As geographers, our pupils deserve to be infused with knowledge and skills to become global citizens. They will be able to explore curiosity; develop a sense of awe and wonder of our planet; be equipped to think critically and creatively; solve problems of sustainability to support the future of our planet. Our geography classrooms show the world at its largest; it encompasses the whole Earth, with its power to create immense beauty and terrible danger, as well as celebrate its wonderful diversity.
Through our exciting curriculum and provision, our pupils will embark their educational journey by acquiring rich knowledge and skills to become independent and successful learners, happy, healthy and confident individuals who become the responsible and caring citizens of society. We will provide our pupils with the ability to develop understanding and tolerance of the world around them – the people, the places, the processes and nourish their curiosity, broaden their horizons and challenge prejudices. Pupils develop core geographical skills as critical thinkers; compare and contrast; make connections; gather, analyse, present and interpret spatial information, which they will recognise patterns in and become inquisitive by asking perceptive questions. Above all, we will demonstrate and instil passion; inspire through memorable opportunities and provide experiences within and beyond the classroom in real-life context to ensure that they strive to achieve.
Through our knowledge-engaged curriculum, our pupils will acquire both knowledge and skills through our carefully thought out curriculum, which is line with the National Curriculum. We have identified key substantive concepts and disciplinary concepts, also known as golden threads to help us achieve this.
At Braybrook, Geography teaching focuses on enabling children to think as ‘geographers’. We place an emphasis on geographical skills to help aid and support rich knowledge. In unison of this, we will also provide opportunities (where possible) to follow lines of inquiry; encouraging children to be inquisitive and ask questions to deepen their knowledge further. We encourage pupils be explore their curiosities and become critical thinkers within our knowledge and concepts taught. Skills of a ‘Geographer’ are shared with our pupils and promoted through our learning posters; which are referred to within our lessons and found at the front of their geography book.
In each key stage, we provide children with the opportunity to go beyond The National Curriculum, providing opportunities to explore phenomena observable in the locality and make geography meaningful through memorable experiences. We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences. We recognise and value the importance of stories in geography teaching and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest of people and place. We encourage our pupils to build their vocabulary and apply it through oracy skills to articulate their knowledge.
We recognise the fact that in all classes there are children of widely-different abilities in geography and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child, whilst still ensuring they can work towards our end points successfully. We achieve this by:
- Constructing curriculum plans into small steps and ensure the working memory is not overloaded.
- Recall and repeated retrieval practice at the start of every lesson means pupils save their knowledge into their long-term memory and encourage pupils to know more, remember more and can do more.
- Setting tasks are open-ended and can have a variety of responses, whilst ensuring pupils think like geographers.
- Setting tasks of increasing challenge, which is scaffolded where needed.
- Providing children with the opportunities to not only work with their ability group, but having the experiences of working in mixed ability pairings to ensure all pupils have the chance to strive.
- Providing resources of different complexity depending on the ability of the child.
- Ensure all pupils have first class quality teaching provided.
In the foundation stage, teaching is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and is implemented as part of Understanding the World: Past and Present, through themes. They also play an integral part of the progression to our end points and use continuous provision to meet their objectives and have been carefully planned for to ensure they are part of our geography vision.
To ensure our pupil make progress, learn more and remember more, we ensure that we provide children with the opportunity to retrieve key information and make links that build on prior learning. At Braybrook, we want to ensure that knowledge and skills are transferred from the short-term memory to the long -term, by providing opportunities to remember and make learning ‘stick’. We also ensure that the national curriculum objectives reoccur on multiple occasions in each year group and repeated through later year groups.
The geography subject leader monitors samples of children’s work and evaluates these to ensure standards are being met and provide support where needed. These demonstrate what the expected level of achievement is in geography for each age group in the school and are also used as evidence of coverage for each year group; ensuring that the national curriculum objectives are met in a broad and balanced way. In addition to this, pupil conferencing is undertaken by the subject lead and professional dialogue exchanged with staff to support the evidence provided. Book looks and coverage monitoring is undertaken by the geography subject lead on a termly basis, with feedback provided and actions carefully monitored. Teachers have an opportunity to respond and engage with these. Teachers will make a judgement on the end points, key concepts and knowledge to determine if they have yet to obtain, met or exceeded the unit objectives and report this to parents at the end of each academic year, through school reports. This will be shared with the subject lead and the cohorts next teacher. The subject lead will track each class, in line with the end points, to ensure that most children are on track to leaving Braybrook as successful, confident geographers.