Geography concerns the study of the Earth and how physical characteristics and human activity are interconnected. In today’s ever-increasingly globalised world, it is crucial that every child understands the geography of their locality, as well as the United Kingdom, Europe and other, contrasting parts of the world. Without this understanding, each child cannot appreciate the value of community and living well together nor can they strive for success and aspire to make a change. By understanding the geography of their locality, as well as that of the wider world, every child will have the knowledge and skills to respect, navigate and engage with our wonderfully diverse planet. It is then that children can let their light shine by understanding the reciprocal relationship between themselves and the Earth.
At Ellison Boulters, we follow the Geography programmes of study of the National Curriculum (2014) in Key Stage 1 and 2 and the Early Learning Goals in the Foundation Stage. Every year group has targets and goals in which we strive for our children to achieve to reach expected levels for their age; these can be seen in our Progression of Skills in Geography document.
Geography is taught through a thematic curriculum that is aligned with the topics taught in each age phase and which fosters cross-curricular opportunities. Children begin their geographical journey by studying their locality, gradually extending this to work on national, continental and global scales. In every lesson, the children ‘work geographically’ (disciplinary knowledge) to develop an aspect of their locational and place knowledge, understanding of key aspects of human geography, physical geography and/or geographical skills (substantive knowledge). They bring their own experiences, travels and interests (personal knowledge) to lessons contributing to their understanding through comparison and reflection. They apply their developing knowledge and understanding through sequential and progressive fieldwork. ‘Working geographically’ ensures the children are competent in collecting, analysing, communicating and interpreting through measuring and observing, identifying and locating; recording and presenting; and describing and understanding respectively.
With a coherent curriculum (as outlined above), it is intended that every child leaves Ellison Boulters as a young ‘geographer’: someone who studies the Earth, its land and systems, and its animal and human inhabitants. As a result of the curriculum thematic in its design, there are cross-curricular opportunities. For example, English work can both inform and be informed by learning in Geography such as non-chronological report writing and persuasive writing for debate purposes.