Geography is essentially about understanding the world we live in. It helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. At St Mary and St Benedict, children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it. The geography curriculum enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferrable to other curriculum areas. Geography is an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. At St Mary and St Benedict our intent, when teaching geography, is to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and people within it; 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 objectives of teaching geography in our school are:
We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our geography lessons. We believe in whole-class teaching methods, and we combine these with enquiry-based research activities. We encourage children to ask as well as answer geographical questions. We offer them the opportunity to use a variety of data, such as maps, statistics, graphs, pictures, and aerial photographs, and we enable them to use computing in geography lessons where this serves to enhance their learning. Children take part in role-play and discussions, and they present reports to the rest of the class. They engage in a wide variety of problem-solving activities. Wherever possible, we involve the children in applied geographical activities, for example research of a local environmental problem, or use of the internet to investigate a current issue.
We recognise the fact that there are children of widely different geographical abilities in all classes, and we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this by:
Children demonstrate their ability in geography in a variety of different ways. Younger children might, for example, dress up in costumes from different parts of the world, whilst older pupils might produce a PowerPoint presentation based on their exploration of African countries. Teachers will assess children’s work by making informal judgements during lessons. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher assesses the work and uses this information to plan future learning. Written or verbal feedback is given to the child to help guide his or her progress. Older children are encouraged to make judgements about how they can improve their own work.
We assess the children’s work in Geography while observing them working during lessons.
The subject leader keeps samples of the children’s work in a portfolio which shows the expected level of achievement in geography in each year of the school.