Geography Statement of Intent
Our intent at Stanton Community Primary School is to inspire in our pupils a lifelong fascination of the world and its people. Our teaching aims to equip pupils with a core comprehension and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a secure knowledge of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing awareness of the world will allow them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Pupils are taught to draw upon their geographical skills and understanding to make sense of the Earth’s features, and to explain how these are shaped, interconnected, and how they change over time.
We are committed to delivering a high-quality and ambitious geography curriculum, that supports, challenges and motivates all pupils to achieve. Whilst we value the importance of pupils remembering and retaining names, facts, vocabulary and locations, we also aim for our pupils to think hard. Thinking geographically about environmental challenges, patterns, connections, cause, effect and consequence, as well as reasoning and explaining change. It is not enough for our pupils to recite information, we want them to connect their understanding and become a little more expert as the curriculum progresses. In response to this, we have adopted a CUSP curriculum, which is structured to introduce and revisit knowledge, following the principles of instruction, with each study drawing upon prior learning and creating a clear progression of knowledge and skills across the school. Pupils are given regular opportunity to recall substantive knowledge through low-stakes quizzing and spaced retrieval practice, as well as using their disciplinary knowledge to explain and articulate what they know. Each unit is supported by the use of knowledge notes and knowledge organisers, which map out the learning and are guided by the understanding of how memory works and cognitive load theory. Subject specific Tier 2 and Tier 3 words are incorporated into each module to help pupils present their ideas more expertly. We aim for the children to be able to communicate their geography learning in a variety of ways, including extended writing opportunities and oracy based tasks.
Here at Stanton we believe that children should be encouraged to think and act as responsible geographers, who understand that they have the potential to influence and affect positive change in their environment. We aim to help children develop a greater understanding of their place in the world, and their rights and responsibilities to other people and the environment. It is important that our pupils connect with and understand their local area and personal geography. Our pupils make full use of their local environment, with fieldwork taking place in the local area; the school grounds, our forest, the Grundle or at Bluebell woods. Further opportunities are provided during educational trips to a diverse range of locations such as lakes and woods, towns and cities, museums, castles and the coastline. Whilst studying their local area, pupils are supported to ask questions and be inquisitive in their learning and exploration. This stimulates curiosity and encourages pupils to recognise potential threats to an area and its people, urging them to become active and responsible global citizens. We hope that our commitment to providing children with opportunities to investigate and make enquiries about our local area, will enable them to develop a real sense of who they are, their heritage and what makes our local area unique and special.
As a school we recognise that we have a limited representation of a range of diverse cultures and beliefs in our community, therefore it is essential that children learn to appreciate the value of diversity in Stanton and Suffolk as a foundation, which will then lead to a full understanding of human geography across the world. We want our children to appreciate what they have in common with others around the world, as opposed to focusing purely on difference. Our children are supported to show empathy and curiosity towards others personal geography, and to remain balanced and open minded towards others experiences.
Overall, our intent through our geography teaching is for pupils to gain the knowledge, empathy and understanding of the world to become well informed and active global citizens, who seek and affect positive change in their environment and communities.
Children learning in Geography
An overview of our geography curriculum
Key Stage 1
The geography learning in KS1 focuses on children developing a sense of place, scale and an understanding of human and physical geographical features. Children are taught the purpose and use of sketch maps as well as the key features they need to include. Map skills and fieldwork are essential in supporting children to develop an understanding of how to explain and describe a place, the people who live there, its space and scale. Pupils study the orientation of the world through acquiring and making locational sense of the 7 continents and 5 oceans of the world. Children study culturally diverse and contrasting places throughout the world and learn about their human and physical geography. OS maps are introduced and simple keys and features are identified and mapped locally to help pupils begin to understand place, distance and scale.
Key Stage 2
The leaning in KS2 further develops pupils’ understanding of place and scale, human and physical geography and their fieldwork and map skills. Pupils study the UK and focus on regions, countries, landmarks and topography. This study demands analysis and pattern seeking to identify the features of the UK. Pupils expand their understanding of human and physical features and apply it to the study of rivers. To enable accurate location of places, pupils study absolute positioning or reference systems through latitude and longitude. 4 and 6 figure grid references are then introduced to enhance prior learning of reference systems, and to add an increased accuracy to mapping and fieldwork skills. Pupils study and compare a region in the UK, Europe and North America. Physical processes such as orogeny and glaciation are acquired to explain significant change over long periods of time. The concept of physical processes is further explored through the study of earthquakes, mountains and volcanoes. Finally a focus on settlements and relationships looks at migration and the factors that push people away or draw them towards settlements.
Geography in Early Years and Foundation Stage
In the Early years, being a geographer means using senses to explore the world, asking questions and making comments about aspects of familiar and unfamiliar surroundings. Children look closely at the features, similarities and differences of where they live and go to school as well as other locations.
The EYFS framework is structured a little differently to the national curriculum, as it is organised across seven areas of learning as opposed to different subject areas. In EYFS, geography is mainly woven through 2 areas of the curriculum: Mathematics and understanding the world. Below are the most relevant statements from Development Matters (2020) in the EYFS statutory framework.
3-4 year olds
- Understand position through words alone. For example, “The bag is under the table,” – with no pointing.
- Describe a familiar route.
- Discuss routes and locations, using words like ‘in front’ and ‘behind’.
- Use all their senses in hands-on exploration of natural materials.
- Begin to understand the need to respect and care for the natural environment and all living things.
- Know that there are different countries in the world and talk about the differences they have experienced or seen in photos.
- Draw information from a simple map.
- Recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries.
- Explore the natural world around them.
- Recognise some environments that are different to the one in which they live.
By the end of EYFS, it is the Early Learning Goal for children to be able to:
- Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps.
- Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and (where appropriate) maps.
- Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
- Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons.
We aim for the children in our Nursery and Reception Class to learn all of the above to form the foundation for their later learning in the national curriculum.
For more information on the school's teaching and learning in Geography please do not hesitate to get in contact with Miss Littleton, the Geography lead, or click on the links below for some informative documents.
Children Recording Geography