Many of our topic themes are linked to either history or geography. Through this approach, our children have more quality time to learn about each area of study as they explore it through their English, Maths or P.E. for example. Our cross-curricular approach both develops real passion for each topic of learning and also true experts in each field.
“The study of Geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It is about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exist across continents. And in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.” - Barack Obama
A career as a Meteorologist, Geologist or Geography teacher might be a child’s dream. We want our children to develop a fascination about our world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We equip our children with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Our children learn about exotic locations and landscapes on the other side of our planet as well as their own locality in Blackpool. Importantly, we explore the relationships between us (humans) and our natural environment; we are very clear that our planet’s climate is changing and that sustainable living is vital for our future. Our teachers work alongside parents and all pupils to ensure we: switch off lights when not needed; reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible; monitor our food waste; and also have a very active eco-club.
- Pupils develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes.
- Pupils understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time.
- Pupils draw competently upon the geographical skills needed to collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes.
- Pupils interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems.
- Pupils communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.
Knowledge organisers: prior to a unit of study, pupils are given knowledge organisers, allowing them to immerse themselves in the unit of study. Knowledge organisers present main concepts, key questions, definitions of specific vocabulary, significant people and places and images and diagrams to support understanding, and are regularly referred to within a unit and a main component of an introduction lesson. Children are encouraged to read and discuss information, share parts that sparked interest and ask questions; provoking curiosity. Organisers help children to make links with their learning and share the bigger picture of a topic, enabling children to digest essential knowledge.
EYFS: Through engaging and cross-curricular topics, children begin to understand and take care of the world around them. Topics are carefully planned to ensure that the diversity of the local community is celebrated and respected.
Connections and links: while we acknowledge that most pupils find difficulty in transferring knowledge and skills from one context to another, explicit connections and references to prior learning are made for pupils throughout a unit to support mastery of the subject across different domains.
Wider reading and home learning: suggested books and websites are shared with parents and pupils at the start of a unit of study to encourage wider reading, independent research and a collaborative approach to learning within the family environment.
Vocabulary: as part of a school-wide focus, children are exposed to challenging and innovative vocabulary at the beginning of each lesson to enrich their learning. Teachers take pupils through a deep dive into a few carefully selected words, providing opportunity to orally rehearse, apply in different contexts and construct sentences with accurate use of new terms. This enables children to expand their vocabulary knowledge, embed words and then have the confidence to apply them within their learning.
Learning excursions: opportunities are mapped out for pupils to apply their knowledge acquired and expand their thinking through fieldtrips and linked excursions. These may come at the start of a unit to launch new learning, or throughout a unit to facilitate continually discovery and inspiration for writing.
Geographical skills are incorporated into the planning of each lesson. Throughout the sequence of learning, pupils are provided with the opportunity to build upon skills they have already mastered in order to continually expand their knowledge of the wider world. Skills across the curriculum are split into three main areas; using maps and atlases, compass and grid references and fieldwork. These skills are used throughout multiple units in every year and advance in complexity as the child progresses through the school.
The classroom environment is designed to inspire curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. To enable children’s knowledge to develop and evolve, the environment grows in complexity throughout the school. Key materials are displayed around the classroom to communicate geographical information throughout the progression of a unit of study:
- Vocabulary: key vocabulary to support application of both knowledge and skills are displayed on learning walls and throughout the classroom environment. Pupils are encouraged to make reference to this when completing written tasks and reasoning verbally within class discussions.
- Pupil outcomes and achievements: pupils are motivated by the opportunity to have an example of their learning displayed within the classroom. Examples are chosen where pupils have demonstrated application of knowledge, progress in understanding and exceptional achievements in their learning.
- Home learning: pupils are continually encouraged to engage further with their learning and study while at home and outside of the school environment. Home learning is celebrated during whole-school assemblies and displayed within classrooms / around the school for all pupils to view and celebrate.
Assessment in Geography is ongoing throughout the relevant cross-curricular themes to inform teachers with their planning lesson activities and differentiation. Prior learning is revisited at the start of each lesson and children review the agreed successes at the end of every session. Summative assessment is completed at the end of each topic where Geography objectives have been covered. Pupils are asked what they have learned comparative to their starting points at the end of every topic, using the objective on their
knowledge organisers. Throughout the term, the leadership team carry out book looks and gather pupil’ voices in order to monitor the quality of teaching and learning across the school.