We are Geographers
‘You can travel the seas, poles and deserts and see nothing. To really understand the world, you need to get under the skin of the people and places. In other words, learn about geography. I can’t imagine a subject more relevant in schools. We’d all be lost without it.’ – Michael Palin
At The Stoke Poges School, it is our intention that Geography will inspire pupils with a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain throughout their lives.
Geography provokes and answers questions about the natural and human world. It develops knowledge of places and environments throughout the world, an understanding of maps, and a range of problem-solving and investigative skills both inside and outside the classroom. Geography is an important link between natural and social sciences and focuses on understanding and tackling issues concerning the environment.
Geography also helps our children to understand how and why places are changing and to better predict what the likely future may be. This approach deepens understanding of what places are like, why and how they are connected and the importance of location.
What are we aiming for?
Our Geography curriculum aims to create children who:
- Are curious about the world and its people
- Have an understanding of their place within the world and how they can impact upon this
- Show tolerance and respect towards cultural differences
- Have a commitment to sustainable development and an appreciation of what ‘global citizenship’ means
- Understand human and physical features in the world, including natural disasters and climate change
- Are confident in using a range of geography-based skills
How do we achieve this?
Our Geography curriculum has been carefully designed to build both knowledge and skills progressively.
Key concepts are revisited so that children can develop a deeper understanding as they journey through the school. Meaningful links have been made, which helps our children to understand how and why places are changing and to better predict what the likely futures maybe. This approach deepens understanding of what places are like, why and how they are connected and the importance of location.
Each year group, focuses on overarching themes and enquiry questions. At The Stoke Poges School geography is an enquiry led subject that seeks answers to important questions such as:
- Where is this place?
- What is it like? (And why?)
- How and why is it changing?
- How does this place compare with other places?
- How and why are places connected?
It is important that a geographer, no matter how young, doesn’t just answer questions but also asks and debates them.
- What could/should the world be like in the future?
- What can we do to influence change?
During lessons, geography is increasingly being taken outside the classroom to gain hands on experiences. This ranges from fieldwork in the school grounds to visits and walks around the local community and further afield. We are fortunate to be located in a beautiful part of the country with easy access to rivers, the city and other manmade and natural environments.
We draw on Geography’s vast range of vocabulary to identify and name places, the features within them and the human and physical processes at work there. Such core knowledge provides the building blocks of deeper explanation and understanding, providing entry points to geographical conversations about the world.
In geography, assessment is continuous. From the beginning of every lesson, teachers and teaching assistants will be assessing what their pupils are, or are not understanding and use this to scaffold each segment of the lesson. Target groups will be both planned and ‘live’, meaning that misconceptions are dealt with immediately and high attaining pupils are challenged appropriately. Teachers make good use of pre/post teaching where appropriate to ensure that all children can achieve conceptual understanding.
The Headteacher, Phase Leader and geography subject lead play a central role in the monitoring and evaluation of the quality of teaching and learning of geography in the school.
The monitoring strategy:
- Children’s work and planning scrutinies are conducted
- Pupil voice is conducted termly within geography
- Lesson ‘drop ins’ and observations take place in all classes throughout the year
The subject lead is responsible for monitoring attainment and progress, the outcomes of which are collated in the subject leader folder and fed back to staff at an appropriate time.
Through providing our pupils with a well-planned, structured curriculum, which excites and challenges, along with tight formative and summative assessment our children will develop the necessary knowledge and skills to become geographers. Our expectations are high and through our quality first teaching, supportive monitoring cycles and conversations with pupils and teachers, students will make good or better progress.