Geography is challenging, motivating, topical and fun. In our diverse society, children need to understand other people and cultures, more than ever before. Geography makes a major contribution to children's physical, intellectual, social and emotional development.
At Our Lady and St Joseph's, we believe that becoming a geographer enables a child to develop a fundamental understanding of themselves and their place in our world. Geography inspires in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people.
Geography provides an understanding of the World and its Diversity
Pupils will develop knowledge about diverse places, people, resources, plus natural and human environments. They will gain an understanding of the Earth's key physical and human processes. As the children progress through school, they acquire the ability to understand the interaction between physical and human processes. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the framework and approaches that explain how the Earth's features, at different scales, are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
The Geography Curriculum
Geography at Our Lady & St Joseph’s is taught in line with the National Curriculum and taught through topics across each year group. Some of these topics are Geography focused, whereas others have sub-focus of geography helping children to see how events and features in the world are connected to each other. These topics are mapped out so that children are building on their prior substantive knowledge of both Geography and other subjects. Enabling children to make links.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ and early geographical components are taught within ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the world’
The Key Stage 1 curriculum introduces children to the size of the world and its continents and Oceans as well as the main countries and cities of the United Kingdom. The curriculum also introduces different elements of geography such as Physical and Human features. Children also begin to use and learn fieldwork techniques based on the school grounds and the local area.
In Lower Key Stage 2, the children will refine their fieldwork techniques and apply these to different areas such as the River Dearne and Filey. Their prior knowledge of Physical Features will be developed to include how Rivers shape the land such as the Dearne Valley and how land use such as farming differs from place to place. Their place and location substantive knowledge is expanded across Europe enabling children to fully understand History topics such as World War 1. On a global scale children will learn about different World features such as climate, time zones and lines of longitude and latitude. This understanding is then applied to Topics focussing on different areas of the world such as polar explorers and the effects of deforestation.
As children move up into upper Key stage 2, their substantive knowledge of the World enables them to successfully study concepts such as trade, globalisation, and differing natural resources Their substantive knowledge of Europe is developed by comparing human features across Europe and also comparing these with Sheffield. Their substantive knowledge of Physical features and how these are formed is expanded from the River Dearne to places across Europe and the world such as the Alps, Himalayas and the Amazon.
Geography Across the Curriculum
The children’s understanding of mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes builds on the Science knowledge of about rocks and the structure of the Earth from lower down school.
Geography is also covered in other ways such as map work in Forest School and orienteering sessions enabling children to use maps in real-life situations and start with an area they are familiar with.