The intention of the Geography curriculum at St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School is to inspire our children’s curiosity and interest in exploring the world that we live in. Our intention is to equip our children with geographical skills to develop their knowledge through studying places, people and natural and human environments. Geography, by nature, is an investigative subject. Through our teaching, we intend to provoke thought and questioning. We want to encourage our children to discover answers to their own questions through exploration and research to enable them to gain a greater understanding and knowledge of the world and their place in it.
At St. Joseph’s, geography is taught in accordance with the National Curriculum. Our school curriculum sets out the knowledge and skills that pupils will gain at each stage. It is clear what end points the curriculum is building towards and what children need to know and be able to do to reach those end points. This is set out in detail in a series of geography ‘knowledge organisers’ that are shared with the children at the start if each topic and implemented throughout the unit of work.
We teach geography through a topic based planning pathway that helps ensure lively, effective and appropriate learning based on a structured pathway. Our children are taught the same geographical skills throughout the school but the skills are applied to a variety of different geography topics and built upon each year ensuring that knowledge builds progressively and that children develop skills systematically. Children are encouraged to question and each geography lesson begins with an enquiry question with the aim being that at the end of each topic, all children can answer these key uestions. The children are taught a six week block of geography once a term. Topics alternate with history. Geography will be linked into some history topics, where appropriate, to develop children’s knowledge and understanding. It will also ensure all areas of the curriculum are covered in depth. Teachers are encouraged to consider opportunities available to use the school grounds and the local area for fieldwork to enable children to base learning on first hand experiences to enhance teaching and learning in geography.
Outcomes in Geography books evidence a broad and balanced geography curriculum and demonstrate children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge relating to each of the identified National Curriculum strands. This is in addition to the development and application of key skills, supported by fieldwork and an enquiry based style of teaching and learning. As children progress throughout the school they develop a deep knowledge, an understanding and appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context. Geographical understanding, as well as children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is further supported by the school’s links within our local parish and our Catholic social teaching.