At St Mary’s 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 greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it. The geography curriculum at St Mary’s enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which can and are used to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills.
The curriculum is designed to ensure that teaching equips pupils 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. As pupils progress through the school, their growing knowledge about the world helps them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge and skills are progressive and are sequenced to provide the framework and approaches that provide explanation of how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
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.
Geography at St Mary’s 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 theses 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 challenge to all learners, 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.
Cross curricular outcomes in geography are specifically planned for and these are indicated on the whole school Geography Knowledge and Skills Progression Map. The Geography provision is also well resourced and specific resources are mapped to specific year groups and topics to support effective teaching and learning. The local area is fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice.
Outcomes in topic and literacy books, evidence a broad and balanced geography curriculum and demonstrate children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge relating to each of the identified national curriculum strands, as appropriate to key stage; locational knowledge, place knowledge and human and physical geography. This is in addition to the development and application of key skills, supported by fieldwork.
As children progress throughout the school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding an appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context. Geographical understanding, as well as children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is further supported by the school’s links with international partner schools and this is recognised by the school’s achievement of the British Council’s ‘International School Award’.