St. Mary’s Catholic Academy– Geography Curriculum Statement
At St. Mary’s Catholic Academy, we want every child to be happy and enthusiastic learners of Geography, and to be eager to achieve their very best in order to fulfil their God-given talents. We firmly believe that the recipe for success is high quality first-wave teaching in Geography, which is central to the life of our happy, caring school.
Intent – What we are trying to achieve?
• Our principal aim is that children leave St. Mary’s Catholic Academy with a wide range of happy and rich memories in Geography formed through interesting and exciting experiences driven through vehicles that enhance a child’s awareness of their own abilities and strengths as a learner; thus ensuring that children see learning in Geography as an on-going process not a one-off event.
• Children will meet the National Curriculum expectations in Geography National Curriculum for Geography, which will be taught by highly-qualified, enthusiastic staff who will support children to develop mastery of concepts and inspire enthusiasm and interest in the subject.
• All children will study Geography for 1 hour a week.
• Opportunities will exist for children of all ages to experience learning beyond the classroom. This will allow them to enrich their knowledge by, for example, visiting places they may not normally consider or places of geographical interest or conducting geographical surveys within the local area to gain relevant information that will contribute to the curriculum vehicle (e.g. land use mapping of retail to find maximum sales opportunities).
• Children will develop a deep understanding of the subjects they are studying. They will increasingly use their prior knowledge to solve problems and develop the sophistication of Geography.
• Children will understand how Catholic virtues and British Values relate to Geography.
• In Geography, children will develop the skills to consider human and physical geographical characteristics, gain appropriate working knowledge of locality and conduct meaningful fieldwork.
• Children will develop a real understanding and appreciation of the world learning from the best that has been developed and said. For example, local planning officers, retail managers and project and site managers.
Scheme of Learning
The Scheme of Learning follows the National Curriculum. It allows for appropriate sequencing and aims to secure long-term memory as well as the enjoyment of learning geography. The progression of skills and knowledge in Geography are mapped on the following: Geography Skills Progression .
Geographical knowledge is sequenced in the following link:
The above links demonstrate our aim to ensure that children are prepared for secondary education in the key areas of Location Knowledge, Place Knowledge, Human and Physical Geography, and Geographical skills and Fieldwork.
Implementation – How do we translate our vision into practice?
• The curriculum hours in Geography are non-negotiable and will be followed by all staff in the school. Fixed timetables will be set before the academic year and monitored by the Senior Leadership Team of the school.
• Subject specialists from our partner secondary school, Painsley Catholic College, are and will continue to be integral to the planning process. This will aid transition to Key Stage 3.
• The subject leader for Geography will meet the senior leadership team on a monthly basis to evaluate provision in order to ensure that teaching and learning in Geography is outstanding. Where necessary, staff will receive coaching and training in Geography.
• Carefully designed schemes of learning in Geography ensure consistency and progress of all learners.
• Vehicles drive learning throughout the term. Therefore, Geography is taught through the vehicle.
• Vehicles include guest speakers who are specialists in their field, trips to businesses, fieldwork to relevant places of interest, innovative use of technology such as GPS mapping systems, to name but a few.
• Geography is taught individually but plays a key role in the achievement of the learning aims of the vehicle. For example, a focus on the local housing market may include a visit to the town planning office to enable pupils to conduct a land-use survey of Stafford and identify areas of need. Through discussions with a town planner, pupils will understand the process of an application which could lead to them considering a site for development, conducting local surveys and pitching their idea to the Borough council.
• Success criteria in every Geography lesson are set in order to guide children to achieve their potential. This ensures work is demanding and matches the aims of the curriculum.
• High quality teaching responds to the needs of children. Spiral learning is a key focus of all formative and summative assessment with teachers actively marking work in lessons in order to identify misconceptions early.
• High quality input from experts and educational resources complement the delivery of specialist learning admirably. Children understand how Geography is used in the wider world including careers.
Each lesson will include live marking (as per the Marking and Feedback Policy). Books will be marked fortnightly following the Marking and Feedback Policy. Homework is not formally set in geography but children are encouraged to take part in enrichment opportunities such as visiting different counties, using compasses on fieldwork and making effective use of the school grounds. High quality teaching responds to the needs of children. Spiral learning is a key focus of all formative and summative assessment with teachers actively marking work in lessons in order to identify misconceptions early. An assessment grid is used to formally record an overview of progress of each child. The link is: KS1 Assessment Matrix pg 1 & KS1 Assessment Matrix pg 2 and KS2 Assessment Matrix pg 1 & KS2 Assessment Matrix pg 2.
Geography is taught through the vehicle. This results in excellent cross-curricular opportunities. For example, a vehicle focusing on developing a nature programme will result in the geography lessons including a focus on temperate deciduous forests. This biome is defined by its four distinct seasons and its forests of trees that drop their leaves in autumn. (The word “deciduous” [dih-SID-yoo-uhss] comes from a Latin word meaning “to fall.”). This ensures that children are engaged and interested in the subject through the excitement of the vehicle.
- Children will learn about areas of significant geographical interest, such as: the United Kingdom, a region in a European country and a region within North or South America. In addition, they will learn about famous geographers such as William Morris Davis and the knowledge about physical geography that Sir David Attenborough has shared through his work.
- They will also experience the following during Key Stage 2:
- Meeting and talking to geography specialists including secondary teachers and University professors
- Fieldwork to a place of local interest including the Peak District and the National Forest
- Visit to at least one county and city in the UK
- Use of computer software to identify places in the world and understand their key physical and human characteristics
- Use of GPS systems
- Gain an understanding from a business leader regarding the importance of learning about geography
- Hear from Economists regarding the key areas in human geography
Impact – What is the impact of our curriculum on the students?
• Children are happy learners within Geography. They experience a wide range of learning challenges within the subject and know appropriate responses to them, such as informed choices regarding current environmental issues e.g. limiting the use of plastics.
• Through Geography, children deepen their appreciation of their faith and fulfil their God-given talents. As followers of Christ, they understand that they are called to look after and protect the world God has given us.
• Visits within Geography have enriched the lives of the children and they are able to discuss how the experience impacted their knowledge and understanding.
• Children of all abilities and backgrounds achieve well in Geography reflected in outstanding progress that reveals a clear learning journey. Children talk enthusiastically about their learning in Geography and are eager to further their learning in the next stages of their education. The objectives of each Year group can be found at: Geography Skills Progression and individually at Year 1 , Year 2 , Year 3 , Year 4 , Year 5 and Year 6
• There is a proven track record of test success that reflects the impact of deep learning.
• Clear outcomes focus and guide all Geography development plans and drive improvement.
• Fundamental British Values are evident in Geography and children understand how it can celebrate difference.
• Through wider reading in Geography, children will… develop a deep and consolidated knowledge and understanding of the curriculum with current real life examples. Children will develop an understanding of real world examples of: floods; earthquakes etc within their lifetime. Reading materials include horrible geographies; BBC bitesize; National Geographic; BBC news along with a range of library books tailored to children’s reading ages.
• Through this exposure, children will produce work that is influenced by the best of the best.