At St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School geography learning teaches children about the world in which they live.
The teaching of Geography follows the National Curriculum. In order to ensure the children get quality and meaningful exposure to geography, we have a multifaceted and flexible approach. This means that geography can be taught both discreetly and as part of our termly topics. Consequently, we aim to teach the children about relevant current issues and larger global concepts in addition to them acquiring geographical knowledge, vocabulary and skills set out by the National Curriculum.
The geography element of our school curriculum aims to inspire pupils with a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Our geography curriculum strives to enable children to develop a sense of place, whilst exploring, investigating and understanding the man-made and natural processes that impact on our planet. We aim to equip 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, 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. We want our children to gain practical experiences of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. We strive to achieve this through a variety of day trips, residential trips and local field work, exploring the immediate vicinity of the school.
Early Years Foundation Stage
At St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School, the children love learning about their surroundings right from the Early Years Foundation Stage. They begin by looking at their school surroundings and environment. Here they investigate areas they like and dislike and what they could do to improve their local area. Through visits to the local park and Church the children begin to identify features of an environment and discover where their school and home fits in with the wider local community. Through stories they are exposed to different environments, such as the sea, forest, polar lands, begin to talk about different climates and are introduced to early mapping skills.
Key Stage 1
In Key Stage 1 skills are further developed; building on the EYFS knowledge of their own environment as well as their understanding of the world, people and communities. Children start to learn the location and names of key places in the UK and around the world. Children also learn the names of the world’s oceans and continents.
Children begin to compare places in the UK with places in a non- European country. Children can apply the skills of observing similarities and differences to places as well as people and begin to learn about the physical and human features of geography. They begin to use maps to locate places and name features using keys and symbols. Children also begin to look at how the environment has changed over time.
Key Stage 2
Children begin to explore more of the world, understand how the world has zones and the significance of those zones. Locating places and features accurately on maps also becomes a focus. Children develop vocabulary relating to physical and human geographical features from KS1. They develop the skills of comparing regions, by focusing on specific features. Children focus on comparing regions of the UK in depth and start to look at an area outside of the UK. Children have a stronger understanding of the difference between physical and human geography. They are challenged to use more precise vocabulary, explaining the processes of physical and human geography and their significance. They learn more about extreme weather and the processes involved in the causes and effects of extreme weather whilst making links to the impact humans have on the earth. Children continue to develop their map skills. They will be able to identify features on a map through the use of symbols and keys. Children also learn about the different types of mountains and begin to use fieldwork skills to monitor and explain patterns in human and physical features.
Children deepen their understanding of the difference between physical and human geography. They can explain the terminology of both aspects of geography with a range of examples. They spend time exploring human geography and the impact humans have on the world. They focus on trade links, resources and the distribution of resources around the world. Children build on their map skills by communicating locations through grid references and coordinates. They also explain what makes a good map symbol and why. Children focus on observing and recording the changes of human features over time, for example trade patterns.
As children progress through St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School, we endeavour to work towards deepening their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes and how this affects landscapes and environments. Our aim is that our children will be aware of the impact that human behaviour has on our world. We want to foster interest and curiosity and equip our children with the knowledge and understanding which will inspire them to want to continue their journey towards being the young adults who will make the right changes of the future.
The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.