‘The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world’ – Barack Obama
Our vision is, through an engaging and exciting curriculum, to nurture a child’s sense of space, place and locational knowledge. By developing a sense of agency as local and global citizens, children can start to think critically and problem solve; becoming effective well-rounded ‘Geographical thinkers.’
Core concepts, such as: space, scale, Earth’s human and physical processes, interdependence, environmental and sustainability are incorporated into our curriculum. Children will develop Geographical, and transferable, skills that are built upon as they progress through the school, building depth of knowledge and understanding.
By the end of year 6, it is our aim to have provided children with robust, knowledge-rich learning opportunities, to ensure they leave us as active, naturally curious learners about our world.
How do we provide these learning experiences at St. John’s?
Key ideas and concepts are built upon in each key stage, including the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The learning is structured around themed units, where geography may drive a particular unit.
Within the EYFS, children are supported to draw simple picture maps of a familiar area and use them to move around, make basic observations about their surroundings and express their feelings about a place through the area of learning ‘Understanding the World’.
As the children move up through the school, they develop and build upon locational and place knowledge, start to understand the similarities and differences of human and physical geography of areas of the UK and other countries, and significantly improve their map work skills. As they reach Key Stage 2 these areas will be explored in greater depth: children will consider settlements and land use; economic activity and trade; the distribution of natural resources; climate zones and biomes; rivers, mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes and the water cycle. Children gain confidence at identifying patterns, variation and change over time, and develop the understanding of interdependence of processes.
At all stages we encourage the children to think critically, making links and observations about their learning. We incorporate opportunities for fieldwork and the development of geographical skills – such as map reading (paper and digital) and construction of maps; the use of compass points and grid references; develop competence in measurement, recording and presentation of data; and the incorporation of geographical vocabulary.
‘Geography is a living, breathing subject, constantly adapting itself to change. It is dynamic and relevant’ – Michael Palin