At The Beeches Primary School, it is our intention that Geography will inspire children with a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them throughout their lives. We recognise that many of our children join us from other countries and bring with them their own rich knowledge that we can use as a learning tool for others. We also know that, sometimes, limited life opportunities can restrict our children’s experiences, which we aim to widen through our topics. We want trips, such as visiting local beaches and experiences, such as Polar Explorers visiting our school to be an integral part of the learning journey through our Cornerstones Curriculum.
At The Beeches Primary School, Geography will be taught with a main intention of inspiring our children to be curious and fascinated about places around the world, nature and humankind.
It is delivered throughout key topics taken from the Cornerstones curriculum. Each year group has six allocated topics which are taught over the year, some with a Geography focus which will be taught through a weekly topic lesson. Some examples of these topics include Reception’s topic ‘All about me’, Year 1’s topic ‘Rio de Vida’ and Year 6’s topic ‘Frozen Kingdom.’
In each topic, children will participate in an engaging experience that enhances their knowledge, for example in Year 3 to learn more about the journey of a river for their topic ‘Flow’ they visit Ferry Meadows and complete fieldwork to investigate the River Nene. Reception children explore the forest as part of the topic ‘Why do ladybirds have spots?’ and for the topic ‘Frozen Kingdom’ a visit from an Arctic explorer to Year 6 sharing his experiences of his expedition to the polar regions. For some topics, trips and experiences will not be available so children are provided with the opportunity to use the immersive audio experience ‘Now Press Play’ to learn about new places in the world, for example in KS2 there is an experience called ‘Natural Disasters’ which explores the impact of erupting volcanoes on human and their environments.
For each topic there is also a knowledge organiser which includes key vocabulary and events. In some year groups, children experience Forest School on a weekly basis where they develop an increased knowledge of the physical features of the environment and nature. Children also have frequent opportunities to participate in gardening where they build an understanding of growth and change.
Geography enables children to investigate through field work whilst also analysing data, developing their knowledge of the world and places and enhancing their understanding of nature, humankind, processes and change. There is continuous skill development across each year group as previous knowledge is built upon. Teachers draw on observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenge and to identify children who may need additional support or quick intervention to ensure no child is left behind.
By the end of EYFS, children will be able to compare different environments, including being able to talk about the living things that can be found there and describe how animals change as they grow. By the end KS1, children will use specific vocabulary relating to key human features such as city and village. Using a range of materials, they will be able to create maps with a key to show human and physical features of an environment. They will also be able to describe the weather and show an understanding of countries that are hot and cold in relation to the equator. They will be able to label a map of the world with countries, oceans and continents.
By the end of KS2, children will be able to understand the human and physical features of the world, and using field work, analyse human and physical features in an area. They will understand and be able to explain the important elements of physical geography such as the water cycle, climates, mountains and volcanoes. Children will also be able to explain fundamental parts of human geography such as the different settlements, use of land and supply of resources for energy, water and food. They will be confident at gathering various information and analyse it to expand their own knowledge of geographical processes.
Building on their prior knowledge KS1, they will be able to find and name counties and cities in the UK, the uses of land, identify topographical features and explain how these may have altered through time. Children are able to show they can find the position of latitude, longitude, equator, hemispheres, the tropics, Arctic and Antarctic circle and understand time zones and their importance.
Children will leave our school with a curiosity and interest in places around the world, nature and humankind as well as the practical life skills of being able to read and use an eight-point compass, use atlas, maps or globe to find significant places and understand the weather and climate of these locations.
Miss Jacklin, Miss Lee and Miss Wilson