At Asquith we want our children to be interested and excited about the world in which they live. We want our children to be inquisitive about where they live and the wider world, to ask questions and to learn about the diversity of people, places, natural and human environments. At Asquith we follow the EYFS and the National Curriculum.
Children join us with very little basic geographical skills and knowledge of the world around them. We take learning right back to their starting point and build upon it. We teach geographical skills and knowledge in a systematic way, beginning with the local area and moving to the wider world. This enables children to relate to something that they have a concrete knowledge of before considering more abstract concepts. Our curriculum is designed to provide our children with the geographical vocabulary they need to describe, question and discuss the world.
We want our children to leave us with a solid foundation of geographical skills and locational knowledge. They will know where Mansfield is in the world and a will have a knowledge of the wider world.
Based upon the National Curriculum, the EYFS curriculum and the individual needs of our children, we have created a Geography progression map, which sets out the knowledge, skills and vocabulary taught in each year group. Our progression map ensures that knowledge builds progressively and that children develop skills systematically.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, we focus on Geography during the spring term, through awe inspiring topics. This allows us the time to delve deeper into topics, allowing children to achieve depth in their learning. In Key Stage 2, these topics are taught on a two-year rolling program because we have mixed year group classes. In our EYFS, geography is interwoven throughout the year taking advantage of the opportunities to explore the school environment during different seasons.
Children’s geographical learning starts with the familiar and slowly builds outwards. We begin with what children know and can see, giving geography real meaning. In our EYFS, we focus on our immediate environment, describing what we can see and where things are. In Key Stage One we explore the local area, and where we are in the world. In year 2 we take advantage of a link we have with a school in South Africa and the photographs and knowledge some of our teachers gained when visiting the school there. This inspires children’s curiosity and the real photographs and firsthand knowledge enhances the learning.
At Asquith, we revisit and recall knowledge from prior learning and then build upon it. We provide opportunities for children to practise until they reach fluency with their geographical skills. Fieldwork is an important part of our Geography curriculum. Geographical skills are taught in the classroom and then applied in the real world, with a real purpose. Children use their geographical skills to find, measure, discover, answer questions and communicate their findings. We know from talking to our pupils, that they love applying their skills outside of the classroom. Fieldwork inspires them, opens their eyes to the geography all around them and creates memorable experiences which supports long term learning and recall. We also learn about our place in the world and our responsibilities for it. This is reinforced through our school Eco group who learn about, implement and educate others on ways to help the environment.
Through our geography curriculum, we will ensure that our learners are equipped with the geographical skills and knowledge they will need for secondary school and for life in the wider world. Children will have a deeper knowledge, understanding and appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context. They will have a curiosity about the world and the people in it, appreciating difference. They will understand the impact humans are having on the environment, both locally and globally, and they will know how they can make a positive difference.