“A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives” (The National Curriculum, 2020, p.182)
Geography encourages a holistic appreciation of how the world works and of the interconnections between concepts such as scale, community, cultural diversity, interdependence and sustainability. Geography is an area of the curriculum which contextualises and extends the possibilities for developing and applying language and mathematics, and enriches understanding of, and in, subjects from science and history to art and design (Scoffman 2017). Through active engagement in primary geography, children of St. Paul’s CofE VC Junior School are enabled to learn not only about the world but also how it works, how it fits together and how to make a difference and become positive global citizens. We believe that Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. The geography curriculum at St. Paul’s CofE VC Junior School enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which can be used to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. Our aim is to inspire in our children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We aim to promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
Geography at St. Paul’s CofE VC Junior School is taught through blocks of study with close attention to cross-curricular opportunities and current affairs. This allows the students to achieve depth in their learning and contextual understanding. Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each topic and lessons are planned using our whole school Geography Progression of Knowledge and Skills documents. The students start to learn about their locality and where they live in Year 3, understanding Shepton Mallet as their town, where they live and their place in it. This moves onto learning about the UK, Europe and finally countries across the world drawing comparisons between them. Planned opportunities are given to each year group for children to convey what they know already as well as what they would like to investigate and find out. This informs the programme of study and ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of children’s different starting points. Class teachers assess children’s understanding in Geography through quizzes and this data is analysed to improve the children’s learning in Geography. Cross curricular outcomes in Geography are specifically planned for and the local area is fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes. There are extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom. These are embedded in practice through trips, visitors, the Big Schools’ Birdwatch and annual Geography and Eco-Science Weeks. This enhances their educational, social, physical and emotional development.
Children are able to review their successes in achieving the lesson objectives and are actively encouraged to consider what they would like to learn. As children progress through the school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context. We aim to instil and understand the values of our society and how we can protect our environment and planet for years to come. The children of St. Paul’s CofE VC Junior School will understand their responsibilities as global citizens and the power they have to initiate change both locally and globally.
Progression of Skills
Since being elected in September 2021, the Eco Warriors have been working hard to initiate change after and amid the restraints of Covid. They have had many lunchtime meetings and they are now keen to let the school community know what they have been doing:
- - Each class has been given a recycling box for all pens
- - Year 6 took part in the RSPB birdwatch
- - The whole school took part in COP 26 Forest of Promises
- - The Eco Warriors have given up their lunchtime play to litter pick in the grounds
- - Two Year 6 Eco Warriors have been responsible for making and distributing notepads from scrap paper to all staff
- - Earth Hour 2022 has been promoted through a live webinar and presented to the whole school in celebration worship
- - Posters have been displayed in the school grounds to raise awareness for Earth Hour 2022
- - Battery recycling boxes have been distributed to all year 3 pupils
Eco after-school club to start after the Easter break – lots of exciting projects to get involved in!!
Watch this space for more Eco news. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please pass these on to your class Eco Warrior or Miss Price.