Geography - Statement of Intent
At Elmtree School, Geography has a clear learning journey across the whole school. The pupils will learn about their local environment and community as well as the wider world. Geography is taught through topics that are inspiring and aim to develop children’s natural curiosity. We want our children to develop skills in recognising, describing, explaining, comparing and evaluating human and physical geographical elements with a high level of technical vocabulary being accurately used and applied. We aim to produce independent and evaluative thinkers who have empathy for how others live to develop an awareness, respect and curiosity for different cultures and societies and the physical world around them. Children should have the opportunity to ask questions and make links, allowing them to make sense of the world around them. They will have opportunities to work collaboratively through the use of field work, trips and other experiences. Geography at Elmtree is accessible to all learners, regardless of individual starting points. We seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives, equipping them well for further education and beyond.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in Geography, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school.
Planning for Geography is a process in which all teachers are involved to ensure that the school gives full coverage of ‘The National Curriculum programmes of study for Geography 2014’ and, ‘Understanding the World’ in the Early Years Foundation Stage (2020).
Geography at Elmtree is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning. Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each blocked topic and these are mapped across the school, ensuring that knowledge builds progressively and that children develop skills systematically. Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic, as part of the KWL strategy (What I know, What I would like to Know and What I have Learned). This ensures that teaching is informed by the children’s starting points and that it takes account of pupil voice, incorporating children’s interests. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenges to all learners and to develop independent working
and confidence, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. At the end of each topic, key knowledge is reviewed by the children and rigorously checked by the teacher and consolidated as necessary.
Lessons are planned to promote different levels of learning. Questioning is used to promote different levels of thinking and prompt recall in children, encouraging them to reach conclusions on their own. The Geography provision is well resourced and specific resources are mapped to specific year groups and topics to support effective teaching and learning.
At Elmtree we can judge the success of our geography curriculum in the following ways:
· Pupil conferencing – are children happy, engaged, motivated to do well, challenged?
· Learning walks (including those with governors and external visitors) – do they show evidence of our intent in action?
· Planning – is it allowing children to gain knowledge and master skills, does it meet the needs of all learners?
· Topic Books – is presentation of a high standard and are all children making at least expected progress from their various starting points?
· Data – is attainment and progress at least in line with National averages, do all groups achieve as well as they should? What provisions are in place to support children who aren’t making progress?
· Learning environment – is it rich in language to support children’s learning, does it support independence?
SEN Provision in Geography
In order to meet the learning needs of all pupils, teachers differentiate Geography work. They work to meet individual learning needs and to mark work, and plan homework effectively. All pupils have access to a broad and balanced Geography curriculum. The National Curriculum Inclusion Statement states that teachers should set high expectations for every pupil, whatever their prior attainment. Teachers use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious. Potential areas of difficulty are identified and addressed at the outset. Lessons are planned to address potential areas of difficulty and to remove barriers to pupil’s achievement. In many cases, such planning will mean that pupils with SEND and disabilities will be able to study all aspects of the Geography Curriculum.