At Merton Bank, we ensure that all children are provided with the opportunity to reach their full potential within a positive and nurturing environment. Through an engaging and challenging geography curriculum we aim to encourage children to become motivated and resilient learners who are never less than their best. The children undertake a broad and balanced programme of study that takes account of abilities, aptitudes and physical, emotional and intellectual development.
Through geography the children learn and develop a range of skills, concepts, attitudes and methods of working.
- To stimulate children’s interest in their surroundings and develop a knowledge and understanding of the physical and human processes which shape places.
- To increase children’s knowledge of other cultures and, in doing so, teach a respect and understanding of what it means to be a positive citizen in a multi-cultural country.
- To provide learning opportunities that enthuse, engage, and motivate children to learn and foster a sense of curiosity and wonder at the beauty of the world around them.
- To encourage in children a commitment to sustainable development and an appreciation of what ‘global citizenship’ means.
- To make sense of their own surroundings through learning about their own locality and the interaction between people and the environment.
- To develop the geographical skills, including how to use, draw and interpret maps of different scales, and the vocabulary necessary to carry out effective geographical enquiry.
- To be able to apply map reading skills to globes and atlas maps and identify geographical features.
- To formulate appropriate questions, develop research skills and evaluate material to inform opinions.
- To enable children to work geographically in a range of appropriate contexts, using a variety of materials and equipment including other people’s experiences and knowledge.
Teachers plan from a long-term overview, which provides focused challenge skills questions related to a particular geography topic. When exploring these questions, teachers plan meaningful learning experiences carefully, based around age related geography objectives which correspond to the four strands of learning; locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography and geographical skills and field work.
Geography knowledge and skills will often be taught in a cross-curricular context, enabling children to make links between their skills, knowledge and understanding across a range of subjects. Knowledge Organisers will be stuck in books for the children to refer to throughout each topic. The activities planned for in geography build upon the prior learning of the children. We provide children of all abilities the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding, thereby ensuring continuity and progression, alongside an increasing level of challenge as they move up through the school. SEND children will access their current year group objectives where appropriate but, on occasion, may be taught prior objectives from a previous year group in order to ensure a secure foundation of knowledge and understanding.
Geography is taught in reception as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. We relate the geographical aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Years curriculum which underpin the planning for children aged three to five. Geography makes a significant contribution to the ELG objectives of developing a child’s understanding of the world through activities such as finding out about different places and habitats and investigating our locality.
Key Stage 1
During Key Stage 1, pupils investigate their local area and a contrasting area in the United Kingdom or abroad, finding out about the environment in both areas and the people who live there. They also begin to learn about the wider world. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this, they ask geographical questions about people, places and environments, and use geographical skills and resources, such as maps and photographs.
Key Stage 2
During Key Stage 2, pupils investigate a variety of people, places and environments in the United Kingdom and abroad, and start to make links between different places in the world. They find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. Pupils carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this, they ask geographical questions, and use geographical skills and resources, such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and ICT. Children will develop geographical enquiry skills, including asking geographical questions, collecting and recording information and identifying different views. They will acquire the appropriate practical skills associated with Geography, including using suitable vocabulary, fieldwork techniques and maps, plans and atlases.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programmes of study, taken from the national curriculum. The use of mini quizzes will inform the teacher’s planning and will identify any gaps in knowledge.
Through the teaching of the geography curriculum, pupils at Merton Bank Primary School are enabled to:
- 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.
Subject leaders – Mrs Chuard and Mrs Richardson