At Village Infants School, we are committed to providing all children with rich learning opportunities to engage in geography and inspire children to have a curiosity and fascination about the world. We strive to promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places and people. We believe that Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject, and it is through investigation that we develop geographical understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. Geography at Village Infants is based on our core values and promotes positive emotional and physical health and provides enriching experiences and opportunities that broaden children’s cultural capital and supports a development and belief of a growth mindset, that they can achieve anything.
At Village Infants School, we encourage the children to have active, hands-on lessons to provide them with enriching experiences. Lessons incorporate a broad range of skills from map work to fieldwork as well as drawing on cross-curricular skills with subjects such as Maths, Literacy, History and Computing. To enrich children’s experiences, each year group participates in a fieldwork study analysing their local environment. In Early Years fieldwork is based on the local area, in Year 1 this is progressed further onto the UK and coastlines with a visit to Southend, and in Year 2 a visit to Leigh on sea focuses on the human and physical features, alongside the use of a compass. Our lessons provide and encourage challenge, supporting children to think with a growth mindset through investigation and exploration and understanding the importance of perseverance, resilience, curiosity through acquiring map reading skills.
At Village Infant School, Key Stage 1 follow the National Curriculum programme of study, these objectives form the basis of all our planning. This is broken down into 4 main areas of teaching: locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography and geographical skills and fieldwork. We plan topics in Geography so that they build upon prior learning. Teachers ensure inclusive learning for all children of all abilities, that they have the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge in each topic and through planned progression where we offer pupils an increasing challenge as they move up the school. Our curriculum planning is in three phases (long term, medium-term and short term). Our lessons provide and encourage challenge, supporting children to think with a growth mindset through investigation and exploration and understand the importance of our core values of perseverance, resilience, curiosity, when for example acquiring map reading skills.
In Early Years, Geography is taught through the strand ‘Understanding the World’. We relate the geographical aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Years curriculum, which underpin the planning for children aged three to five. We plan topics in geography so that they build upon prior learning and children make good progress acquiring new knowledge and skills ready for Key Stage 1.
To teach Geography across the school, we use key texts to provide children with additional information, context and language. For example, when contrasting the UK to a non-European country Year 2 use the book Meerkat Mail which is set in Africa. We ensure that our geography vocabulary is carefully planned and taught in a progressive way across the school, including the language of geographical enquiry. Children learn to think and talk like geographers through the use of geographical language, which is highlighted in our planning. Learning walls are also used to enable pupils to revisit and embed vocabulary.
At Village Infants pupils are excited and engaged in geography lessons, their natural curiosity is stimulated, as they are often eager to find out more about a place whether it be, their local area or a contrasting location. Outcomes in curriculum and literacy books will evidence the key knowledge children have found out throughout a topic. Additionally, in each class children’s work is celebrated in Floor Books.
Through monitoring of our curriculum, teachers at Village Infants are delivering high quality geography lessons, which are consistent between classes and varied in their topics to show progression. For each topic throughout the school, geography is assessed during lessons and at the end of each unit. The assessment is used to address any misconceptions, identify gaps in skills and knowledge and to review the curriculum for future planning. The Geography Coordinator meets with the year group teachers regularly to evaluate and inform planning.
Pupils will have thoroughly enjoyed learning about geography, and will develop a life-long passion for the natural world and an ongoing curiosity about places around the world, and different cultures, environments and societies. Pupils will have the skills for analysing fieldwork, as well as interpreting and using a variety of maps which can be applied in real-life contexts and the wider world.