At St Agnes we believe that Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. Children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, from their local everyday experience to the global picture, as well as their place in it. The Geography curriculum builds their sense of what is where in the world and the ways in which things are connected – and why. Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. 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. We want our children to be aware of the environmental and humanitarian issues facing our planet and understand that their daily lives and actions have an impact. We want them to actively engage in conservation work and to become thinking, questioning and responsible people both now and in the future. We want our children to feel a sense of place, belonging and pride in their local community and Cornwall as a whole and to appreciate we are both unique and connected to the wider world. We also aim to provide our children with the skills, knowledge and vocabulary to pose and answer questions confidently, clearly and accurately.
We want our children to think and act like geographers and to be inspired by and responsible for the world in which they live.
Our curriculum is designed to ensure breadth, balance and coherence. Through carefully considered units our children are given the wide contextual knowledge needed to locate and place new learning and make meaningful connections. At the beginning of each unit prior learning is revisited to make links between what they already know and new learning. This also ensures our children have an understanding of the large context and the deeper detail.
In every year group there is an 'Our Planet Focus' which explores a particular environmental or humanitarian issue and makes links with local charities and groups such as Surfers Against Sewage in Y2, ShelterBox in Year 3 and Cornwall Wildlife Trust in Y5. Joint projects may include beach cleans and Plastic Free Schools, raising money for Shelterbox or planting butterfly friendly plants and making bug hotels with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.
In addition, most year groups have a unit exploring our locality, such as our school in Year 1, our local beach in Y2 and our village and Cornwall in Y3.
There is an identified opportunity for fieldwork in each year group, the skills for which have been mapped out to ensure progression. We believe fieldwork is of great importance not only in making use of and understanding our local area but in developing the problem solving skills of our learners.
At the beginning of each academic year, a short unit of map skills is taught to ensure our children have the necessary skills and knowledge for the year ahead. These are also planned out to ensure year on year progression.
Knowledge organisers underpin every unit and set out the key concepts, knowledge and vocabulary to be learnt in that unit. They are used throughout the unit as reference, to revise and secure previous learning and to assess progress. Where children are not able to keep up with their peers, provision is made to catch them up through guided work, one to one instruction, peer support, additional resources or task differentiation with our aim always being to ensure that all our children have the knowledge, skills and vocabulary to be able to move securely to next stage of their learning. In order to ascertain misconceptions and elicit prior learning, a quiz is taken at the beginning of each unit to help teachers establish starting points for teaching. The quiz is taken again at the end of the unit to assess how much has been learnt and address any gaps in learning before moving on.
Key vocabulary is explicitly taught at the beginning of each unit, to ensure children can access and understand taught material and also communicate their own learning clearly and accurately.
Geography is taught in weekly lessons for about an hour. However, teachers may decide to block lessons together if they feel it would benefit the learning.
At St Agnes Academy, we have 3 measures of curriculum impact, all of which are essential in ensuring that our children make excellent progress, are ready for the next phase in their learning journey and are well-rounded, thoughtful and responsible individuals. Our 3 measures are:
- What we learn
- Who we are
- How we behave
Through enquiry based learning our children will be confident in asking questions and have the necessary skills and tenacity to answer them. They will have developed problem solving skills and be able to carry out investigative work both independently and collaboratively.
Our children will be informed, inspired and independent.