Aims and Objectives
Geography, from the Greek, ‘Geo’ (Earth) and ‘Graph’ (Writing), is the study of the physical features of the Earth, as well as the human activity that affects – and is affected by – these physical elements.
Geography lends itself as a highly cross-curricular subject that encourages children to critically examine, explore, appreciate and comprehend the world in which we inhabit. At a primary curriculum level, the study of Geography focuses on notions of place, space and environment, whereby students develop the skills of understanding a locality and how humans have adapted to this physical space, transforming it – over time – in to a ‘place’. Furthermore, a fundamental element of working geographically is the notion of physically venturing out into the world and exploring the processes of our planet through practical fieldwork investigations.
Teaching and Learning
At Sandgate, the teaching of Geography is delivered using a modern and technologically-conscious discourse which allows the subject to be learnt to its full potential: as a contemporary and research-based programme of study. Geography, as a topic which revolves around the interaction of humans within their environment, is taught with an embedded sense of enthusiasm and respect for the world in which we live in. With this ethos in mind, the teaching and learning of Geography has benefitted from cutting-edge resources, ranging for aerial quadcopters, virtual reality fieldtrips and app-connected ‘SMART weather stations’.
During Geography sessions, children will build upon their learning – year on year – through a development of Geographical skills, understanding and technical knowledge. This will be achieved through a variety of whole-class teaching, group activities and individual tasks; due to the cross-curricular nature of the subject, Geographical content will be learnt in other subjects beyond discrete ‘Learning Links’ sessions. Within these lessons, students will be given the opportunity to practise, consolidate and extend their Geographical skills, as well as critically evaluate the work of their peers; this should be done through both written and verbal methods depending on the skills to be developed.
Assessment and Recording
As Geography is considered within the field of the Humanities, discrete Geography sessions are recorded in the students’ Learning Links books. However, the cross-curricular nature of the subject allows for Geographical content to be delivered through other subjects (e.g. English, Maths, Science etc.), and as such, the Geographical learning should be covered in the relevant book timetabled, but with an indication that ‘Geography’ has been taught.
Teachers assess children’s Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills through observations of the children during lessons. As part of the Assessment for Learning progress – and in-line with Sandgate’s Assessment Policy – students will receive both verbal and written feedback to yield effective progression. Children are also encouraged to be critical of their own work and respond to feedback questions in green pen.
Twice a year, Foundation Subject Assessment Grids are completed by class teachers to show the children’s attainment in the 4 core strands identified above: Locational Knowledge; Place Knowledge; Human and Physical Geography; Geographical Skills and Fieldwork. The Curriculum Leader (H.Thompson) will then analyses the data and provide feedback to the Geography Leader (H. Goodeal) Leader to inform and develop the Subject based upon prior learning.
In-line with Sandgate’s Inclusion Policy and ethos, all Geographical lessons/activities are designed and planned to include all children through a range of approaches: inclusive questioning, universal use of equipment, and mixed-ability groupings to enable peer support are utilised at all times throughout the Teaching and Learning of Geography. Furthermore, lessons are planned to facilitate the identification of children at all attainment ranges within each class.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and British Values
Geography – Human Geography in particular – offers a multitude of opportunities to cover and embrace British Values. The Values of ‘Mutual Respect’ and ‘Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs’ are concepts that can be addressed directly through the Geographical Scheme of Work, with the other values being interwoven through adaptive planning: collaborative work during fieldwork develops respect for each other; the development of respect for the environment – and those within it – will be covered through discussions, and the appreciation of similarities and differences will be covered though the exciting nature of Geography as the study of the World.