At Holy Name, our Geography curriculum is designed to inspire a curiosity in pupils about the world and its people, that will continue to develop throughout their lives. We want to develop our children’s identity by enabling them to view their place in our world through studies of our local area, the vibrant city of Manchester, the UK, Europe and our world. Through research, trips and visitors, children will enjoy the opportunities to experience many different places, e.g. trips around our locality, to Ghyll Head and Spain.
Children will be given opportunities to expand their knowledge of people and places, together with a growing understanding of the Earth’s physical and human processes, and the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Through differentiation and challenge, all children at Holy Name are able to access the curriculum at their level and are given the support and resources required to enhance their understanding.
Within our Geography curriculum we aim to ensure that pupils:
- develop contextual knowledge and understanding of globally significant places, including their defining characteristics and changing features
- are competent in geographical skills and enquiry i.e. collecting, analysing and communicating data gathered through fieldwork and interpreting a range of sources, including maps, diagrams, globes and photographs.
- understand key aspects of human and physical geography
Within our Geography lessons, pupils will develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. Manchester is an ever changing, vibrant city, steeped in history with many links around the world. Cross-curricular links are evident within our curriculum, including;
- History & Geography - Manchester’s cotton industry and the ship canal
- Art - Manchester artist, Lowry
- Sport - links with Manchester City Football Club (City in the Community).
Statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of Geography are laid out in the ‘Understanding the World’ section of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021) and in the National Curriculum in England: Key Stages 1 and 2 (2014).
Geography will be taught alongside and in rotation with History and Art & Design through timetabled Topic lessons. Genuine links have been created to enhance children’s knowledge and understanding of our life today, e.g. when learning about the Romans in Manchester in Year 4, children will also research trade links and settlements in Geography, helped by the discovery of Roman coil pots which can then be made during an art lesson. English texts will also provide a context for acquiring and using key vocabulary enabling children to discuss their learning with confidence and clarity. Both the class teacher and subject leader will ensure curriculum coverage and individual pupil progress, with the subject leader monitoring coverage and progress across year groups.
The key features of learning in Geography are:
- Clear, meaningful units with key vocabulary and ‘I can’ learning outcomes.
- An introduction to the topic that builds upon and develops prior learning.
- Sequence of work: which includes LOs and success criteria to build mastery and challenge questions to develop greater depth and critical thinking.
- Relating what is learned in topic to other areas of the curriculum, such as Maths, English and Religion; as well as the unique experiences of the child.
- An expectation that pupils will ask their own relevant questions to develop higher order thinking skills.
- An opportunity for pupils to engage in independent learning and research using a variety of texts as well as IT.
- A variety of teaching and learning styles used in line with the school’s Dyslexia friendly status.
- Geography topics help to widen children’s knowledge of the world. Where possible, the children’s family heritages will be linked, promoting equality and diversity.
- Relevant visits to places of geographical interest will be used to provide a context for learning
- Up to date topic displays in classrooms to promote pupils’ ownership of their work.
Our Geography curriculum is greatly enriched through cross-curricular studies, the use of technology to support research and by visiting and accessing libraries, museums and historical places of significance both in our city and its surrounding areas. Online resources, particularly satellite mapping and aerial photographs are a useful addition to class maps, atlases and globes. Primary and secondary resources support our children with hands-on exploration into the lives of those who live in a completely different geographic location to their own.
School trips provide children with opportunities to broaden their experiences of different people and places, e.g. the Year 5 visit to Ghyll Head Outdoor Education centre in the Lake District and the Year 6 trip to Spain.
A high quality of Geographical education aims to develop a range of investigation and problem-solving skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas, particularly in science, mathematics, English, art & design and history. Children will:
- Acquire and effectively use new vocabulary.
- Build skills that enable them to collect, analyse and interpret a range of data gathered from fieldwork.
- Interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information systems (GIS).
- Develop research, interpretation and presentation skills which can then be disseminated using ICT and Art & Design mediums.
Pupils are regularly assessed using the criteria contained within the Key Assessment National Curriculum handbook. This will be in the form of teacher observations within lessons, marking of work, or informal tests and quizzes during the unit. Children are evaluated as either Working towards Standard, at the Expected Standard or Greater Depth Standard. These assessments and outcomes are an invaluable tool for the subject leader to measure the impact of the current system. This combined with other forms of monitoring help to inform the subject leader’s Position Statement and Action Plan in Geography for the following school year.
If we inspire in our children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, which will remain with them for the rest of their lives, then we know we have succeeded in promoting children’s interest and understanding of Geography.