Geography should allow pupils to explore the relationship between people and the environments in which they and all life on Earth lives as well as the impact that they as individuals and a greater society, will have on the ever local and global environments. At White House Farm Primary School (WHF), we aim to prepare our children for the opportunities and challenges that will arise during their lifetime, with geography at the forefront on a personal and global scales. WHF has chosen to use Connected Geography as its carefully designed and resourced scheme provides teachers with a coherent, progressive, and rigorous learning programme for all children across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The progression of lessons engages and motivates pupils to see the world through the eyes of young geographers.
WHF intend pupils to access a geography curriculum which is:
- Aspirational - instilling a desire to achieve the highest levels of success by providing all pupils with the chance to develop a long-lasting knowledge and understanding of core geographical skills;
- Logical, relevant, broad, and balanced - subject content meets the demands of the National Curriculum whilst ensuring that it is relevant and topical, engaging pupils in studying issues such as climate change, flooding and trade and local issues.
- Sequenced – making sure that pupils build on previous knowledge and understanding while tackling more complex and demanding knowledge and skills.
- Progressive - ensuring that the complexity of the subject knowledge and critical thinking skills grow as the children grow as geographers. WHF ensure that as pupils progress through the school the geographical techniques we want our pupils to master in our curriculum planning has been informed by our identification of the coverage required at Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2, and Upper Key Stage 2
- Builds upon the provision for geography established in the Early Years Foundation Stage - learning in KS1 and beyond addresses the knowledge and skills expectations of the People, Culture and Communities Early Learning Goal.
- Inclusive – ensuring that the same curriculum is delivered to all pupils irrespective of specific learning needs or disabilities and differentiating where necessary through, for example, in class support, providing different learning environments, alternative learning activities and assessment outcomes.
Using Connected Geography, teachers adopt an enquiry focused approach to learning and teaching in geography which develops WHF's pupils as young geographers. Through enquiry pupils build subject knowledge and understanding and become increasingly adept at critical thinking, specialised vocabulary, and their grasp of subject concepts. Teachers structure learning in geography through 'Big Question' led enquiries about relevant geographical topics, places, and themes. WHF’s curriculum is ‘knowledge rich’ rather than content heavy. By not attempting to teach geographical topics, places, themes, and issues in their entirety WHF gives greater opportunities for all pupils to master and apply critical thinking skills and achieve more challenging subject outcomes.
WHF ensures that all learning is immersive and allows all pupils time and space to acquire new knowledge and subject vocabulary but also to develop subject concepts and understand the significance of what they have learned.
Teachers ensure that learning and teaching in geography is interactive and practical allowing opportunities for pupils to work independently, in pairs and in groups both inside and outside of the classroom. Activities are varied including the use of mysteries, maps at different scales, GIS, geographical puzzles, photographs, and drama. Similarly, pupils are encouraged to use a variety of ways to record the outcomes of their work including the use of PowerPoint, concept mapping, annotated diagrams, improvised drama, and the application in a wide range of writing genres in English lessons. WHF recognises the importance of fieldwork. Teachers plan for investigations involving observation, recording, presentation, interpretation, and the evaluation of geographical information gathered outside of the classroom.
The Connected Geography scheme of work identifies and highlights both the objectives and anticipated outcomes of each enquiry and investigation. They are also carefully structured using ancillary questions, to enable pupils to build their knowledge and understanding in incremental steps until they reach the point where they can answer the question posed at the beginning of the investigation.
Each enquiry has a clear set objectives and outcomes for the pupils in terms of knowledge and understanding and skills acquisition. WHF ensure that when assessing pupils, evidence is drawn from a wide range of sources to inform the process including interaction with pupils during discussions and related questioning, day to day observations, practical activities such as model making and role play drama, the gathering, presentation, and communication of fieldwork data and writing in different genres.
The outcomes of each enquiry inform the teacher’s developing picture of the knowledge and understanding of each pupil and to plan future learning accordingly. Teachers do not make summative judgements about individual pieces of pupil work but rather use the outcomes to build an emerging picture of what the pupil knows, understands, and can do.
At the end of each academic year, teachers will make a summative judgement about the achievement of each pupil. They will use the White House Farm Primary School Geography Coverage and Progression Document, which aligns the objectives set in the National Curriculum with Connected Geography’s objectives, to make a ‘best fit’ judgement as to whether a pupil has achieved and embedded the expected learning goals. This decision draws upon the professional knowledge teachers possess about the progress of each pupil, developed over the previous three terms, and allows an informed and holistic judgement of attainment to be made. Achievement against the learning goals for geography at the end of the year is used as the basis of reporting progress to parents.