Geography Curriculum Statement
Geography helps children to explore the natural and human worlds – asking questions and discovering how the world works. Children are encouraged to develop an understanding of our world, how everything is connected and their place within it. The Geography curriculum at Pilsley enables the children to cultivate a range of investigation and problem solving skills as well as developing an understanding of geographical concepts, key knowledge and skills.
We seek to inspire in our children a connection and fascination with the world and its people, locally and beyond. We aim to promote the children’s curiosity about diverse places and people. Through geography, children will explore and compare a range of natural and human environments to deepen their understanding of the Earth’s network of physical and human processes.
At the core of our Geography curriculum is the NC programme of study, which is personalised for our children. Progression is ensured by the effective assessment of impact. This curriculum prepares our children for their future education and life beyond.
Geography is taught in class groups in blocks of lessons throughout an academic year. In our curriculum design we aim to have at least one topic that is geography focused per year as well as geography links embedded within other topics. This structure allows us to have an in-depth focus on geography skills as well as revisiting them throughout the year.
At Pilsley, we use the Cornerstones scheme of work. This covers all of the NC objectives through exciting and engaging topics where skills are transferable between subjects. Geography is taught in a cross-curricular way, making connections between subjects within topics. This gives an opportunity for quality geography writing in English lessons and bringing geography skills into Maths lessons. Some geography lessons are taught more discretely using the Knowledge Rich Projects from cornerstones which are designed for greater depth of understanding in specific subjects. These topics are taught over a two-year cycle so that our mixed age classes have even coverage of the curriculum. The subject lead and class teachers work together to identify the key knowledge and skills of each topic, enabling progression throughout each class across the school. The content of each topic is considered in the long-term planning ensuring that the topics support the whole-school long term curriculum plan.
At the beginning of each topic, teachers will encourage children to convey what they already know about that topic as well as what they would like to learn. This informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are personalised and take account of children’s different starting points. Consideration is given to the accommodation of our greater depth learners as well as to the support pupils may need to access the programme of study. Each child is given a topic web to stick in their book at the beginning of the topic so that can see what they’ll be learning that half term.
Our local area is utilised fully to achieve personalised outcomes, with opportunities for outside learning embedded in practice.
Children participate in physical hands-on activities and create a range of independent work in books as well as group projects and presentations to evidence their key learning in each topic. This allows class teachers to assess their knowledge acquisition and skills progression in a variety of ways. Teachers will use this information to inform future learning for the children. At the end of each topic the children will use the topic web in their books to self-assess against each subject within the topic. Assessment for Learning is embedded in practice, with both staff and children continually reflecting on their learning, allowing for support and extension in both knowledge and skills. In every area of school life our pupils are given very high expectations in their behaviour. We have a successful rewards and consequences system, which progresses throughout the school to maintain effectiveness.