We are proud to have been awarded the national Geography Award at Silver level showing our commitment to providing high quality geography education.
The Primary Geography Quality Mark is seen as a key strategy for raising the quality of Geography in Primary schools. Over the past year, everyone at Boundary has made a contribution to achieving our first Geography Mark and we are very proud to achieve the Silver Award.
The Geographical Association states the following about schools who have been awarded the mark:
‘The teachers in these schools ensure that their planning, policies and practice maximise pupil learning and are not afraid to take risks, innovate and challenge to achieve progress in geography. Key threads through the curriculum are intercultural understanding, local fieldwork, environmental issues, critical thinking and sustainability. These are explored in a variety of places across the world from local to global. The schools use creative approaches to stimulate learning and place high value on using real-life issues to promote understanding.’
Geography at Boundary
At Boundary, geography education is fully inclusive to every child. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Geography; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills; and for the children to develop a love for geography. Furthermore, we aim to 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 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England)
Geography has a wide application to everyday life, teaching the children to enjoy learning about the world and to have a better understanding of how people live in different locations.
The intent of teaching geography in our school is:
- For children to be curious and inquisitive about their imitate and wider world and creative in the way they think.
- For children to have good knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and the natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
- To create a passion for and commitment to the subject, and a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there.
- To facilitate the learning and understanding of an extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary.
- Access to quality resources.
- Provide practical geographical learning opportunities where possible. Fieldwork, creating a river, local area walks, EYFS outdoor learning, world Balloons for example.
- To provide children with as many geographical experiences as possible as we know our children experience cultural capital. We have raised the profile of geography in school by purchasing a large world map and placing it in a key location for the children to access, use, engage with and learn from.
- Through a two-unit approach to delivering and teaching Geography, with all objectives revisited multiples times in each phase in different contexts, to help children to develop a deeper, more in depth Geographical understanding, embedding, consolidating and retaining learning over time.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in geography, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Geography is taught as part of a termly topic, focusing on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum and progression through our four key geographical areas investigate places, investigate patterns and communicating geographically.
The geography curriculum at Boundary is based upon the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England, which provides a broad framework and outlines the knowledge and skills and taught in each Key Stage. Teachers plan lessons for their class using the National Curriculum, Chris Quigley threshold concepts, our progression of knowledge and skills document and milestone and Geography Association Super Schemes as a base for planning; enhancing pupils engagement within lessons, providing wider learning opportunities and opportunities for greater depth and deeper learning. These are adapted and tailored to suit the individual classes needs. The progression document ensures the curriculum is covered and the skills/knowledge taught is progressive from year group to year group. Fieldwork opportunities are incorporated wherever possible and Digimaps is also used within all years, building on and extending the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding. Key geographical words are used within all lessons as are a range of resources to support learning.
Geography teaching focuses on enabling children to think as geographers. A variety of teaching approaches are used based on the teacher’s judgement and provides excellent opportunities to enhance the learning of more able pupils through the investigations, analysing sources and writing extending pieces.
Educational visits are another opportunity for the teachers to plan for additional geography learning outside the classroom. Our children have had many opportunities to experience geography on educational visits. The children have explored the local area including orienteering within the school grounds, been on a local river visit, explored a local woodland area in EYFS and all children have weekly forest school lessons one half term.
Within geography, we strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning by providing investigative and inquiry based learning opportunities. Emphasis is placed on investigative learning opportunities to help children gain a coherent knowledge of understanding of each unit of work covered throughout the school.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
(By the end of Year 6)
- To be able to use and interpret data and graphs.
- To be able to ask geographical questions. Eg how are things formed?
- To be able to use and understand geographical language in different contexts.
- To know and use a compass (8 points)
- To read and create maps to locate places, landmarks and features
- To have a secure knowledge of places around the world and the UK.
- To recognise and understand physical features of the environment, such as rivers, mountains.
- To recognise and understand human elements of Geography, such as town growth and landmarks.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Summative assessment of pupil discussions about their learning.
- Images and videos of the children’s practical learning.
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Moderation staff meetings where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
- Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum.
- Marking of written work in books.
Geography progression Throughout School
Our Boundary Geography journey starts in EYFS. Children have daily opportunities to explore and learn about their immediate world around them. As they transition into Year 1, the children start to learn about their local area, as well as gaining a basic understanding of the countries within the UK and the continents of the world. Year 2 move onto learning about the poles and hot and cold places in the world in relation to the equator. They build on their UK knowledge and compare it to Australia, a non-European contrasting country too.
At the start of Year 3 our children revisit their learning about the UK, going into more depth, by taking a virtual train journey to different cities across our country. They then move onto learning about Europe in lower KS2, again “visiting” different counties, this time by plane. Finally Year 3 will finish the year by learning about volcanoes, including Mount Vesuvius in Italy. A country they “visited” on their European Adventure.
In Year 4 the children learn about UK Coastlines, again revisiting, recapping and building on their previous UK knowledge. (This process is on going, learning is always revisited, recapped and build upon from previous years to help the children retain knowledge and learning – facilitating learning over time.) At the end of Year 4 children prepare for Upper KS2 through expanding their knowledge outside of Europe through looking at food miles, economic activity including trade links and the distribution of natural resources.
In Year 5 children learn about UK, European and World rovers, including some of the rivers in the amazon rainforest, before going on an adventure through America. Finally in Year 6 all the children’s previous geographical knowledge, skills and experiences are drawn upon and pulled together. The children learn about mountains, climate zones, weather, longitude, latitude and time zones across the world before completing an in depth local area study in their last half term at primary school.
Our school geographical journey had been carefully planned for to meet our children’s needs, to allow for progression of skills and knowledge to be build up and to facilitate in depth, consolidated learning over time.
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