Geography

A trip to a local farm helps us appreciate how we utilise our natural environment.

Our Forest Schools programme in Early Years and Key Stage 1 provides cross-curricular learning opportunities in subjects like Geography - like this mapping session.

Subject Leader: Mrs Robinson

We are so fortunate to be located in this stunning, central part of the country. Our local environment provides us with a wealth of experiential geographical learning. We therefore aim to bring this to life as often as possible by taking children out to experience e.g. physical geography: the formation of the Pennine landscape; human geography: our economy and use of natural resources. We want children to develop a sense of place which acknowledges that we live somewhere very special that they will need to safeguard in the future should they choose to settle here. Our local landscape fosters awe due to its beauty and dramatic appearance, directly linked to key geographical processes such as glaciation and weathering that we want children to understand. Our traditional economy also includes diversity – Appleby Horse Fair, Warcop Camp, the A66 Trans Pennine route which we can use to develop and enhance our children’s place knowledge.

Equally, we accept that our secluded location can inhibit children’s experience of our country and beyond and we therefore take our responsibility to inspire curiosity, knowledge and understanding of the wider world very seriously. We have fostered links with other schools in this country, and abroad, so that children experience diverse people and places first hand. We aim to equip our children with a flavour of the characteristics, and place knowledge they need, of a range of European and Non European countries, to tempt them into becoming life-long explorers.

We are so fortunate to be located in this stunning, central part of the country. Our local environment provides us with a wealth of experiential geographical learning. We therefore aim to bring this to life as often as possible by taking children out to experience e.g. physical geography: the formation of the Pennine landscape; human geography: our economy and use of natural resources. We want children to develop a sense of place which acknowledges that we live somewhere very special that they will need to safeguard in the future should they choose to settle here. Our local landscape fosters awe due to its beauty and dramatic appearance, directly linked to key geographical processes such as glaciation and weathering that we want children to understand. Our traditional economy also includes diversity – Appleby Horse Fair, Warcop Camp, the A66 Trans Pennine route which we can use to develop and enhance our children’s place knowledge.

Equally, we accept that our secluded location can inhibit children’s experience of our country and beyond and we therefore take our responsibility to inspire curiosity, knowledge and understanding of the wider world very seriously. We have fostered links with other schools in this country, and abroad, so that children experience diverse people and places first hand. We aim to equip our children with a flavour of the characteristics, and place knowledge they need, of a range of European and Non European countries, to tempt them into becoming life-long explorers.

Teaching and Learning

Geography is taught through a carefully planned series of half termly topics to ensure national curriculum coverage of Locational knowledge, Place knowledge, Human and physical geography, geographical skills and field work. Our approach to the planning, assessment and teaching of the subject throughout the school is organised alongside our class groupings. As well as bespoke lessons, cross curricular opportunities arise regularly and we see evidence of this in books, displays and photographs. Map skills will be taught alongside position and direction in a maths lesson. Atlases will be used in history when tracking the rise of The Roman Empire. A human geography trip to the seaside could be followed up artistically and recorded as a display. We invite local expertise in to school e.g. Eden Rivers Trust, Another Way, and also draw upon local resource banks e.g. Eden District Council for special events such as our litter pick. Visitors coming to school with an alternate brief, such as when we were visited by a local Iman, can also be used as a cross curricular resource leading to spontaneous learning about location and diversity.

Sequenced Learning

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

Key stage 1 pupils will be taught to develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They will understand basic subject specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness. We have chosen the following topics to achieve this:

· Journeys

· Around the world

· Castles

· Into the Woods

· Food and Farming

· The Seaside

In Acorns we aim to draw upon young children’s creativity and imagination when taking them on journeys around the world or to specific locations. Continuous provision is changed to reflect these themes to give children a sense of place, transporting them using imaginative play when an actual visit is not possible. Our I.C.T resources also bring the outside world into the classroom. The use of basic subject specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography is modelled and encouraged, both orally and in books and on displays. From the very beginning of their education, we expect our children to identify geography as a specific subject and for them to be aware of themselves as geographers when they use fieldwork skills. Children’s own experiences are acknowledged as a crucial part of their EYFS learning, so we will allow ourselves to be child led and follow up any family visits in class, valuing first hand observations and extending place and locational knowledge that we may not have dictated. Regular Forest School experiences take geographical learning outdoors – children make their own maps using natural materials, they experience seasonal and daily weather patterns first hand, gaining an understanding of their impact! The children use locational and directional language when navigating themselves to, and around the site. In bespoke lessons on place knowledge, rather than filling in endless worksheets, we encourage children to draw and annotate key physical and human features on maps they make themselves, valuing this cross curricular writing as evidence of progress in English.

Key stage 2 pupils will extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. They will also develop specific locational and place knowledge, confidently using geographical skills and fieldwork and describe key aspects of human and physical geography. To ensure this our two key stage two classes have allocated specific learning across two year topic cycles so that we are confident children’s learning is sequenced. Specific locational knowledge has also been carefully planned alongside cross curricular learning, particularly in history, so that while learning about e.g. Tudors and Stuarts, children are made aware of early economic and trade links with North and South America.

As with key stage one however, we will always embrace opportunities for additional learning linked to children’s personal experiences and key events such as the Tour of Britain or the 75th anniversary of VE day when they arise. Utilising our older children’s physical capabilities and resilience, this is when we can make the most of our immediate area and get the children out to experience physical and human processes first hand. Annual hikes at key local features such as Murton Pike, High Cup Nick, Wild Boar Fell or Along the River Eden unite human and physical geography learning and hopefully, establish lifelong athletic lifestyle and outdoor confidence. Residential visits have also been planned with this in mind, alternating a Lake District experience with an Urban one so that when children leave our school in year six we know that they have both climbed a mountain and experienced life in a big city, experiences that we know they are not guaranteed to have otherwise.

Geographical skills and fieldwork will be tested when we promote our children’s independence by allowing them to self guide when appropriate. During key stage two we also expect the children to take a lead in their own learning, or, to share it with others. Our city school link will enable them to ask questions and chat spontaneously with their pen pal to get an accurate and relatable understanding of place knowledge. Equally, when hosting, they should be able to explain the processes involved in shaping the landscape around us that some urban children will never have encountered before. Google classroom allows children to safely satisfy their curiosity about the world because we can share links with them for further learning at home.

Children combining traditional mapping skills with modern technology.

Endpoints

Through the use of the intent, implementation and impact approach below, we have designed an action plan that aims to achieve specific endpoints.

By the end of Key Stage One our children will be able to talk about the world, the United Kingdom, Brough and Cumbria. Through our connecting Classrooms exchange programme they will be able to talk about similarities and differences between where they live and Ghana, Africa. Cross curricular learning such as position and turn in maths, and bee bot programming in computing will help them learn and follow simple directions and use locational and directional language. Topics such as The Seaside and The Great Fire of London will have transformed continuous provision within the classroom to enhance locational awareness. foster Children will be able to identify features on a map, locate some places they know and will have made their own maps in class and at forest school.

By the end of key stage two they will have had first hand experiences of contrasting localities and key examples of impactive human and physical geography within the local and wider area. Geographical skills and fieldwork will have been tested on annual hikes and self guided walks. Locational and place knowledge will have been greatly enhanced through peer links in the UK and abroad.

Children at our school will also be made aware of our responsibilities to protect our environment and be involved in ways of doing this.

Subject Action Plan