Our Curriculum - Intent
We aspire for each child to develop a deep interest in, and love for, learning so they are equipped with the knowledge and skills they will require to be successful, both now, as children, and in the future. We offer an ambitious geography curriculum, which is shaped to reflect the unique needs of our pupils and develop an inquisitiveness about the world around them.
We recognise the importance of children being given opportunities for ‘real-life’ experiences in the subject to develop their cultural capital, for example by linking learning to local and wider localities. Children compare and contrast their local environment with other places in the world, helping them to become more reflective citizens, and develop an awareness of the importance of their own positive commitment to the environment and future of the planet.
The breadth and depth of the curriculum provides stretch and challenge for all abilities; it is sequenced to ensure the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills and to stimulate an interest in the world around us and a sense of wonder. The curriculum is designed to ensure that pupils recognise their contribution to, and responsibilities for, their locality, their country and the global community.
Children will be taught to know and understand significant aspects of geography, such as:
- places and people
- resources in the environment
- physical and human processes
- formation and use of landscapes
We also want children to develop geographical skills including:
- collecting and analysing data
- using maps, globes, aerial photographs and digital mapping to name and identify countries, continents and oceans
- communicating information in a variety of ways
Children will learn methods of geographical enquiry and how to ask questions to find out specific information. They will be taught to use geographical vocabulary accurately and understand the different strands of geography, with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Fieldwork opportunities are meaningfully planned into the geography curriculum to enhance learning and improve motivation, whilst developing curiosity and a fascination about the world and its people.
We promote positive mindset and resilience so that our children attain their best, are challenged to achieve their best and leave The Russell School ready for their secondary education and beyond. It enables them to want to learn and enjoy creating work that allows them to reach a high standard in all areas of the curriculum, with enough time given for researching, discussing, proofreading and redrafting. Having the confidence to ‘take risks’ is valued and ‘having a go’ encouraged in all areas of the geography curriculum.
Our Curriculum - Implementation
The geography curriculum is structured to be progressive in knowledge and skills across all phases and is closely aligned to the National Curriculum Programmes of Study. Knowledge and skills are sequenced to build on prior learning and the subject is taught through a half-termly topic focus. Geographical knowledge and skills are taught creatively and children work towards clearly defined end points, creating opportunities to make connections within and across their learning. Pupils are taught to understand the key concepts that link their learning within geography to other subjects by clearly defined learning intentions for each lesson, and use of ‘mind maps’ at the start of each new topic. Children have frequent opportunities to write at length, read texts linked to their learning in geography and we promote a strong emphasis on talk throughout the geography curriculum.
Real-life experiences enhance learning in geography to develop cultural capital. Children use the local area in Years 1 and 2 to follow maps and have a range of opportunities to explore environments which contrast to their local area. Their understanding of the world is inspired by challenging and engaging questions; by comparing the similarities and differences in environments and communities in Years 3 and 4, through to debating world issues on pollution in Years 5 and 6. Our curriculum provides a rich context for pupils to express their opinions on real issues; frequent opportunities for discussion will allow pupils to reflect and deepen their understanding.
Regular opportunities for retrieval practice enables children to deliberately rehearse newly acquired skills and knowledge, transfer these across different contexts and identify gaps in their learning, ultimately strengthening long term memory. Children are frequently given opportunities to ‘have a go’ at applying their learning in new contexts. Children are encouraged to recognise mistakes as a useful, positive part of the learning process. Our whole school culture promotes self-challenge, resilience, courage, questioning and deep thinking.
Our Curriculum - Impact
The impact of our curriculum is the measure of how well our intent has been realised. It is demonstrated through the success of our learners and their confidence to demonstrate the knowledge they have retained over time as well as their readiness for the next stage in education and for life as an adult in the wider world.
Children’s achievements in geography are assessed through a variety of ways. Marking and feedback provides ongoing assessment information which is used to shape future teaching. Children are assessed formally at the end of each term and phase to determine their understanding of: the key knowledge and skills covered; their use of geographical vocabulary; enquiry skills and ability to communicate geographical information in a variety of ways.
We continually evaluate the impact of our geography curriculum by assessing evidence that defines a high-quality education, through:
- Judgements which are based upon a triangulation of different monitoring and evaluation activities within school, such as work scrutiny, Pupil Voice discussions, outcomes of assessments and quality of teaching and learning.
- The learning attitudes, engagement and motivation shown by the children.
- Ongoing feedback and assessment which addresses misconceptions and gaps in learning and informs planning to ensure that the curriculum effectively meets the needs of all pupils.
- A range of assessment and analysis strategies: timely testing, moderation of work, pupil interviews, use of assessment grids and data tracking systems, to ensure children know what they are meant to know at specific points during their education.
- Evidence from monitoring which shows that children are active in their learning, are able to construct their own knowledge and are able to think flexibly and creatively.
- High levels of engagement in home learning.