Geography Curriculum Intent
We believe the children at Hexham First School should have access to a Geography curriculum which will enable our pupils to have an appreciation for the very special and unique area we live in by gaining knowledge about our wonderful locality, the United Kingdom and the world. We want children to understand that everyone has a place in our inclusive school and community and develop an understanding and appreciation of what delights lay beyond it. We hope children will be proud of our school, community, town and County and develop an understanding of the features in our area, for example; Hexham Abbey, River Tyne, Hadrian’s wall, our town, Hexham and the city of Newcastle beyond. In an ever-changing world, we want our children to have a caring and protective view of the world and everyone who lives in it. We wish to equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to continuing achieving in the Geography Curriculum in their following years and explore the world in which they live.
We follow the National Curriculum to guide our subject content. Focussing on four areas:
- Location Knowledge
- Place Knowledge
- Human and Physical Geography
- Geographical Skills and Fieldwork
In Early Years, staff will follow children’s individual interests and experiences to guide their understanding alongside carefully chosen literature which will stimulate conversations. One example of this is our love of the book ‘You Choose’ by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt. Children will explore similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things and be able to talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.
Uniqueness is celebrated in our Early Years Unit and children develop their understanding that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. Reception class celebrate each class members ‘Uniqueness’ each week with their ‘We are all Unique’ session.
A Summer highlight in the Early Years Unit is the arrival of caterpillars and tadpoles where children make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
Key Stage 1
Progressing into Key Stage One, key vocabulary is selected and used throughout the unit of work and a key assessment question is used at the end of a unit which is designed to monitor children’s learning. A range of assessment opportunities are used such as, key questions, debate, poster creation, persuasive writing, creating booklets, drama and news report making.
In Key Stage One, pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. 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. In Year 1, children build on those essential noticing, observing and talking skills about their immediate environments, gained during their time in Early Years. They move onto learn about weather patterns in each season and what they mean to animals, people and the environment. They extend their knowledge of environment to the school grounds, developing skills in map reading, compass points, describing location and drawing their own maps to understand and acknowledge our school grounds. Moving that locational knowledge further, also in Year 1 children learn about the United Kingdom and it’s four Countries.
During their time in Year 2, children push their locational knowledge even further, learning about the seven continents and five seas in the Around the World in 80 Days topic, also delving into stories from around the world and identifying these locations on the map. Celebrating our rich local history in Northumberland, during Year 2, children visit and learn about castles, going to discuss why specific local location were chosen to build castle.
Key Stage 2
Moving on to Key stage 2 pupils, key vocabulary is continued and used throughout the unit of work and a key assessment question is used at the end of a unit, designed to monitor the children’s learning. A range of assessment opportunities are used such as, key questions, debate, poster creation, persuasive writing, creating booklets, drama and news report making. Children should progress and extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They should develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.
In Year 3, we broaden our horizons, learning about Volcanoes which complements our scientific subject content. Encouraging the caring ethos of our school, children appreciate the human aspect of living near volcanoes and its advantages for people choosing to live there. Moving onto study Greece, children in Year 3 combine Geography, History and English. Children will appreciate the physical Geography of Greece and be able to compare regions within that country. Strengthening locational knowledge of the UK, children will extend their knowledge of the four Countries and be able to name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics through the medium of football.
In Year 4, children zone back into our local wonderland, investigating where the Romans came from and why might moving from Rome to Northumberland have some similarities and some differences! Our local physical Geography is punctuated with Rivers and in Year 4, children learn about the parts of a river and to understand its journey and answers why our local rivers are important?
During their time at Hexham First School, it is our wish that pupils gain a highly regarded appreciation for our inclusive school and school community. They will leave knowing why Hexham is a special place to live and can describe our local human and physical Geography. They will have broad horizons and will be able to locate, describe and appreciate others parts of our world.
A range of monitoring measures are in place to reflect upon and judge the impact of our Geography curriculum. Teachers reflect upon the key assessment question task to see if children are working towards, at the expected level or greater depth in Geography for their age. Dedicated whole school Geography monitoring meetings provide consistent monitoring opportunities across key stages and throughout the school. Pupil voice sessions allows children to have an active role in the planning and monitoring cycle. We are lucky to have a strong and supportive Governing Body who are included in the Subject leadership cycle.