Our Geography Curriculum: Let your light shine
At Waltham School we believe that Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. Our intent is that children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it. The geography curriculum at our school enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which promote their moral, social and cultural development.
Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. We seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives; to promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
The curriculum is designed in such a way that the children will leave primary school with a wide-ranging knowledge of the world as a whole, the geographical features and differences of our planet and a skill set which has been developed in partnership with this through research, questioning and exploration. We aim to encourage the children to be geographers, and all that this involves.
Geography is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning. The key knowledge and skills of each blocked topic has been identified and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school. At the beginning of each topic, children convey what they know already as well as what they would like to find out. This informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of children’s different starting points. The local area is fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice.
Cross-curricular learning is encouraged throughout the curriculum, and where appropriate Geography may share links with subjects such as RE, Literacy or art, providing the stimulus for writing or other learning tasks. However, a key aspect of our implementation is that Geography be taught as its own subject, rather than as an extension of, or facilitator to, Literacy or any other aspect of the curriculum as this ensures a core understanding of the geographical skills and knowledge covered by our curriculum.
Reinforcing our curriculum aim of developing key geographical skills, children will regularly revisit the core skills throughout their primary school journey, with the opportunity to expand on prior learning and to develop these skills in a range of different contexts as their knowledge of the world around them grows.
Throughout their learning children will demonstrate a continuous development of geographical skills, building upon these skills as they are given regular opportunities to revisit them through engaging and exciting contexts. As children progress throughout the school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding an appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context.
Children’s work will show a consistent approach to learning, with questioning and knowledge growth clear across the learning journey of each unit. Typically, a unit of work will begin with what the children already know and would like to discover, by the end of the unit children will have the opportunity to show what knowledge they have acquired and the skills they have used in the process.