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St Filumena's Catholic Primary School Part of the Painsley Catholic Academy

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Geography

Picture 1
Picture 1

Geography

The geography curriculum enables children to develop their geographical enquiry skills, their knowledge and understanding of places, their knowledge and understanding of patterns and processes, as well as their knowledge and understanding of environmental change and sustainable development. Children will undertake a variety of geographical studies including local, regional and national studies and fieldwork investigations wherever possible. Children are taught to

  • Locate and name countries, counties and cities identifying physical and human features. 
  • Locate places on a map of the UK, Europe and world using grid references and symbols and keys.
  • Understand key vocabulary and begin to spell these
  • Collect data about the locality and use the data to produce graphs/bar chart
  • Carry out local fieldwork studies, record and present findings and conclusions in a range of ways.

 

 

Our Geography Curriculum

At St Filumena’s, we believe that Geography teaching and learning should inspire children's curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. We aim to encourage children to take an interest in diverse places and its people, together with developing investigation and problem solving skills that are transferable to other areas of the curriculum. We want lessons to inspire children to ask and answer questions that challenge their ideas and current views of the world. Geography also encourages and promotes children's spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding, which are important skills we want our children to learn. As they acquire knowledge of a range of different cultures and traditions, we want them to learn to be tolerant and understanding of other people and their environments. At St Filumena’s, we actively promote opportunities to make children aware of their actions upon their surroundings, their own responsibilities and how they can contribute to improving the environment, however small that contribution might be.

 

Aims

Through the framework of the 2014 National Curriculum, Geography taught at St Filumena’s Primary School, aims to:

  • Stimulate childrens interest and curiosity in their surroundings and to develop an understanding of the physical and human processes, which shape where they live.
  • Encourage pupils to ask questions, develop research skills and evaluate material to inform opinions, whilst developing an understanding of other people's views and values.
  • Make sense of their own surroundings through learning about their own locality and the interaction between people and the environment.
  • Develop geographical skills, including how to use, draw and interpret maps of different scales, and the vocabulary necessary to carry out effective geographical enquiry.
  • Encourage children to develop a respect and understanding for the diverse ways in which people live and what it means to be a positive citizen in a multi-cultural country.
  • Be aware of problems in their immediate environment and to enhance children’s sense of responsibility for the care of the world they live in.
  • Develop children's understanding of sustainable development and an appreciation of what ‘global citizenship’ means.

 

Enrichment

As an ECO school, we spend time learning about and developing ECO themes and activities through class based activities and themed weeks. Our ECO Warriors team meet regularly to organise and develop ECO activities in school. Some of the new initiatives implemented include: recycling waste, monitoring energy usage, designing posters to encourage recycling and growing and planting vegetables in the garden for use in school. 

To encourage children to explore the outdoors and their local environment, all children have the opportunity to complete a range of varied and exciting challenges to apply for Green Flag status, using our very own nature area on the school premise. These awards stimulate children's curiosity for adventure and encourage them to explore the outdoors at school and at home. Some of these challenges include: making a mud pie, dancing in the rain and cooking around a camp fire. 

Geography is an engaging and inspiring subject for children to take part in at St Filumena’s, with many exciting enrichment opportunities. During our 'Shine’ weeks, purposeful activities are planned for to develop children's knowledge and understanding of their local area and the world around them, and parents are invited to share in these experiences with their children.

 

Every other year, we hold a Fair Trade focus week, where all children from Reception Class to Year 6 spend time learning about Fair trade principals. Our focus for these weeks includes where our food comes from and how it is grown. Through case studies from different diverse countries, we have learned about the struggles farmers face around the world and how we can ensure they receive a fair price for their goods. 

 

Visits and fieldwork are an essential part of the Geography Curriculum, helping to develop geographical enquiry skills. Through these exciting experiences, we want children to collect, analyse and present a range of data, to deepen their understanding of geographical processes. Where possible, children take part in several fieldtrips while at St Filumena’s, including visits to local areas to study plants and wildlife and river studies at Stanley Head, as well as contrasting localities such as a seaside environment in the North of England, Tatton Park and local Geocaching centres. 

 

What is Geography? 

How do we encourage pupils to become 'Geographical Enquirers'

at St Filumena's?

Geography is a subject packed with excitement and dynamism that synthesises aspects of the world and helps us to better understand its people, places and environments, and the interactions between them. Geography also helps us understand how and why places are changing, and to better imagine, predict and work towards, likely and preferred futures. Underpinning all of this is a strong spatial component that deepens our understanding of what places are like, why and how they are connected, and the importance of location.

 

Geography It is an enquiry led subject that seeks answers to fundamental questions such as:

  • Where is this place?
  • What is it like? (And why?)
  • How and why is it changing?
  • How does this place compare with other places?
  • How and why are places connected?

 

It is also imperative that a geographer doesn’t just answer questions but also asks and debates them:

  • What could/should the world be like in the future?
  • What can we do to influence change?

 

Geography draws on its vast range of vocabulary to identify and name places, the features within them and the human and physical processes at work there. Such core knowledge provides the building blocks of deeper explanation and understanding; providing entry points to geographical conversations about the world.

 

Geography is more than just core knowledge. Places are dynamic and often space is perceived, used and contested by people in many different ways. Geography seeks to understand how different views, values and perspectives influence and affect places and environments at different scales. It helps explain why places are changing, how they are interconnected and why patterns of inequality exist at both local and global scales.

 

Geography deals with the 'here and 'now' of real life and as such, is a vital 'living' subject that contributes to and enhances the wider curriculum. Although geography can be taught alone, it also offers meaningful contexts for high- quality cross - curricular work, as noted by Ofsted:

"The effectiveness of leadership and management in geography is outstanding. Geography is given a high profile across the school and forms a large part of the creative curriculum. ... ‘It’s the glue that holds the curriculum together."

OFSTED 2013

How does our EYFS curriculum support children to become Geographers in the future?

 

The building blocks of all learning are first observed, recognised, examined and ‘played’ with, if not arranged, from an early age.

‘Early years providers must guide the development of children’s capabilities with a view to ensuring that children in their care complete the EYFS ready to benefit fully from the opportunities ahead of them.’

DfE (2014)

 

Enabling pupils to take on the role of a geographer: exploring, discovering and beginning to make sense of the world around them is an important consideration when planning for the seven areas of inter-connected learning and development that make up the EYFS framework.

 

In particular the area entitled ‘Understanding the world’ presents the opportunity for pupils to reflect on the events and routines that they and their peers experience. They should be given the opportunity to formulate questions to investigate the similarities and differences that exist and be encouraged to discuss these with interest and sensitivity.

 

Through role-play the children can learn experientially about the different environments that different professions operate in and explain why some things happen the way they do in both the physical and human world.

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