Geography at Purley Primary School
Purley Primary School’s chosen Geography scheme of work aims to inspire a fascination about the world and its people, with practical enhancements and use of local environments embedding a depth of understanding and diverse knowledge of our world.
Throughout their studies the children are encouraged to develop the learning skills of resilience, reflection, risk-taking, collaboration and research, and to use these to further their understanding of how the Earth’s features and environments are formed, used, interconnected and change over time, and an understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes. In other words, to think like a geographer!
We want pupils to develop the confidence to question and observe places, measure and record necessary data in various ways, and analyse and present their findings. Through our scheme of work, we aim to build an awareness of how Geography shapes our lives at multiple scales and over time. We hope to encourage pupils to become resourceful, active citizens who will have the skills to contribute to and improve the world around them.
Our scheme encourages:
• A strong focus on developing both geographical skills and knowledge.
• Critical thinking, with the ability to ask perceptive questions and explain and analyse evidence.
• The development of fieldwork skills across each year group.
• A deep interest and knowledge of pupils’ locality and how it differs from other areas of the world.
• A growing understanding of geographical concepts, terms and vocabulary.
The National curriculum organises the Geography attainment targets under four subheadings or strands:
• Locational knowledge
• Place knowledge
• Human and physical geography
• Geographical skills and fieldwork
Our Geography teaching follows a spiral curriculum, with essential knowledge and skills revisited with increasing complexity, allowing pupils to revise and build on their previous learning. Locational knowledge, in particular, will be reviewed in each unit to coincide with our belief that this will consolidate children’s understanding of key concepts, such as scale and place, in Geography. The two EYFS units provide a solid foundation of geographical skills, knowledge and enquiry for children to transition successfully onto Key stage 1 Geography learning, whilst also working towards the Early Learning Goals.
Cross-curricular links are included throughout each unit, allowing children to make connections and apply their Geography skills to other areas of learning. Our enquiry questions form the basis for our Key stage 1 and 2 units, meaning that pupils gain a solid understanding of geographical knowledge and skills by applying them to answer enquiry questions.
Each unit contains elements of geographical skills and fieldwork to ensure that fieldwork skills are practised as often as possible, following an enquiry cycle that maps out the fieldwork process of question, observe, measure, record and present. This ensures children will learn how to decide on an area of enquiry, plan to measure data using a range of methods, capture the data and present it to a range of appropriate stakeholders in various formats. Fieldwork includes smaller opportunities on the school grounds to larger-scale visits to investigate physical and human features.
At Purley, Geography is taught in three termly blocks, Autumn 1, Spring 1 and Summer 1. This provides the opportunity for deep understanding of each geographical enquiry and allows for progression of skills throughout the year.
The expected impact of following this Geography scheme of work is that children will:
● Compare and contrast human and physical features to describe and understand similarities and differences between various places in the UK, Europe and the Americas.
● Name, locate and understand where and why the physical elements of our world are located and how they interact, including processes over time relating to climate, biomes, natural disasters and the water cycle.
● Understand how humans use the land for economic and trading purposes, including how the distribution of natural resources has shaped this.
● Develop an appreciation for how humans are impacted by and have evolved around the physical geography surrounding them and how humans have had an impact on the environment, both positive and negative.
● Develop a sense of location and place around the UK and some areas of the wider world using the eight-points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and keys on maps, globes, atlases, aerial photographs and digital mapping.
● Identify and understand how various elements of our globe create positioning, including latitude, longitude, the hemispheres, the tropics and how time zones work, including night and day.
● Present and answer their own geographical enquiries using planned and specifically chosen methodologies, collected data and digital technologies.
● Meet the ‘Understanding the World’ Early Learning Goals at the end of EYFS, and the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for Geography by the end of Year 2 and Year 6.
It is hoped that this enquiry-based approach to learning will encourage children to become curious and inspired geographers with respect and appreciation for the world around them, alongside an understanding of the interconnection between the human and the physical.