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Geography at St Edwards

Our Geography Curriculum rationale

intends to inspire curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, developing a progression of geographical knowledge and understanding about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments. While developing a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical features and human processes, pupils learn to explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.

The curriculum has been developed to focus and build on four core areas; place knowledge, locational knowledge, human & physical geography, and fieldwork, with a careful and consistent progression of skills and knowledge that allows the pupil to make the necessary connections to piece their learning together throughout their learning journey. As children progress through the Geography Curriculum, explicit links and connections are made to support pupils to continually build upon the knowledge and skills they have accumulated in previous year groups.

The sequence of learning begins in reception with children learning about the differences between themselves and their peers through fieldwork in their local area and discussion about the changes they observe when exploring the world around them. They will begin their learning journey by discovering more about the local area including the traditions and cultures that make up their community. Their local environment will be a place of nurture as children understand the importance of looking after the environment and how this can impact the world around them, using nature walks and litter picking exercises as examples of taking care of the local area. They will venture out to the seaside, identifying physical geographical features and extending their knowledge of the environment and its importance for society.

In Year one, the learning builds initially on pupils’ familiarity with the world around them, providing Year 1 pupils with the opportunity to continue exploring their local environment, identifying differences between the natural and human features of a big city. Part of their learning will allow them to build on the skills they have developed during their time in Early Years and apply them to their learning as they adapt to a formal style of learning. Pupils widen their focus to study the United Kingdom, as their knowledge and understanding of physical and human processes, and the formation of landscapes and environments, broadens. The Geography Curriculum expands furthermore in Year 2 to impart knowledge and understanding of the whole world. Pupils learn to locate the seven continents and five oceans before drawing upon their knowledge base from Year 1 to complete a comparison with a contrasting, non-European location (Kenya).

As they enter Key Stage 2, pupils continue to expand their knowledge beyond the local area, studying the settlements and land use of the United Kingdom and the physical and natural landmarks of European countries. Their study of biomes across the globe allows for comparisons of weather patterns and variations, building a foundation for further climate study at the end of the key stage. They will also learn about Italy through a place knowledge unit, giving them context for where the Roman Empire began, preparing them for their history topics in Year 4. In Years 4 and 5, pupils focus their study on some of the world’s largest continents, North and South America, and Asia respectively. They explore the location and characteristics of a range of human and physical features, enhancing their locational and place knowledge. They deepen their understanding of how Earth’s features have developed and changed over time and make informed predictions on potential future changes that may occur to alter the landscapes. Pupils in Upper Key Stage 2 perform an in-depth study into the natural characteristics of Asia and the volatile landscape that encompasses volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis along the Pacific Ring of Fire. They discover how natural disasters occur and their impact on both the land and human settlements, before completing a final study of global challenges and human impact on the environment – it is here that pupils have the opportunity to draw together their knowledge from across their primary sequence of learning, making direct reference to prior learning and applying their knowledge to form opinions and personal actions.

As children develop a secure understanding and ability to independently connect their learning they will be able to speak enthusiastically about their knowledge and conduct research that builds on what they have learnt in the classroom and is applied into society and beyond. Pupils demonstrate perseverance and adopt a relentless approach in their quest for knowledge and understanding, forming their own lines of enquiry and opinions, continually shaping their character and personality.