At Orgill Primary School we believe that geography is a vital element of our curriculum. It explores the inter-relationship between people and their environments across the globe and harnesses the innate curiosity and wonder that all children have regarding the natural world. Many of the future opportunities and challenges of today’s children will include an element of geography, whether this is at a personal, local scale such as combatting local flooding or a global scale such as understanding the cause and effect of population migration. Children leave Orgill Primary School as young geographers equipped with the knowledge and intellectual ability to ask and investigate questions about how and why a given place is like it is and the cause and effect of any changes. They leave with a sound foundation on which to build the next stage of their geography learning.
We teach geography as a discrete subject and all pupils have the equivalent of one hour of geography per week during alternate half terms. Key stage one lessons are taught daily, whereas in key stage two, lessons are taught weekly. We follow the Collins Connected Geography scheme which has been developed to comprehensively cover all aims of the National Curriculum programme of study. Lessons draw children in through an initial investigation or mystery to solve; there are many opportunities for partner discussion, the enhancement of digital skills and furthering of literacy and numeracy skills. Each unit also allows for atlas or map work as children explore each new area of the world. The scheme includes specific units for key stage 1 and lower and upper key stage 2. The critical thinking skills and knowledge acquired as children move through the key stages becomes increasingly complex and enriches and builds on previous learning. Likewise, subject specific vocabulary and understanding is enhanced and consolidated. There is equal weight given to both human and physical geography aiding children’s understanding of the natural world and the reason for, and impact of, human features such as megacities. Children’s sense of responsibility is nurtured as they learn about caring for the earth and its people, and the wide benefits of a sustainable lifestyle. As our pupils learn about people’s lives in other parts of the world their moral and cultural understanding is heightened. Specialist teachers and workshops visit our school, when appropriate, to support learning about specific areas of geography.
Local area studies are included in units designed for each key stage giving children the opportunity to learn about the geography of our immediate area and how it compares to other areas of the world. The physical geography of local features such as rivers and mountains is also included as is a study of national parks. An opportunity to experience some of these areas first hand and to be immersed in the natural world is provided through our annual residential trip for key stage 2 children. We ensure our teaching of geography is inclusive in nature. This includes using written content such as travel journals or accounts of daily life from other cultures alongside photographs and video clips to enhance children’s experience of seeing and hearing other climates, biomes and cultures. This, in combination with field trips when appropriate, makes the curriculum accessible for all our pupils and easily tailored to ensure an appropriate level of challenge is provided for all children.