‘Learning and growing side by side in God’s love’
Geography at Eastry Church of England Primary School provides the perfect platform for reinforcing our school Christian vision and values. We encourage our children to emulate the school environment of a welcoming, happy, safe and nurturing place beyond our school gates into their immediate surroundings and the wider world.
In learning about places in the world both near and far from Eastry, we discover the effect of the school’s values on the human and physical geography in a wide variety of different places around the world.
Geographical studies at Eastry Church of England Primary School are planned to initiate and develop a lifelong curiosity in our world, inspiring fascination about the earth and its inhabitants.
We have a diverse society and children need to understand, welcome and embrace other people and their cultures. Compassion and respect for others around the world makes a major contribution to our children’s social, emotional and intellectual development.
Geography at Eastry Church of England Primary School is challenging, motivating, topical and fun. Educating our children about their world will help them to lead the way when planning a safe and happy planet for everyone in the future.
“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty, the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.” Sir David Attenborough
Children at Eastry Church of England Primary School are taught about a variety of different places, people, resources, natural and human environments. The awe and wonder found in the natural world is frequently used to hook children into each termly topic. Geography is often the focus of a year group’s termly topic. We believe that by immersing children in a cross curricular topic that covers as many subjects as possible (often with a geographical theme driving that topic) concepts, facts and vocabulary can be reinforced regularly, making the learning deeper and our children more likely to retain information and apply skills learned to their own lives.
Question led planning in geography and across all subjects in the school ensures continuity for the children and embeds a way of learning that is enquiry based – essential in geography and in line with the programmes of study for history in the National Curriculum.
Using the criteria and guidance from the EYFS curriculum and the National Curriculum, teaching is adapted to the needs and abilities of our children.
In EYFS a combination of teacher directed learning and activities is reinforced with planned and spontaneous opportunities during ‘Discovery Time’, to revisit aspects of the “Knowledge and Understanding the World” thread of the EYFS curriculum. There are also opportunities for topic learning to be planned according to the children’s interests and this often is focused on or develops geographical learning / vocabulary. Daily reinforcement of vocabulary e.g. positional language and asking where as well as finding our way around our new classroom / school grounds, builds the foundations of geographical learning.
In KS1 children further develop a sense of different locations - their own homes / village extending to our capital city, the countries of the UK and the world beyond the UK. Children learn the continents and oceans of the world. This leads into wider geographical enquiry and comparisons between places around the world and our own area, homes and lives, focussing on the traditions as well as human / physical geography of each location using maps (their own and published versions), globes, photos, fieldwork, stories, role play and research.
By KS2 children extend their knowledge to a variety of locations around the world as well as learning a number of places in the UK and their topographical features and formation / use of landscapes and environments.. This provides a firm foundation for comparison and analysis of human and physical features of different locations.
Children are encouraged to develop their skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis and evaluation through the use of maps, digital maps, globes, photos, fieldwork, stories, role play with a growing emphasis on their own research.
Depth of study is enhanced by including use of fieldwork to gather data and children’s interest is ignited through investigation and exploration of the unique geographical features of our local area e.g. coasts and countryside. Children use the local environment for field trips to enhance their experience making it relevant to them whilst deepening their understanding of physical and human geography close to their own homes, They can then apply this knowledge and compare it to the wider world.
Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, are interconnected and change over time.
We explicitly teach geographical vocabulary in a progressive way through the school from year R to Year 6 to ensure children continually add to their growing understanding of geographical concepts and have the opportunity to overlearn key vocabulary. In line with this, the learning environment in each class will display a termly topic board to showcase either stimulus display or working wall style displays (often with a geographical focus) to be added to as the topic progresses. Both will include this key vocabulary. Also displayed in each classroom, children will find the key human and physical terms related to the topics they are learning and past topics in order to develop and to help embed this critical language. This will be referred to each lesson to support and reinforce geographical language.
Children’s knowledge, understanding and progress is measured using the criteria set out in the skills document. Children are assessed as below, emerging, expected or exceeding according to the skills taught in each topic. Intervention in the form of pre teaching, overlearning and reinforcement at the beginning of each lesson gives all children every chance of success.
This data is then used to track children who would bene and enrich the children’s fit from pre-teaching / reinforcement with a focus on geographical vocabulary – to support future learning as well as the current topic.
Our geography curriculum lends itself to outdoor opportunities and outdoor learning. Children explore, map, sketch, compare and analyse our extensive outdoor area. This provides a familiar context, generates excitement and a passion and serves to deepen their understanding of the learning. Educational visits and special workshops foster a love of the subject and enriches the children’s geographical experiences.
Our school values and British values are applied to every aspect of our teaching of geography. By comparing and analysing human and physical impact on our local environment and the world, our children can see how compassion, joy, respect, welcoming and perseverance have a direct effect on their world and geographical studies help children at Eastry Church of England Primary School to think about and take action on worldwide issues such as climate change and poverty.
Where a geography topic is the focus of a term, there will be geography home learning options set via the termly home learning topic grid.
Children leave Eastry C of E Primary School with a secure understanding of location, place, and the human and physical geography of many place in the world. They remember geographical vocabulary learnt and can share their geographical understanding in a variety of ways – sketches and their own drawings of maps, written and word processed explanations, photographs, graphs, tables and charts, and internet based research regardless of group, faith, resources or background.
Pupil and parent voice shows us that the children thrive on the topic led approach to learning. Cross-curricular work gives our children lots of crossover and reinforcement across a wide variety of subjects, deepening their understanding of the topic.
Their geographical knowledge gives our children the opportunity to be ambassadors for our world. Treating it with the respect and compassion it needs, learning from mistakes the human race has made in the past in order to ensure it is a safe place for all in the future. These firm foundations encourage our children to continue developing geographical knowledge and skills beyond the classroom and outside of our primary school.