At Thompson School we believe that a high-quality geography education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of their location within Britain and that of the wider world. We aim to inspire children to become place detectives, developing their curiosity to know more about different places and develop their understanding. Geography teaching focuses on enabling children to think as geographers in a fun and exciting way. As pupils progress, 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. Visits, maps and resources will be used to bring places alive and encourage children to investigate and develop their skills of enquiry.
At Thompson School we aim to:
• develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places
• understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world,
• ensure children 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.
We believe that all children should have equality of opportunity and should be able to access the geography curriculum regardless of race, religion, gender or ability. The new National Curriculum is the basis for planning and teaching in Geography and is implemented through a creative curriculum themed approach. Themes are included in the long term planning for each year group. In the foundation stage, teaching is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage and is implemented as part of Knowledge and Understanding the World through themes.
The contribution of geography to teaching in other curriculum areas
Geography contributes to the teaching of English in our school by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Some of the texts that we use in the Literacy Hour are geographical in nature. Children develop oracy through discussing geographical questions; they develop their writing ability by composing reports questionnaires and comparisons.
The teaching of geography contributes significantly to children’s mathematical understanding in a variety of ways. Children learn to use grid references, measure distances, rainfall and temperatures when developing a sense of place through various different activities including PE.
Geography contributes significantly to the teaching of personal, social and health education and citizenship. Children develop self-confidence by having opportunities to explain their views on a number of human geographical questions. They discover how to be active citizens in a democratic society and they learn how to recognise and challenge stereotypes, and to appreciate that racism is a harmful aspect of society. They learn how society is made up of people from different cultures, and they start to develop tolerance and respect for others.
For Subject content please see the new National Curriculum.
See the class long term plans for coverage of the themes.
Children demonstrate their ability in geography in a variety of different ways. Younger children might, for example, act out different roles that people take in our communities or they may create models of places. Teachers will assess children’s work by making informal judgements during lessons. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher assesses the work and uses this information to plan for future learning. Written or verbal feedback is given to the child to help guide his or her progress.
At the end of a whole unit of work, the teacher makes a summary judgement about the progress and achievement of each pupil, and we pass this information on to the next teacher at the end of the year.
The geography subject leader keeps samples of children’s work in a portfolio. These demonstrate what the expected level of achievement is in history for each age group in the school.
There are resources for geography teaching units in the school. We keep these resources in the store cupboard next to the hall. The library contains a good supply of topic books and atlases and we have these supplemented by the SLS topic boxes each term.
Monitoring of the standards of children’s work and of the quality of teaching in geography is the responsibility of the geography subject leader. The work of the subject leader also involves supporting colleagues in their teaching, being informed about current developments in the subject, and providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school. The subject leader gives the Headteacher an annual report in which she evaluates the strengths and weaknesses in the subject and indicates areas for further improvement in the Action Plan.
Written February 2015