Hook Junior Curriculum Intent for geography is that every child will:
- 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
- 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
- collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
- interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
- communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length
At Hook Junior School, we teach to the DfE, 2014 National Curriculum expectations, but also aim to inspire pupils to develop a passion for geography by ensuring exploring, enquiring, explaining and empowering underpins geography teaching in order to enable children to achieve academic and personal success.
‘A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help 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, understanding and skills provide the framework and approaches that explain how Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time’ (DfE, 2013, p. 184).
We seek to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives; to promote the pupils’ interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
We recognise that Geography can help equip children for the future and their place in the world by building on their knowledge, skills and understanding of key geographical skills during Key Stage Two. We want all pupils to achieve by connecting with and making informed decisions about the world from a position of evolving knowledge and understanding. Geographical knowledge and thinking will allow pupils decipher the complexities of the world around them and empower them to be considered and effective in their choices.
Geography Curriculum Implementation
We are dedicated to the teaching and delivery of a high-quality geography curriculum. To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in geography, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school, taking into account prior knowledge from Key Stage One and to form the foundation for Key Stage Three.
Our geography curriculum draws on the different threads of knowledge that are essential to all geographical learning. These three interplaying threads – propositional, substantive and procedural knowledge – articulate how we understand and use knowledge in geographical thinking in our curriculum. Learning to think geographically requires employing the three threads of geographical knowledge together, not discretely.
Geography lessons are taught in units on a half-termly basis and as geography often presents strong links to other curriculum areas, the unit could be used as a driving force to combine subjects. During geography units, we develop pupils’ thinking through geographical information and concepts, fostering their understanding of the world, from their local area to locations around the world. This empowers them as geographical thinkers.
These key concepts drive our knowledge progression overview and underpins the individual units for each year group.
Teachers plan lessons for their class using the National Curriculum, Hook Junior’s School Enquiry Cycle and our progression of knowledge document: enhancing pupils’ engagement within lessons, providing wider learning opportunities and depth of learning.
Our learning values are embedded within the geography curriculum that we provide. In our lessons we aim to inspire children’s curiosity about geography. It requires collaboration, independence, critical thinking, creativity and reflection to ensure the best geographical skills and knowledge can be embedded. Pupils undertake geographical enquiry by gathering evidence throughout a unit to solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts.
The geography progression document ensures the curriculum is covered and the skills and knowledge taught are progressive from year group to year group. Teachers are encouraged to make relevant use of the school grounds and the local area for fieldwork, to enable pupils to base learning on first hand experiences to enhance teaching and learning in geography. The school’s high-quality geography curriculum is supported through the availability of a wide range of quality resources.
Pupils are taught geography together in mixed ability classes to support all pupils to achieve. The expectation is that most pupils will move through the school’s subject overview at broadly the same pace. Scaffolded learning, differentiated tasks, additional support and challenge in lessons are provided for pupils of all abilities to enable them to access learning at their level and reach their full potential.
More able pupils are challenged to think more deeply about the concepts and apply them to unfamiliar contexts. This supports pupils to develop their critical thinking skills, with pupils of all abilities challenged to reason and think deeply about concepts related to geography.
The knowledge progression overview below outlines the school’s geography curriculum below.
Geography Curriculum – how we measure impact
Formative assessment in geography takes place during each lesson. Oral feedback is provided to pupils as well as written feedback, related to the learning intentions and success criteria. Misconceptions are addressed and staff use the next lesson to ensure that pupils have the opportunity to work through their misconceptions and continue to apply the knowledge learnt.
Pupils’ ability to recognise, compare, describe, explain and evaluate in the key geographical areas, underpin the assessment judgements made at our school.
Planning is informed by assessment in order to enable all pupils to progress. Pupils’ understanding of geographical vocabulary is assessed before and after units are taught – this is often the focus for pupil conferencing, so that the impact of the curriculum can be measured. Year teams will discuss and review learning outcomes together in order to agree the next steps for pupils – each teacher will personalise learning for their own pupils.
Teachers make a summative assessment at the end of each term. The data gathered is used to inform planning and next steps. Moderation is undertaken so that a dialogue can exist between teachers and to ensure that judgements about pupils’ work are consistent with agreed standards. Teachers have the opportunity to report on these to parents in annual school reports and at learning consultations twice a year.
The teaching of geography is also monitored regularly, at least termly, through the data, book and planning monitoring, learning walks or observations. This information is used to identify strengths and areas for development of the subject, driving the subject forward.
These factors ensure that we are able to maintain high standards in geography and pupils will have developed the geographical knowledge to help them explore, navigate and understand the world around them and their place in it. Not only will it enable pupils to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum but to prepare them to become competent geographers in secondary education and beyond.
‘The study of Geography is about more than just memorizing 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 divide and bring people together.’ - Barack Obama