing an understanding of the methods and skills used by geographers in field work, place / locational knowledge and human/physical knowledge. Pupils use age-appropriate vocabulary which supports and extends their understanding and allows for pupils to show confidence in discussing geography, their own work and identifying their own strengths and areas for development.

Pupils’ books show that there is a varied and engaging geography curriculum in place which develops a range of geographical skills. Final pieces of work – known as ‘highlight tasks’ are used which showcase the skills learned across a unit of work.

Subject monitoring evidences that – over time – pupils are able to know more and remember more leading to positive outcomes in Geography.