What we do
At Morningside, we teach the National Curriculum for Geography. We have chosen units of work which reflect our school population and our local area. We teach in subject blocks in order to preserve the integrity of subject specific skills and knowledge. Links to other areas are signposted in planning documents.
Across the school, children focus on 5 key areas of geography: location, place, human geography, physical geography, and map skills and fieldwork. This supports children to make connections and links across the topics covered. A precise tiered approach to vocabulary enables children to build their fluency to accurately describe geographical concepts.
When children leave Morningside, we expect them to have a sound knowledge of a range of different countries, to have considered key concepts such as immigration and trade, and well-developed geographical mapping skills. They should be able to locate key world countries and features and use a map efficiently including using 6-figure grid references. They should be competent geographers who are well-equipped to take part in the next stage of their education
How we do it
Our geography curriculum begins in EYFS with the people, culture, communities strand of understanding the world. We begin with what children know so that they can start by sequencing their own lives, photos and objects they use. The curriculum is carefully sequenced so that children revisit and build upon these early learning experiences.
Children learn about the main concepts outlined in the National Curriculum. These are organised in such a way as to maximise the opportunities to make links across units, continually making comparisons between places studied. They learn about key countries whose human and physical features they can compare. Whilst also exploring and learning about the geography of our local area to provide a known comparison point.
Each unit has a comprehensive planning document which provides teachers with a knowledge organiser (to outline the essential knowledge to be taught within the unit), carefully tiered vocabulary, a suggested teaching sequence and a wide range of high-quality suggested activities which can be used to support the learning within the unit. We draw on the expertise of subject specific organisations such as The Royal Geographical Society to support our curriculum planning.
How we assess it
Children have cover sheets for each unit which outline the main learning objectives, skills and knowledge, for each unit. These are annotated as and when children achieve these during the course of the unit.
At the end of each unit, children work towards completing a longer piece of writing to answer a geographical question, or create a double page spread, which pulls together knowledge and evidence base which they have studied during the unit.
They are also assessed using ‘Test Its’ which assess their core subject knowledge and key skills covered in the unit.
During each unit, children complete a ‘Retrieve It’ which supports children to revisit previous learning in order to consolidate the ‘need to know’ learning. They are encouraged to make links to previous units studied during each new unit. These links are outlined on the frontispiece for each unit.
At the end of each academic year, class teachers use the information from the frontispieces, written work, Test Its and Retrieve Its, in order to make a judgment as to whether each child is working towards, at or above the expected standard.
Geography in the EYFS
In Early Years, understanding the world through Geography is an important part of our curriculum. ‘Understanding the World’ encompasses a range of early geographical skills and knowledge in Early Years. Our focus for teaching and learning is on hands-on experience and developing the language and communication skills that will enable children to make comparisons, ask questions and make connections in their experiences. The children’s developing understanding of place and community is like an ever-widening circle. We start by talking with the children about their homes, the people who live with them and the people who are important to them. We also talk about what makes them the same or different to other children. The children start to become aware of the local landmarks that are significant to them and we incorporate photographs of these into a small world and block play. In Reception, teachers talk about maps and use ‘mapping’ skills to plot place and story. We talk about Midsomer Norton and beyond and develop the children’s understanding of place through talking about where we live, local landmarks and where other significant people in individual children’s lives live. Later in the Reception year we introduce a direct comparison of landscape and climate through the introduction of the Rainforest. Alongside planned learning, children are encouraged to follow their own interests and create ideas around their own fascinations.
Please click on the link below to see an overview of our geography curriculum and core vocabulary:
Curriculum Overview Geography
Core Tier 2 Geography Vocabulary
National Geographic Kids
Geography based games
BBC KS1 Geography
BBC Ks2 Geography