Developing Young Geographers

Our aim at Penponds Primary School is to ensure that all children are inspired to be curious and fascinated about our world and our people. We believe that geography should be about understanding our world by: comparing locations, investigating, researching different sources, writing and talking about places, conducting fieldwork and asking and answering questions. Geography lessons are planned into our engaging and exciting topics with a focus on knowledge, understanding and skills. We use the outdoor environment to teach the children the fundamental skills that they will use within their lives, for example, map reading, using compasses and using observational skills to study their local environment. In geography lessons children will make use of their resources around them and they will become confident in using maps, atlases and globes to identify different places around the world.

Our broad and balanced curriculum is designed to develop knowledge, understanding and skills that are progressive as well as transferable to further education and beyond (see progression map).

The Geography Lead is responsible for supporting colleagues in their teaching, keeping them informed of current developments in the subject, and by providing a strategic lead and direction for Geography including following the school’s robust system for monitoring and assessing Foundation subjects for Geography.

Our children are supported through our four school values – Curiosity, Creativity, Confidence and Caring- all embodied through our vision, ‘Aiming High and Achieving Our Best’ and our vision statement:

Penponds School will work with a all stakeholders to create a happy, safe and stimulating environment where children become ‘Leaders of their own Learning’. By maintaining high expectations of the whole school community, our children will be equipped to become lifelong learners. We encourage curiosity about the world, strive to be creative in everything we do and build confidence in our children to enable them to grasp opportunities and tackle challenges with resilience and self-assurance.

We are geographers

Agreed principles and teaching approaches for Geography:

  • That locational knowledge is regularly recalled and returned to in order to develop memory
  • That previous knowledge is revisited using recap quizzes and use of display where appropriate
  • Existing knowledge is recalled at the beginning of each unit, (What I know already) and recaps at the beginning of each session to recall previous learning
  • That place knowledge to best taught through comparison case studies that link locational knowledge, processes and perception/experience together
  • That geographical skills are taught as the relevant knowledge is acquired by the children
  • That although most geographical knowledge is taught discretely, much content will be taught in other subjects such as history, science and outdoor learning opportunities, such as trips and residentials
  •  That teachers organise the intended knowledge that is to be taught into consistent Sequence of Learning planning documents
  •  That geographical vocabulary is progressive and planned specifically
  •  That our learning in geography is intrinsically linked to our English and Art final projects at the end of each half term (a sense of product, achievement when the children have something to show at the end of their learning)
  • That our local environment is fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunity to learn outdoors and get to know our local area

To be a geographer I need to -

Ask geographic questions – ask real questions and determine what information is needed to answer the questions

Gather geographic information – use a range of geographical skills and fieldwork techniques to retrieve information and make links

Organise geographic information – decide how to present and display the information

Analyse geographic information – what does our information tell us? Compare and contrast what we have found out.

Answering geographic questions – Use the information to inform the answer

Predict – Learn to understand and anticipate future geographical and environmental challenges