Our intent at William Cobbett Primary School is to provide our children with a rich and engaging geography curriculum that inspires children’s curiosity and interest to explore the world we live in and its people. We aim to provoke thought and questioning, and to encourage children to find answers through exploration and research, while equipping them with geographical skills to develop their knowledge through studying places, people, and natural and human environments.
The curriculum is designed to ensure that teaching equips pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress through the school, their growing knowledge about the world helps them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge and skills are progressive and are sequenced to provide the framework and approaches that provide explanations of how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected, and change over time.
We seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives, equipping them well for further education and beyond.
National Curriculum for Geography states:
A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
The geography curriculum is shaped by our school vision, which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, previous attainment or additional needs, to become enthused about the world around them and to take an interest in the physical and human aspects. The geography curriculum at William Cobbett is sequenced using the Cornerstones Curriculum but is developed and adapted to meet the needs of our children. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. It is important that children develop the skills of a geographer by fully immersing them in all areas of the subject. The local area is utilised to achieve desired outcomes, with opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practise. Fieldwork helps provide first hand experiences, which enhance children’s understanding of the world beyond their locality.
Geography is taught as a distinct subject, but natural links are made with other subjects through our project-based approach and it is woven into history projects throughout the year. The structure of our curriculum allows children to develop their geographical knowledge and skills as they progress through the school. They build on their knowledge of the United Kingdom, the wider world, and physical and human features as they move into each new year. Throughout each unit, children will develop skills of sequencing, making connections, comparing, communication, questioning and interpreting, and evaluating information.
At William Cobbett, we have a whole-school focus on vocabulary development and follow the Word Aware approach. Each geography unit starts with us ‘traffic lighting’ Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary identified for the topic. Each lesson starts with explicit teaching of new vocabulary and reviewing of previously taught terminology. Each classroom has a ‘Cornerstones’ display, which will have a geography focus during terms where this is the ‘driver’ subject. In every classroom, the display will include the key vocabulary taught throughout the unit and may also include visuals to support the vocabulary, as well as maps or photos to support the learning happening during the lessons. Children record their geographical learning in their Cornerstones book. Projects begin with children being introduced to the unit of work with a title page which includes the key vocabulary and a brief synopsis of their upcoming learning.
We understand the importance of the Early Years for laying the foundations for life-long learning. Our EYFS curriculum supports the development of children’s understanding of the world around them which gives them a secure base to develop their geographical learning as they progress through Key Stage 1 and 2.Children explore their environment and local area and we encourage them to show a curiosity for the world around them. They are encouraged to compare environments with a focus on seasonal change and weather, go on walks and explorations, and consider positional language.
Children should have an excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like. They should have developed an understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected and how much human and physical environments are interrelated. They should have a more extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary and be fluent in carrying out geographical enquiries, with the ability to apply questioning skills, and use effective analytical and presentational techniques. Children should have the ability to reach clear conclusions and develop a reasoned argument to explain their findings. They should also have developed their skills in utilising fieldwork and other geographical skills and techniques. We hope they will have developed a passion for and commitment to geography, and a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there. They should also be able to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in sound knowledge and understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the environment. Children should leave William Cobbett having visited some places of geographical significance in the local and wider area and be able to compare these to the wider world.
Geography is assessed at the end of each academic year in each year group. This is done through teacher judgment using the assessment laid out in the Geography progression of knowledge and skills document. Teachers record children’s progress from Reception through to Key Stage 2 in Geography. Teachers will need to judge if a child is developing, secure or greater depth at the end of each year group and this is communicated to parents through children’s annual reports.
Geography is monitored by the subject leader and senior leadership team through book looks, learning walks and pupil and teacher surveys. Monitoring observations are communicated to staff and support and training are put in place where a need has been identified.
‘I went to the London Eye because we learnt about it’
‘I like it when we play games with the word pot and explain what the words mean’
I didn’t really know what global warming meant and now I do. It’s changing our world’
‘I liked learning about Mary Anning because I like fossils’