Our geographical adventure takes our children on an exciting journey through their local environment, around the United Kingdom and out into the wider world, igniting curiosity and encouraging travel and exploration in adulthood. We want our children to be able to consider places in the world they would like to visit and to make informed choices about their activity and the impact this has on the environment around them.
Our Geography curriculum is intended to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world including an awareness of the relationship between humans and the environment that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Our curriculum equips children with an understanding of diverse places, landscapes, people, resources, climates and environments in a progressive manner in which knowledge and skills are developed over time. It is our intention that our Geography curriculum will enable children to develop geographical knowledge and skills that are also transferrable to other curriculum areas.
As part of our Guiding Stars curriculum, Geography is the leading light subject for ‘Risk Taking’.
Within our Geography curriculum, the children will find out about the places explored, investigated and discovered by others. They learn about how settlers made decisions as to the best places to live and how they developed these areas in order to survive. The children discover why some places are better suited to survival than others, such as the Amazon Rainforest, African Plains or the Antarctic. Maps and plans are used to investigate journeys into the known and the unknown, using evidence to understand what might lie ahead. The children learn how the planet‘s climate has led communities to minimise the risks that adverse climate conditions create and how humans have taken risks with our environment and the impact this has. The children develop their own interest in exploring new places and ask questions, such as what is this place like.
Click on the Risk Taking icon below to find out more about how the children’s understanding of risk taking progresses throughout our geography curriculum.
Across the school, each year group is allocated at least two areas of Geographical study. In Key Stage 1, each geography unit is taught as a series of lessons over 6-8 weeks. In Key Stage Two, the geography unit is usually taught over a longer period, usually 10-12 weeks.
Our Geography curriculum focuses on a wide range of Geographical aspects, incorporating both physical and human geography. During a child’s time at Godinton, children will learn about their local area, their home county of Kent and also develop their geographical knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world. Our locational studies include but are not limited to our local area of Godinton and the town of Ashford, The City of Canterbury, Paris, The landscape of the USA, The Caribbean, The Amazon Rainforest and an African country. During our curriculum design, we placed high importance on using our local area to enable fieldwork opportunities to take place. During their Geographical adventures at Godinton, our children will visit their local area, the Town of Ashford, the City of Canterbury, a local beach and a local river to enable them to make observations and comparisons as well as developing and utilizing their skills such as map reading, taking measurements and collecting data. The children explore climates and consider the environmental impact of issues such as deforestation.
Lessons are planned carefully to ensure that children gain a good geographical knowledge of the place or geographical feature being studied. Alongside developing pupils' geographical knowledge, teachers plan lessons to develop geographical skills, building on prior learning.
As the children progress through their geographical journey, it is important that the children develop progressive geographical skills. Our key skills have been carefully selected to ensure that children at Godinton leave us with a skill base that they can continue to develop as they move on to Secondary School.
The EYFS framework is structured very differently to the National Curriculum and it is organised across seven areas of learning rather than subject areas. Geography appears under the specific area of Understanding the World.
In our Reception classes, Geography is taught through a play-based and interactive approach under termly topics such as ‘It’s Cold Outside, ‘A Royal Adventure’ and ‘To Infinity and Beyond’. We carefully plan lessons, activities and experiences that ignite curiosity, awe, and wonder and inspire children to explore and ask questions about the world around them. Where possible, we aim to make strong links to the children’s own experiences and interests, particularly through our ‘I Wonder…’ lessons. The children’s own questions form the starting point of our planning and allow the children to gain knowledge and understanding of concepts and ideas in a way that is meaningful to them. For example, one of our children was keen to find out why some castles have water around them, another was fascinated by igloos, who lives in them and why they live there, and another interested to know why the ice is melting in the North Pole and where the polar bears will live. We were able to enhance the children’s learning environment and offer a wealth of knowledge and information to reflect these questions and the learning commenced! In our Reception classes, our children are given opportunities to explore their immediate surroundings first-hand, and discover the wider world through stories, information texts, video clips, sensory play and props. Children are taught to recognise similarities and differences between our country and others, and they explore how the changing seasons affect the landscape around us. Our children become familiar with maps and what they represent, and they learn how to make simple ones of their own linked to stories, their imagination, or their immediate environment such as classroom, playground or home.
It is our aim that when children at Godinton Primary School finish their first year at school and move into Year 1, they will be able to:
The impact of our geography curriculum design will lead to secure progress over time across Key Stages 1 and 2 which will be relative to a child’s individual starting point. Children will be expected to leave Godinton reaching at least age-related expected knowledge and geographical skills. We want to the ensure that children who are achieving well, as well as those who need additional support, are identified and additional provision and strategies are planned into lessons to support their needs.