Our school community is concerned about the environment. Our pupils live in the city of Birmingham, with many unable to access the enriching experiences the outdoors can provide. Our curriculum aims to ensure our pupils understand the impact of ‘our way of life’ in the world we live in. At Bellfield Infant school, we aim to ensure that Geography enables our pupils to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural world and human aspects of it. We strive for our pupils to develop knowledge and skills in Geography that are transferable to other curriculum areas.
Our intention is that all pupils:
- Develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world and their place in it.
- Foster a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world in which they live and develop a sense of place.
- Become familiar with their own surroundings and extend their knowledge, understanding and interest of contrasting localities in Britain, Europe and the wider world.
- Develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places.
- Develop an interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources, and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
- Appreciate similarities and differences in the world around them, an have an understanding of the lives of others and respect for others’ values, attitudes and beliefs.
- Develop their geographical vocabulary and skills (i.e begin able to collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences such as fieldwork).
- Interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs etc.
- Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills, and writing.
- Ask and answer questions about the world around them.
- Develop a simple understanding of environmental sustainability.
Our enriching geography curriculum is planned and sequenced to assure curriculum breadth, coverage and content allows clear progression in knowledge and skills. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge of the world will deepen their understanding of the interaction between the physical and human processes and the consequences of that interaction on landscapes and environments.
Our curriculum is designed to ensure learning is built on over time in an organised and sequential way. Lessons assure lively, effective and appropriate learning. Lessons are taught with depth and a clear purpose for learning. We teach following the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. Cross curricular outcomes in geography are planned for, with strong links between geography and other lessons identified and utilised.
We strive for our pupils to:
- Have a secure knowledge of where places are and what they are like.
- Develop a deep knowledge, understanding an appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context
- Have an strong foundation of geographical knowledge and vocabulary.
- Develop fluency in geographical enquiry and have the ability to apply questioning skills.
- Be able to explain their findings.
- Have a passion and commitment for Geography, and a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there.
- Be able to express their ideas and opinions, embedded in very good knowledge and understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the environment.
The impact of the geography curriculum will be measured in the following ways:
- Pupil voice – children can confidently talk about their learning and recall recent and previous learning
- Pupil voice – children can show how geographical knowledge is impacting on their choices as citizens
- Standards and quality of children’s learning as evaluated through learning reviews, and knowledge assessments.
Teaching and Learning
Through their work in geography, children will learn about their local area (Northfield and Birmingham) and compare life in this area with that in other regions in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.
As pupils progress through EYFS and into Key Stage 1, they deepen their knowledge and understanding of physical and human geography, have a secure understanding of locational and place knowledge and expand on their geography skills and fieldwork. Pupils will:
- Learn how to use maps, atlases and globes
- Know and use simple compass directions and locational and directional language
- Be able to describe the location of features and routes on a map Geography
- Use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features
- Devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key
- Use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment
- Understand and use a wide range of geographical vocabulary
- Gain insight, appreciation and respect of other cultures and societies
- Have ample opportunities for outdoor learning which is planned for and progressive throughout the school.
At Bellfield Infant school, assessment for learning is a continuous throughout the planning, teaching, and learning cycle. Geographical knowledge is taught to enable and promote the development of children’s geographical skills.
Assessment is supported by:
- Observing children at work, individually, in pairs, in a group and in class during whole class teaching.
- Using differentiated, open-ended questions.
- Providing effective feedback.
- Book moderation and monitoring of outcomes of work.
Planning and Resources
Geography resources are stored and can be located easily. Our school library contains various and an extensive supply of geography topic books to support children’s individual research. Children can also use various ICT resources to support their learning.
Planning is achieved collaboratively with parallel year group colleagues and linked to topic overviews. Each topic overview makes explicit links to the national curriculum 2014, EYFS Framework or Development Matters. Additional cross curricular outcomes are also identified prior to teaching.
Early Years explore geographical themes and content through the Understanding of the World strand of the EYFS curriculum. Following the Educational Programmes:
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.
Staff in EYFS use a range of stories and non-fiction texts to explore geography and inspire curiosity and wonder in pupils. Awareness of the ELGs by the end of the year, Educational Programmes and COEL ensure opportunities are provided for children to achieve and be successful in geography by the end of Reception in EYFS. This involves guiding the children to develop sense of their physical world, as well as their community, through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. They are assessed according to the Development Matters agenda and EYFSP.
Key Stage One
During Key Stage 1 pupils will investigate their local area and a contrasting area in the United Kingdom or abroad, finding out about the environment in both areas and the people who live there. They also begin to learn about the wider world. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this, they ask geographical questions about people, places and environments, and use geographical skills and resources such as maps and photographs.
During Key Stage 1 pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their local area. They should understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.
- name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans
- name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas
- understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country
Human and physical geography
- identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles
- use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to:
- key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather
- key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop
Geographical skills and fieldwork
- use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage
- use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language to describe the location of features and routes on a map
- use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features; devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key
- use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment.
All children regardless of their race, sex, religion, religious belief or ability will be given equal opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of Geography. During the study of other places similarities between the lifestyles of others and that of ourselves are drawn and negative or purely stereotypical or exotic images are challenged. Children are made aware that decisions and processes in one locality affect and are affected by decisions and processes in other localities. Care is taken to present both sides of a debate clearly and fairly when discussing issues over land use or physical and economic development. During the study of economic development children are made aware of underlying inequalities in power, influence, benefits and advantages, both physical and economic. Children from a variety of ethnic backgrounds have an important part to play in developing a respect for those who live in other places. Their families’ experiences are valued and included in our curriculum whenever possible.
Health and safety
Fieldwork and site visits are an important part of Geographical work and school health, and safety guidelines will be adhered to at all times. Risk assessments will be carried out before any fieldwork takes place.
Geographical Skills Progression
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In Key Stage 1 children need to be able to look at maps. Below are maps of Northfield and Bellfield Infant School for children to use.