Geography Curriculum Vision
“The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.” (Barack Obama)
Purpose and Intent
The study of geography involves pupils in exploring the relationship and interactions between people and the environments in which they live, to enable them to develop their identity and sense of place in the world. Through the teaching of geography at Radipole we hope that children will become confident, resilient, independent citizens who can explore their identity, cultures and countries sensitively, with an appreciation and respect for differences in the world and its people and celebrate things we have in common. Together with their developing knowledge and skills, children explore real and contemporary themes and places rooted in the locality, encouraging children to become confident and have pride in where they live, whilst developing a widening vision for the present and the future. With an increased understanding of the world and its environmental issues, children will become more resilient to change.
Many of the pupils who now attend Radipole will live to see the next century and inhabit a world of 11 billion people. The many opportunities and challenges that will arise during their lifetime will be very much about geography – personal, local, national and global. From adapting and mitigating the impact of climate change to predicting natural hazards such as Tsunami and Earthquakes, to understanding the causes and effects of population migration around the world, together with growing up with the effects of a global pandemic our pupils will need to know about geography and to think like geographers. Geography helps to prepare them for life in the 21st century with all of its currently unknown possibilities.
Implementation and Realisation
In terms of what we teach in geography and how we encourage and support our pupils to learn the subject: we seek to develop young geographers who are able to make links and connections between the natural world and human activity and to understand the kind of questions geographers ask, such as Why is this place like it is, how is it changing and what will be the costs and benefits of these changes when they happen? Our school commits to ensuring that every pupil at every stage of learning has appropriately challenging and engaging learning in Geography which is informed by the National Curriculum. In addition we will ensure that what our pupils learn in Geography and how they learn it not only inspires and stretches them intellectually but also contributes to their spiritual, moral, cultural and physical development and helps to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in the 21st century.
In accordance with the importance we attach to Geography our school aims to:
Inclusion, equality of opportunity and differentiation
Geography forms an integral and statutory element of a pupil’s entitlement to learning and at our school we ensure that all pupils can engage with geographical learning and develop as young geographers irrespective of their race, cultural background, gender, religion, creed, level of intellectual ability or physical and emotional circumstances. Mutual respect and the fostering of empathy and community understanding at local, regional, national and global scales lies at the heart of the study of Geography and at our school we model this in terms of the inclusive nature of the learning and teaching we provide. As such we plan and resource our learning, in line with our whole school policies, to enable all pupils to make good and sustained progress in Geography.
Approach to learning and teaching
At Radipole we seek to encourage pupils to learn their geography through a combination of whole-class teaching and big question led enquiry-based activities about topics, places and themes which focuses on real people, places and geographical issues. This allows them time to really engage in high order subject skills such as developing explanations, reaching conclusions, making judgements, evaluating, applying information learned in one context to another and generating their own ideas and questions. Whilst knowing more subject information as the pupils progress through the school is important we are careful in our planning to ensure that there is always a balance between new content and the development of important subject skills. We recognise that simply knowing more information in itself will not enable our pupils to progress as young geographers capable of making links, seeing things more conceptually and recognising the significance of attitudes and values in shaping the world in which they live. To this end we identify important topics, issues, places and themes informed by the guidance of the National Curriculum. We recognise that we cannot teach whole topics without risking the curriculum becoming largely content driven. Our approach to leading learning in geography through key questions ensures that pupils being able to develop as young geographers remains central to all we do.
Regular and high quality outdoor learning is central to a young person’s statutory entitlement in Geography. It provides opportunities to develop and consolidate skills and concepts introduced in the classroom and allows pupils to extend their understanding of the ‘real’ world. Fieldwork provision enables pupils to become observant, to develop the skills of recording, analysis and deduction and to start to develop ‘enquiring minds’. Fieldwork and learning outdoors involving the testing and investigation of ideas and theories through practical exercises including observation, data collection, recording, presentation, interpretation and evaluation is therefore fundamental to the study of Geography and the development of young geographers at Radipole. Consequently fieldwork is a core element of geographical learning in every year group in line with the National Curriculum.
Impact and Evaluation
Children will leave Radipole with a good foundation of knowledge and skills to prepare them for living in the 21st century. They will be able to think as geographers and feel confident in exploring geographical questions. They will have a good understanding of the interconnectivity of the human and physical world. They will have pride in where they live, have a vision for its present and future, together with a good understanding and empathy for different cultures. They will understand their responsibilities in the world, and be respectful active citizens who make positive choices for their future.
A range of tasks involving written work, annotated maps and diagrams, discussions and fieldwork are used to assess the performance of pupils against objectives and form the basis of reporting to parents which occurs in accordance with the school’s whole school policy. Skills and knowledge are built up and returned to throughout the year groups to allow children to embed what they have learnt.