Look at the amazing things going on in Geography at St Paulinus
How do we intend to achieve our curriculum vision in Geography lessons?
On 26th September we celebrated European Day as a whole school. Each year group chose a different country and wore the colours of their chosen country’s flag. Children went to four different classes and took part in activities about different countries. They had the opportunity to find the location of their country, research interesting facts, learn about the culture or any special traditions and take part in dance or crafts associated with their chosen county. Children also visited our hall where there was lots of different food from around Europe for them to try.
At St Paulinus we offer children a high-quality geography curriculum, giving them a sense of place – both where they live and in the wider world. In our diverse society, it is important that children understand other people and cultures. We meet this need by inspiring curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. Wherever possible, our geography curriculum is enhanced through visitors and outdoor learning as they bring the learning to life and create memorable experiences. Geography is a challenging, motivating and fascinating subject – we aim to immerse children in their knowledge of countries, geographical processes, environmental issues and geographical skills.
At St Paulinus we follow the National Curriculum, which clearly identifies the aims for Geography as:
- 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
- Are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
- 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 St Paulinus Primary School, Geography and History are taught alternately each half term. Children across the school will have weekly Geography lessons in Autumn 2, Spring 2 and Summer 2. The programme of study for each year group builds upon previous knowledge year on year and throughout each year group which allows children to revise key language and skills, which ultimately allows them to gain confidence. Each year group has the opportunity to learn about a part of the world and develop their geographical skills (e.g. using maps, compass points, giving grid references etc.) as well as looking at a local study to enable children to compare different parts of the world. The curriculum in taught to all pupils and relevant and appropriate methods such as differentiation, shorter lessons or supportive resources is given to pupils who may need it, including those with Special Educational Needs. Within each Geography topic, we strive to include a 3 generational moment which fully immerses the children in their learning and creates a lesson that children will remember. It is intended that when children leave St Paulinus Primary School, they will have a natural curiosity and confidence to explore other countries, cultures and environmental issues. They will be engaged in Geography and prepared to continue their learning journey in at secondary school.
Geography lessons aim to meet the 5 school goals in the way it is presented and taught.
What does Geography teaching look like?
Geography allows the children to broaden their knowledge of the world in a fun and creative way. We aim to expand the children’s vocabulary and geographical skills. Reading and writing skills are reinforced in Geography by writing about practical experiences. Geography is a very active subject using lots of games, group work and outdoor learning where possible. A visual element is introduced into learning Geography with the use of flashcards for key vocabulary, interactive websites or games and short video clips.
The structure of Geography lessons follows the following pattern:
- Revisit/ revise (fun game or activity to practice already acquired knowledge)
- Introduce new learning or consolidate past learning if needed (modelled learning by the teacher, new vocabulary, could include a video etc)
- Talk tasks – developing oracy (this could be games or a short activity)
- Develop learning – applying oracy skills to written work or reading as appropriate or furthering geographical skills e.g. map skills, knowledge about a part of the world etc.
- Independent task – children apply their learning in an activity (this can be recorded in many ways e.g. written, photos, matching activity, group activity)
- Plenary – review of what we have learnt today.
Teaching focuses on key elements in order to support children in their progress – modelling (both orally and written) repetition in single lessons and across lessons (both orally and written), applying learning to real-life situations, effective questioning and clear build-up of knowledge over time.
Children are formally assessed after each Geography topic using both formative and summative assessments as appropriate. Children are assessed throughout the topic using mini plenaries and progress is evident in their ability to use geographical terminology, explain different geographical processes and present their geographical skills (e.g. by pointing out countries on a map, using compass points etc.). The children’s skills are also evident in their exercise books where they can clearly label geographical diagrams, label maps and write at varying lengths.
What do our outcomes in Geography look like? How successful is our Geography teaching?:
Below you will find some data from last year and this year so you can see how our children are getting on in their Geography learning, we also have some quotes from children when asked about their Geography lessons.