''So many of the world's current issues – at a global scale and locally - boil down to geography, and need the geographers of the future to help us understand them.”
What does geography look like at The Bliss Charity School?
The intent of our geography curriculum at The Bliss Charity School is to stimulate children’s curiosity with the world around them through the teaching of key knowledge concepts and skills, which will enable pupils to think and act like geographers. Our curriculum intentions are:
- To build upon the child’s personal geography by developing knowledge, understanding and key skills through studying places and themes.
- To use an enquiry led approach to enable pupils to develop their questioning skills and think like a geographer.
- To equip pupils with the substantive knowledge of diverse societies and cultures; physical and human processes and interdependence.
- To enable pupils to gain the necessary disciplinary knowledge, which will provide children with a set of skills that can help them to make sense of the world and their place within it.
- To develop pupils’ fieldwork skills in order to answer questions about places in our locality and compare findings to contrasting locations.
- To deepen understanding of environmental issues and sustainability and think critically about human behaviour and how this impacts the world in which we live.
- To use our creative curriculum to enhance children’s learning and enjoyment in geography and strengthen understanding of key knowledge concepts.
How is our geography curriculum organised?
To achieve our aims, our geography curriculum is designed to help children know more, remember more and deepen understanding of key concepts and skills. The Bliss Charity School adopts a creative curriculum which uses both discrete teaching of geography while also making use of strong links between subjects to deepen understanding and engage pupils.
The curriculum is implemented in the following ways:
- Substantive knowledge content is sequential and organised so that children have opportunities to revisit prior knowledge, build on what they know and deepen their understanding. Our substantive concepts are: place, scale, interdependence, human and physical processes, environmental and cultural diversity.
- Disciplinary knowledge is embedded throughout our geography curriculum and revisited at different points within each key stage, with skills becoming increasingly more complex as children progress through the school. Our disciplinary concepts are: map skills, fieldwork, similarities and differences, research and enquiry and cause and consequence.
- Geography is mapped using the National Curriculum objectives to ensure coverage, depth and balance. Cross-curricular opportunities are used to make strong links between subject areas, which deepen understanding and engage pupils in their learning.
- Progression in skills document is used to ensure that teachers have a secure knowledge of the expectations within each year group; can build on prior knowledge and use this to help children retrieve information that will embed learning in geography.
- Vocabulary document is used to make sure pupils are proficient in using geographical language that is needed to help them understand the substantive knowledge and engage with disciplinary concepts that enable them to ‘think like a geographer’.
How do we review and assess learning in geography?
The geography subject leader, senior leadership team and class teachers are all involved in measuring the impact of our geography curriculum. Teaching and learning reviews show the positive impact of our geography curriculum and provide evidence for the good progress that pupils make in geography across each key stage.
By the time children leave The Bliss Charity School, they have a deeper knowledge of their locality, the United Kingdom and countries in the wider world. They can compare and contrast places using subject-specific vocabulary and understand human and physical processes in different locations. Furthermore, pupils can apply their geographical knowledge to conduct a range of enquiries and know how to use fieldwork skills to investigate places in depth.
The impact of our geography curriculum is reviewed through:
- Whole school Teaching and learning reviews, which are carried out by the geography subject leader. These are evaluated and provide an ongoing review cycle that informs future Subject Action Plans.
- Lesson observations and learning in books.
- Pupil voice is used to evaluate learning in geography.
- Meetings with the subject-linked governor are used to evaluate our geography provision, assess the impact and offer support in developing the subject further.