At St Joan of Arc Primary School, we want all pupils to be equipped with the knowledge and understanding about diverse places, people, resources and environments. We aim to provide opportunities for pupils to explore and develop a deeper understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. In addition to this, we want pupils to learn about their local area and compare their lives with other areas both in the UK and around the world, this enables them to gain an appreciation of life in other cultures and embrace their differences and similarities. Our teaching also motivates children to find out about the physical world around them, enabling them to become global citizens aware of the importance of sustainability.
Our geography curriculum gives all children opportunities to achieve their best. The Rising Stars Geography scheme is the framework used by our school to help plan and deliver the geography curriculum. Teachers adapt the planning to meet the needs of the children in their classes. Planning is also adapted to consider and utilise our local area and to organise learning outside of the classroom. School trips and fieldwork opportunities are utilised to give our budding geographers first-hand experience of the world and to enhance their understanding of the locality and the world beyond.
As part of the EYFS Development Matters Framework 2020, Nursery and Reception children are taught geography concepts through the ‘Understanding the World’ strand. Children are given experiences to explore and make sense of their physical world and their community. The high-quality texts used in Literacy provide opportunities for cross-curricular links to further enrich the children’s understanding of the wider world and to widen their geographical vocabulary.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, geography is taught in three discrete blocks across the year, giving children opportunities to achieve a deep understanding of the subject matter taught; with cross curricular links planned in where applicable. Children explore the seasons through art, in D&T they create boats to float down the Nile and take part in Alps day to explore the importance of tourism in The Alpine region. The key knowledge and skills of each topic have been identified and carefully mapped out across the school, ensuring that knowledge builds progressively and that children develop skills systematically. Children are given opportunities to further explore geographical concepts during some English lessons. By making cross-curricular links our pupils are able to explore geography in other subject areas, examples include: writing speeches to present at a climate conference- showing the importance of protecting planet earth and writing directions and exploring maps while studying the Jolly Postman.
Geography is an engaging and relevant subject and we want to inspire in our children a curiosity and fascination about the world and the people who live in it. By the time pupils leave St Joan of Arc school, they will have had opportunities to build a firm foundation of geographical knowledge and vocabulary, utilised fieldwork opportunities and map reading and have an excellent understanding of the way places are interconnected and how human and physical environments are interrelated. Children have a very positive attitude to geography learning and during Pupil Voice interviews the pupils often express their desire for further opportunities to learn about the world around them through geography. Our teaching also motivates children to find out about the physical world around them, enables them to become global citizens and helps them to think about the importance of sustainability. Children are passionate about becoming global citizens and can apply to join the school’s Eco-Team where they ways to help our school, local area and the wider world.