Geography: intent, implementation and impact.

Intent

Our Geography curriculum is designed to develop children’s natural curiosity and fascination for the world and its people which provide the necessary skills to become confident, enthusiastic geographers. 

We believe it important to teach children about their immediate and local environment, as well as the ever changing wider world around them. Starting from Early Years and continuing throughout their experience at Stannington First School, we start children’s geographical exploration locally within our village, gradually widening the area of focus. Year on year, children’s geographical skills develop and progress logically and appropriate to the children’s age.

Through a carefully planned curriculum, high quality resources and teaching, and a consistent approach across the school, we develop the following characteristics of geographers:

  • An excellent locational knowledge both locally and worldwide;

  • A comprehensive understanding of the inter connectivity and interdependence of the world and its people;

  • An extensive and robust geographical vocabulary;

  • Fluency in geographical enquiry skills through questioning and investigation;

  • Confidence in reaching clear, well informed conclusions based on evidence and deep understanding of geographical concepts;

  • The ability to set up and undertake fieldwork through a variety of geographical methods;

  • Express well balanced opinions rooted in geographical understanding about current issues in society and the environment;

  • A genuine and naturally developed interest and curiosity in geography that stays with them throughout their life.

Implementation

At Stannington First School, our Geography lead has worked closely with neighbouring schools to develop a carefully planned, well paced and logically progressed curriculum that is specifically tailored towards our local area and beyond. Our teaching staff have undertaken high quality training in teaching the necessary skills in geography confidently and in an enthusing and impactful manner. Teaching staff follow a well organised series of core objectives in line with the national curriculum, in units that are sequential and offer opportunity to explore the world in a meaningful way, with progress and depth of understanding at the forefront of learning.

As a school, we have developed a consistent approach, following a carefully considered lesson progression. This focuses on broadening children’s knowledge and ensuring retention of information and skills through regular ‘Flashback’ activities and purposeful recapping, acting to reinforce understanding and assessing this understanding purposefully.  We have a school-wide agreed collection of ‘Buzz Word’ terminology that is focused on widening children’s geographical vocabulary that can be used accurately and consistently in both verbal and written form. The core knowledge of each individual unit is compacted into knowledge organisers that are available on tables and on our interactive screens to be referred to both by teachers and children in a purposeful and effective way in lessons. We provide children with regular challenges that seek to reinforce, consolidate and extend learning and provide teachers with an effective and meaningful form of measurable assessment against core knowledge.

We have an ever growing collection of high quality, carefully sourced geographical resources that support teaching and learning and provide children with the tools they need to develop as geographers. Geography based resources can also be found around school, in communal areas including the outdoor play areas that children are encouraged to use. As well as providing children with up-to-date, high quality resources (maps, digital technology, literature, etc.), children are able to gain experience ‘in the field’ through investigation beyond the classroom. This practical style of learning begins with their immediate environment and progresses to the wider area of Northumberland and the North East. Through educational visits and expert input, enhanced learning can take place at a wide range of geographical locations including local coasts and rivers, to human and physical features that tie in to our local history, economy and society.

 

Impact

We continuously develop and grow our geography curriculum and expertise at Stannington First School and monitor and evaluate the impact of our curriculum, teaching practices and children’s progress.

Each year, an action plan is written and agreed upon by our geography lead and teaching staff, which we all work towards collaboratively, ensuring geography within our school continues to develop.

Through supportive and progression-focused learning walks, our geography lead is able to observe the implementation of the school’s curriculum and identify both areas of strength and areas of development to inform our next steps in geography. Children are encouraged to talk about their learning in geography both inside and outside of the classroom, making links across other areas of the wider curriculum.

We set high expectations and children present their learning purposefully and to a high standard in a variety of ways so evidence of progress and high quality learning is clear. Our books and regular discussion with children evidence our pupil’s competency and confidence to communicate their geographical skills and knowledge in a variety of ways.Through collaborative book moderation and teacher discussion, teachers are able to ensure consistency in geography across the school and seek to develop our next steps in our continuous progress in the subject area.