Geography Curriculum Statement
From Year 1 onwards, all class teachers explicitly teach the foundation subjects using a blocked, knowledge-based approach.
Geography and History are taught through our blocked approach, alternating each half term. This ensures that key skills are taught, and that progression in skills is evident from Reception through to Year 6. We use the CUSP (Curriculum with Unity Schools Partnership) curriculum scheme of work to support our planning.
Our learning sequences for History and Geography have been carefully planned, ensuring children are building on prior learning and that Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary appropriate to the study is taught explicitly. Planning starts with the knowledge, the ‘what’, the concepts, and how we learn about a subject, incorporates vocabulary including the etymology of words and then worked examples leading to independent tasks.
Planning is delivered through various strategies. These include:
Throughout each planning sequence, quiz questions are explored with the children cumulatively across each individual lesson. These are used as a learning tool that activates memory, rather than an assessment tool.
Within each lesson, children are also given the opportunity to ‘Show what you know; this allows them to retrieve key knowledge they can recall from the lesson, which they then reflect on at the start of each new session.
Knowledge notes are used to clarify all children, which incorporate key vocabulary, information, and images to support learning. Regular practice ensures that the knowledge becomes ‘sticky’ and encourages productivity.
To end each topic study, children can show what they have learned through our double-page spreads. These are completed independently and children can choose how to present their findings and knowledge recall.
At Mount Stewart, we take a no ceiling approach and use adaptive planning through open-ended tasks, pupils with SEND and the most able can achieve well, enabling all children to access our challenging curriculum and feel confident in their Geography learning.
Throughout our Geography curriculum, we enable our pupils to gain an expanding knowledge of the interaction between the human and physical environmental processes, biomes, and landscapes (both terrestrial and marine), as well as looking at many different cultures, people, and understanding their relationship with the land. We aim to instill an awareness of the impact humans have on the environment and encourage the children’s curiosity about the world to grow.
At Mount Stewart, Geography is taught in half termly blocks throughout the academic year. The purpose of this approach is so that there is time to ensure a proper depth of coverage of each unit, and ensure that knowledge and skills have time to be properly embedded. This ensures that the progression of each topic can be seen in high-quality book-work that is matched with high-quality expectations.
Our knowledge-rich learning opportunities means that by the end of Year 6, our children will finish their schooling with a thorough understanding of the natural world, the impact of land use on the natural environment, the relationship between erosion and settlements within specific biomes, and how climate change is an ever-increasing issue, and understanding their role in helping mitigate further damage.
Our geographical location provides us with easy access to our local area (which we use regularly), as well as that of greater London, enabling our children to become fully immersed in their local Geography and see their topics come to life. By having this hands-on experience, and local walks, the children can make deeper connections to their learning and see some of their geographical skills in practice.
The impact of our school’s tailored and diverse Geography curriculum, as well as our quality first teaching, has enabled our children to engage whole-heartedly with their Geography learning, and consistently demonstrate a keen interest in being geographers during their sessions.
Through pupil’s voice, the children have stated that they enjoy the wide range of geographical investigations and practical aspect of lessons, as it helps to give them a sense of tangibility to the past. They are willing, and encouraged, to ask questions about their topics, to help further deepen their knowledge, feed their curiosity, and strengthen their analytical skill-sets.
Outcomes in books provide evidence of broad and coherent knowledge-rich learning opportunities, which demonstrate the progression and continual build-up of their learning about Britain’s geography, as well as that of the wider world, throughout their schooling careers.