Geography

Geography skills are taught progressively through KS1 and KS2. Each year group builds on previous learning and develops key skills through different geographical topics. There is strong emphasis on the awareness of a sense of place, so topics begin locally and move outward. We always start with Darlaston then move into the UK, Europe and the wider world – which includes reference to all continents where applicable, not just those named in the National Curriculum.

Geography Breadth Overview.jpeg
Skills

The key skills are taken from the National Curriculum:

  • Investigating Places, which includes

    • identifying key features of locations; naming and locating places; recognising the difference between human and geographical features

  • Investigating Patterns, which includes

    • recognising geographical similarities between places; describing changes over time; how land is used; geographical diversity

  • Communicating Geographically, which includes

    • recognising significant zones and lines of the planet; compass points; grid references; latitude and longitude; time zones

    • Each year group in KS2 also completes a geographical study focussing on their topic, which requires them to use ICT and traditional resources to research and present information using text, images, maps, diagrams and graphs.

  • Fieldwork

    • Opportunities to complete work in the field are embraced at every opportunity. Round Our Way week offer lots of chances to get into the local area and geographical visits to sites relating to each group’s topic are planned in. Geography field skills can also be promoted through any trip or visit undertaken for other subjects, eg. History or Science. Fieldwork is observing, measuring or recording human and physical features of the local area. It could include sketching; drawing plans and maps; collecting data or the use of digital technology to capture photos and videos.

 

Topics

Year groups have clearly defined areas of study. Each is distributed evenly and revisited throughout the year to promote revision. Skills are always taught through topics. For example, when Year 4 completes map or compass work, it will be based around rivers or other water features. When Year 5 build on those skills the following year, their lessons will be based around mountains or volcanoes.

  • KS1
    • Throughout KS1 the children study the local area (Round Our Way); Great Britain and then the wider world (Explore the World).

  • KS2
    • All Years – Round Our Way: This is one week of a local history focus which is inextricably linked to the geography of Darlaston. This week serves as an opportunity to go into the local area to use fieldwork skills.

  • Through each of the following topics, focus begins locally and moves outward to Europe, then the Americas (National Curriculum) and then, where appropriate, to Asia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica (not suggested in NC).

    • Year 3 – Seeing the World: environmental and geographical regions; physical characteristics; topographical features.

      • Geographical Study: climate zones and biomes

    • Year 4 – World of Water: coasts, seas and rivers

      • Geographical Study: the water cycle

    • Year 5 – World Terrain: hills, mountains and volcanoes

      • Geographical Study: volcanoes and earthquakes

    • Year 6 – Human World: human geography

      • Geographical Study: a comparison of life in Mexico, Portugal and the UK

 

Enrichment
  • Visits to the local area landmarks in Round Our Way weeks.

  • Geographical field skills can be adapted to any trip or visit.

 

Maths, English and ICT

Geography lessons both rely on and develop skills relating to other areas of the curriculum.

Maths

All of the ‘Communicating Geographically’ objectives (see above) are based in mathematical understanding. There are also many opportunities to read data presented in many different ways, eg. heat maps, graphs, pie charts, pictograms. Children will be required to present their own charts too, which requires accuracy when measuring. A sense of distance is vital for geographical understanding and this is promoted when discussing the sizes of countries, cities and oceans. Work on population (Y6) requires an understanding of large numbers and percentages.

 
English

Work completed for Geography requires precision presentation. Children must be aware of and able to create their own writing which clearly utilises a non-fiction style. Some children may choose to present their geographical study through a verbal presentation which requires them to speak clearly and provide clear visual aids. Frequently, Whole Class Reading texts link to geographical topics. When this is the case, the geography of the text is discussed and linked to any skills, topics or themes of which the children should be aware. Comprehension skills such as inferring and explaining are relied upon heavily to answer open-ended enquiry questions on a daily basis.

 
ICT

There are many opportunities to use technology in Geography lessons. As well as standard office software (PowerPoint, Pages, Word) there are specific Geography tools and websites to use. These include Digimap (to which we have a school subscription); Google Earth and data websites such as the Observatory of Economic Complexity (Y6).