'Geography underpins a lifelong "conversation" about the Earth as the home of humankind.'
At St. Thomas’, we believe that Geography is an opportunity to spark the children’s curiosity about the world around them, and beyond. We aim to foster a love for learning about the environment and its landscape, where their questions are encouraged and children are supported to become independent geographers. By equipping them with the skills and vocabulary associated with Geography, they will be able to make connections in their learning. We want the children of our school to become knowledgeable citizens of the future, who are confident in sustaining our world.
The teaching of Geography is based on 5 key concepts split across Key Stage 1 and 2. In Key Stage 1, pupils are introduced to early Geography skills through the concepts of place and climate. In Key Stage 2 pupils revisit boundaries in order to build upon and expand their knowledge and understanding of places and communities around the world, as well as exploring the further concepts of landscape, sustainability and connections. All concepts are revisited yearly throughout each key stage to ensure in-depth coverage for all learners.
Fundamental knowledge and skills within the EYFS
At St Thomas’ children learn about the world around them, using their senses, exploring the natural world around them. They begin to look at the weather and how it impacts what they may need to wear and how it changes through the year. They begin to make comparisons looking at similarities and differences whilst considering change. They begin to explore maps in both stories and real life in their immediate environment.
Key Stage One Concepts:
Place is an area.
Understanding that the place of each country and continent is marked on a map or in an atlas and we can use these resources to find where in the world these places are and identify them. Knowing that some places do not have a defined boundary line (such as towns and cities) but that the area is still clearly labelled on a map with capital cities marked as a star.
Climate is the weather conditions in an area in general or over a long period of time.
Beginning with the climate we are familiar with and understanding
Key Stage Two Concepts:
Place is an area.
Building on their understanding of boundaries and place, children in KS2 will develop their knowledge of settlements and the areas in which settlements have been created. They will develop knowledge of key area marked with lines on a globe or atlas such as longitude, latitude and time zones.
All the visible features of an area of land.
Children should be able to locate different features of a landscape such as volcanoes and rivers and be able to explain how they are formed. An understanding of the different biomes found in our world, the defining features of these landscapes including the animals which live there.
The avoidance of the depletion of natural resources.
Giving the opportunity to explore climate further, how climate change occurs and the impact climate change has on the environment. Looking into the impact humans have on different environments around the world including deforestation.
A relationship in which a person or thing is linked or associated with something else.
Understanding how the way in which humans use the land is connected to the natural resources provided by the landscape e.g. settlements near to a water source. Knowledge of the economy and trade provided by an area and how this connects people in different places. Develop knowledge and understanding of movement and why people might move locations. Study how the population (and change in population) of rural and urban areas are connected to the movement of people and the economy of the area.
As place is the key concept, which underpins all other Geography in our school, this is revisited every year from Y1-Y5 and by Y6 the children should be able to apply it into any area of their learning as appropriate.
Whilst at times their understanding may be assessed through written outcomes, our Geography curriculum also provides children with the opportunities to share their knowledge through discussion, explanation, low-stake quizzes and practical challenges.
The experience of Geography we provide will allow children to develop a better understanding of our Earth. They will have an increased understanding of how and why life is different for people in different places, but also that there are many similarities to be found amongst the wide range of communities around the world. We recognise that this understanding of diversity will lead to our children being thoughtful and respectful citizens. There are many incredible wonders in our world and we hope that we will be able to open our children’s eyes to what there is to be discovered, igniting the spark of desire to travel and see more of the world first hand, treating everyone they may meet with respect and understanding. Our curriculum will allow them to grow into adults who make informed decisions about the way they live their lives based on the effect it will have on the planet.