'ALWAYS START WITH WHY'
GEOGRAPHY INTENT FOR OUR PROGRAMME OF STUDY: KNOWLEDGE, PROGRESSION, COVERAGE
(PRIOR, NOW, NEXT)
Our core school intent runs through every aspect of our teaching and learning. It is our philosophy and approach in every subject area. It is how we teach and learn. Every leader commits to this. But every subject must have its own Programme of Study - its own lines of progression for the knowledge and skills we plan to teach and therefore its own rationale/intent for what we teach and learn. This is the rationale for this ‘prior, now and next’ in geography.
Our intention for the geography curriculum, was to design a progressive approach...
EARLY YEARS: OUR IMMEDIATE LOCALITY
...which begins with local first hand, practical experience of the children's immediate locality and community. From this Early Years basis we designed a two stage process to KS1 studies.
YEARS 1-2: TWO PERSPECTIVES AND TWO AREAS OF FOCUS SPREAD EQUALLY
The children build their knowledge of place and location from a 1) wider world perspective and 2) from a locality/UK perspective. Ensuring therefore that the coverage is evenly distributed and that the children have more than one opportunity to visit specific areas and therefore consolidate vital knowledge before progressing into KS2. We believe - revisit, return and build carefully generates lasting knowledge that we can take into year 3. By doing this we aim to ensure that knowledge about different areas of the world builds at the same pace. We have specifically designed themes in KS1 to consider physical and human geography separately in our locality e.g. 'St Annes in Bloom'. We determined to separate these out in order to show clear contrast whilst we have been equally precise in our choice of a contrasting non-European country: Australia (The Outback, Great Barrier Reef) in order to show its complete contrast with our local Lancashire and St Annes studies.
YEARS 3-5: TWO AREAS OF FOCUS SPREAD EQUALLY
We have carefully devised four REGION STUDY themes in these years to contract with the LOCAL STUDY approach from KS1. We are confident the children have that local geography knowledge and awareness by that stage and the comparisons drawn through these carefully placed studies from regions across the world are ideal to progress the children's knowledge of place and location. Ribchester (Roman), San Francisco, Werne (St Annes Twin Town) and The Amazon Rainforest are our chosen contrasting areas that meet this criteria.
As in KS1, we wanted to devote specific time to HUMAN & PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY STUDY. We therefore positioned four opportunities to study each of the required areas of study (e.g. volcanoes, biomes) within the History driver themes - each time making meaningful links across the two subjects (e.g. Volcanoes - Ancient Greece).
During each of these stages, we were very keen to ensure that the children leave KS1 with the continents, oceans, UK countries and capital cities knowledge that they need and then move directly into a three year process of building place and location knowledge related to counties and cities within the UK and countries and capital cities across the world, so by the end of year 5 our children to have been introduced, revised and revisited almost all the knowledge they need for place and location.
We have positioned the Victorians-on-Sea as the ideal SUMMARY STUDY AT THE END OF YEAR 5 to capture and draw together each of the years 3-5 areas we have learned about.
YEAR 6: APPLY AND FURTHER EXTEND THE KNOWLEDGE
From a geographical perspective, the modern history nature of the curriculum drivers mean this is ideal for application and extension of knowledge. The children need a broad and wide basis of knowledge and experience to extract the most from the year 6 themes and we carefully add climate, time zone and environment related location terminology to complete the journey.
Take a look at the Coverage Overview below and our Programme of Study: Progression & Milestones document. Download them at the base of the page and then take a look at the 'Implement & Impact' section of the website to see how we bring this to life with the help of our ‘how’ Classroom Craft philosophy.
GEOGRAPHY IMPLEMENTATION & MONITORING: SO MY CURRENT WORK IS...
I have been working with the senior leaders on our new curriculum and ensuring that the Programme of Study fits fully with the National Curriculum expectations and our wider core intent. Like all leaders, there are a number of areas that are occupying my time at the moment.
* Make sure our unique position on the west coast is really coming through from planning into the classroom - it is a prime local resource to explore. Bring the coastline to our children or vice versa!;
* A major priority is the development of new whole school Brain Gym: Place & Location Mats for daily use. Let's get that core knowledge to stick. The only way to do it is to build in that regular practice with the right supporting aides.
* During my monitoring work, I am focusing carefully upon the prominence of mapwork and the accessibility of these resources within our newly designed environments. This is ongoing.
I really want to see how practical we can make our geography themes. We have an ideal locality and need to make the most of this within our new plans. Our children are also ready to be immersed in the precise terms we use in geography. Let's get the terminology in there from an early stage - be challenging. Increase that vocabulary in tandem with the children's understanding. After all 'dinosaur' could be a complex term but all of our children use it because they understand it!