We believe that the teaching of Geography should acknowledge the pivotal role human beings can play in securing the future of our planet. Within our knowledge rich curriculum, children are given time to build on the geographical vocabulary they have learned to deepen their geographical understanding of key concepts such as cultural diversity and global citizenship. We inspire to instil a love for enquiry and agency in our children, motivating them to take an active part in contributing to and growing up to be conscious and connected global citizens.
Our Geography curriculum is designed to nurture pupils inquisitive thinking and questioning skills, encouraging the pupils to develop a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation of their local area starting in EYFS and key stage 1, extending into key stage 2 where they build on their knowledge of the local area and its place within the wider geographical context. Links are carefully planned between geography and our global curriculum themes so that children contextualise their learning and shape their understanding of the world on a local, national and global scale.
In key stage 1, this process starts with learning about our school and local area and community and then widens to studies of the City of London and Europe. The children progress with firstly naming and identifying their local area and landmarks during a visit to the Royal Arsenal in Year 1, where children use their observational skills, and a trip to Royal Greenwich Park in Year 2, where children learn to use compasses. They will also build on their knowledge of their local area in year 5 where they will study the unit ‘Woolwich and the War’.
Children’s progression in KS2 of locational and place knowledge moves from the local areas studied in KS1, to looking at differences and similarities between England and non-European countries in Year 3, with a strong theme of cultural diversity running all the way through, examining how our local community was formed. Children will deepen their understanding of physical geography during their studies of rivers in Year 3 and natural disasters in Year 4, supported by visits to the Natural History Museum and Deptford Creek.
In each year group, fieldwork skills are developed and built on across all topics. Children learn to use directional language, read a map, use a compass, identify landmarks using grid references and use a range of digital mapping tools.
Children’s geographical learning starts with the familiar and slowly builds outwards, from London, to the UK, to Europe, Africa and South America. Understanding of physical geography also starts with the familiar: from the seaside in Year 1, to rivers and volcanoes in Year 3 and 4 and the water cycle in year 5. More in-depth studies allow children to develop their understanding of the interactions between physical and human geography, with units on the Gambia in Year 2, The Ethiopian utopia Awra Amba in Year 5 and The Caribbean in Year 6.
Progression within the curriculum is clear; starting with the familiar and extending outwards. Progression in fieldwork skills is built across units, with the Greenwich unit in Years 2 and Rainforest unit in Year 6 offering rich opportunities for mapping, technical drawing and exploring their environment in a concrete physical way. Other units offer scope for children to use digital resources, globes, atlases and Geographical Information Systems to explore regions. Key technical and tier 2 vocabulary is mapped onto each unit, allowing children to build a rich bank of geographical language.
Each unit is supported by a Knowledge Organiser which details the key knowledge, vocabulary and skills for each unit, as well as prior learning and vocabulary that will be built upon. This is launched through a hook at the beginning of each unit and revisited within each lesson. Knowledge organisers are also sent home at the beginning of each half term to allow children to begin to explore learning with their families.
Throughout all key stages the Sustainable Development Goals are linked and embedded in the learning underpinned by the moral purpose and questioning of the topic.
Reception – Our local area
Year 1 – Local Geographical Study; Coastal study and the Impact of Plastic Pollution
Year 2 – Royal Greenwich Park and the UK compared to The Gambia – innovative environmental solutions
Year 3 – Locational Knowledge of the UK; Rivers; Locational Study of Egypt
Year 4 – Country Comparison: Greece and Sierra Leone with the UK; comparison of the UK to Italy: natural disasters of Mount Vesuvius and Pompei; UK comparison to Sri Lanka
Year 5 – The Ethiopian Utopia: Awra Amba; The Water Cycle; the Caribbean; Woolwich and the War
Year 6 – Rainforests (Amazon and Congo): The Impact of Colonies on Indigenous Groups; Africa as a Continent of Contrasts: The Scramble for Africa and the Colonisation of the Continent; USA and UK comparison: possible and probable futures