At Ely St Mary’s Junior School we believe that Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. Children are encouraged to develop a sense of place through a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, their place in it and our impact on it. They will learn about places globally, nationally and locally, applying progressive geographical vocabulary and map skills in the process.
This builds on the achievements of the pupils in KS1, which aims For each child to explore and investigate the environment, and to appreciate the world around us by building a foundational knowledge of geographical language and features.
APPROACH AND RATIONALE:
At St Mary’s, we begin each Geography unit with a stimulating challenge question to promote curiosity, research, and discussion. These questions also provide pupils with a context to apply their new learning, generating explanations and conclusions at the end of each unit based on findings and new subject knowledge.
In lower school our geographical focus takes on a macro view of the world, focusing on the continents, oceans, hemispheres and land mases. As the children progress through school on their learning journey, this macro view is refined and funnelled to focus on individual continents, countries, regions and specific geographical features such as rivers, mountains and volcanoes. We feel that this sequencing ensures a pupils have a sound sense of location within the world first, so that any subsequent place knowledge can be connected to the bigger, global picture.
By the end of Year 6, children will have been exposed to the geography of their locality (Ely), surrounding region (UK and European countries) and contrasting locations within the wider world (North and South America, polar regions, India). We recognise that this learning not only develops their geographical knowledge, but also has great value in developing their understanding of the worldwide community: lifestyles, cultural traditions, international links such as trade, for example.
Our geography curriculum is aligned closely to the national curriculum. We ensure that we teach for progression by building ‘threads’ of learning in each year group: locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography and map work. Through a carefully choreographed curriculum, children at St Mary’s will develop the understanding and skills to make connections within and across year groups, to explain how Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time – whilst understanding our impact on the world and their place within it.
Teaching and learning within geography is complemented by a variety of learning resources and experiences, including maps and atlases, digimaps, pictures and real-life videos from which they can learn and build a picture of the world around them. Focused residential trips and off-site excursions also allow the opportunity for blended learning, where children can put their learning into action often in a practical setting.
COVERAGE AND PROGRESSION:
To view the Geography coverage map and progression of skills, please see our curriculum document 2020/21, which may be accessed via the PDF link below.
Our Geography Policy is to be found via this link: School Policies
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