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Geography at Gade Valley Primary School

Geography Subject Leader: Mr Hakner

Geography

 

Curriculum Aims

At Gade Valley, our geography education should inspire in pupils curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. The aims of our Geography Curriculum is to provide opportunities for the pupils to learn about the world that they live in. We encourage them to learn the names of oceans, rivers, capital cities etc.

Through our geography lessons focusing on individual countries, we explore the physical and human geography found there as well as the culture and traditions of the people that live there. Throughout our school, the pupils are taught to develop their geographical skills such as how to read a map and how to use an atlas.

In addition, it is the aim of our Geography curriculum to provide the pupils with first hand experiences by visiting some of the locations they are learning about such as the area in which they live, Hemel Hempstead. Where possible and appropriate, texts studied in English lessons may also link to the termly topic such as Year 2 when studying a geography topic on Islands, will in English lessons explore the Katy Morag stories.

 

How We Teach Geography

In Early Years, geography is taught via the Early Learning Goals linked to the Specific Area ‘Understanding the World’. During their time in Early Years, the pupils will listen to stories set in different locations and participate in topic led work about the world they live in.

In Years 1 – 6, geography is taught in a half-termly block of lessons. This timing of these blocks are flexible depending on the content being covered and the skills being developed. Each unit of work has been carefully written using the guidance of the National Curriculum and planned using the skills and knowledge statements which can be found in the document below. At Gade Valley, we also exploit cross-curricular links where possible within our units. For example, many classes have linked their English, Art, D&T and many other subjects to their Geography topics. In addition, the school also has whole school initiatives such as 'Take one country' days which occurs during the Summer term. 

 

Our teaching of geography at Gade Valley is based upon the Gade Valley Principles of Teaching and Learning. This provides guidance for teachers to ensure that learning is effective. These include, providing clear learning goals, maximising learning time, challenging the pupils and ensuring the environment is stimulating and enhances pupil's learning. In addition, teachers will also use effective AfL (assessment for learning), both at the start of a new topic and throughout the teaching process as well as providing the pupils with practical resources such as atlases and access to the World Wide Web. Throughout Geography lessons, these principles are adhered to and this means that pupils develop the core skills from the Geography curriculum and the skills and knowledge document. 

 

Key Developments and Information for 2021/22

Up to May 2022, the following measurable impact includes:

  • In the 2020/2021 academic year, the large majority of pupils achieved age related expectations or above.
  • Pupil voice from Autumn 2021 has shown that children enjoy Geography and feel challenged and supported with their learning.
  • Pupils enjoyed learning about different areas of the world and how each area experiences different weather throughout the year.
  • Pupils explained that they enjoyed when Geography was linked to other areas of the curriculum such as Art and Computing.
  • Pupil voice showed that the vast majority of pupils enjoy learning about the physical features of geography such as Volcanoes and Rivers. 
  • In the Autumn term, all children visited Hudnall Park where they undertook a range of cross-curricular activities involving Geography. Year 4 and 6 pupils praised the trip saying not only did they enjoy the day, but they also developed a range of geographical skills such as map reading through orienteering, and how to use a compass accurately.
  • As part of our ongoing monitoring, a new Geography/History book has been introduced to enable to children to present their learning effectively. New marking and feedback has been introduced to support teachers when delivering lessons which is being followed effectively.
  • During the Autumn and Spring term, observations were carried out showed that teachers were following the skills and knowledge document alongside the teaching and learning principles to deliver engaging lessons linked to the National Curriculum.
  • All teaching staff completed a subject audit which shows teachers feel confident delivering Geography lessons and also supports the subject leader in delivering effective CPD. As a result all staff received additional training focusing on fieldwork in Geography.
  • Many classes have used their GOAL days as a way of making Geography personal and relevant to the pupils. 

To see the learning in Geography, please visit the Geography page on the Celebrating Our Curriculum section.

National Curriculum for Geography

Geography Overview

Geography Skills and Knowledge Progression

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