At Milton Mount, our Geography curriculum has been designed with the centralised intent to nurture the children’s curiosity and fascination of the world and its people. Our aim is that these key creative attitudes will remain with them for the rest of their lives. This aim is inclusive of all children.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage children develop their oracy skills in order to question and talk about the world around them and the changes that occur throughout the year. Their naturally inquisitive personalities are praised and equipped with the appropriate resources to foster a love of exploration and learning about what they observe and read about.
We offer a structure and sequence of lessons to help teachers ensure they have covered the skills required to meet the aims of the National Curriculum, whilst continuing to cultivate a curiosity and fascination about the wider world. The content allows for a broader, deeper understanding of the four areas of geography identified in the curriculum through a range of rich and engaging experiences. It will develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places and understanding of the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, along with how they bring about variation and change over time.
Geographical skills are central to the children’s learning and are therefore developed and utilised to learn about the world around them by collecting, analysing and communicating data gathered through fieldwork. The units offer a range of opportunities for investigating places around the world as well as physical and human processes. The lessons are intended to improve children’s geographical vocabulary, map skills and geographical facts and provide opportunities for consolidation, challenge and variety to ensure interest and progress in the subject.
Our ambitious curriculum is built around the principle that children will know more, do more and remember more. In Key Stages 1 and 2, Geography is planned around an overarching question which is broken down week by week into a series of smaller questions, with links made to other subjects where appropriate, such as science, history and English. Lessons require children to think deeply in order to answer these questions by applying the skills, knowledge and vocabulary that has been taught. Pre-learning tasks are used by the teachers to help shape the learning journey and achieve our ambition of the children ‘knowing more’. A combination of visitors, trips and a focus on first hand experiences, discussion and children ‘doing more’, ensure exciting and memorable learning experiences for all. Whilst ‘Sticky Starters’ are used to support the children in making links to what they have learnt ‘last week, last term, last year and beyond’, helping them to ‘remember more’.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, ‘People Culture and Communities’ aspires to develop the children’s ability to ‘describe their immediate environment’, and ‘explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries’. This is achieved by using knowledge from observation, discussion, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.
In KS1, children begin to use maps and recognise physical and human features within the immediate school environment, Crawley, Brighton and London. Maps are used to teach the children about the four countries that come together to make up the United Kingdom and this builds to using maps and atlases to explore the continents and oceans of the world at the end of year 2. Furthermore, in year 2 children will begin to compare England and Africa and ask and answer geographical questions to deepen their knowledge of the human and physical geography in the contrasting countries.
In KS2, map skills are developed further using digital maps, more keys and symbols and children begin to use more fieldwork skills. Through revisiting and consolidating skills, our lesson plans and resources help children build on prior knowledge alongside introducing new skills and challenge. All children expand on their skills in local knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography, geographical skills and fieldwork. Across both key stages, children have a range of opportunities to experience geography through practical engaging tasks beyond the classroom. Our lessons come with end of unit assessments to give the teacher and adults leading geography confidence in the progression of skills and knowledge and that outcomes have been met. Key words are also highlighted in each lesson pack, to be used by children to deepen their geographical knowledge.
Our aim is that our geography curriculum will develop the following skills:
- Interpret a range of sources
- Collect, analyse and communicate data from fieldwork in a range of ways
- Identify human and physical geography in the world around them
- Use maps, atlases and globes to find information
- Create maps with a key
- Understand and accurately use subject specific vocabulary
- Use compass directions and locational language
- Speak confidently about their geography learning, skills and knowledge
The impact that our intentions and implementation will have on our curriculum is that geography learning is loved by teachers and pupils across school, and this will come through in our staff and pupil voice surveys. Teachers therefore, will have higher expectations and more quality evidence will be presented in books.