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Geography

At St. Thomas' we see Geography as a key skill in our ever expanding world. Geography is a valued part of the curriculum as it provides a means of exploring, appreciating and understanding the world in which we live and how it has evolved. Geography explores the relationship between the Earth and its people.
Geography stimulates curiosity and imagination and we aim to build upon the child's "personal geography" by developing geographical skills, understanding and knowledge through studying places and themes.
We encourage children to learn by experience and we value fieldwork as an
integral part of the geography Curriculum.

 

Children love looking at maps and globes and finding out about different countries. Due to the multi-cultural nature of our school, we have a naturally occurring geographical heritage which leads to this natural curiosity.

The overarching aims of our geography curriculum is that we want children to be curious about the world and the interactions between nature and people (physical geography) and people and people (human geography).

Our geography curriculum aims to deepen pupil’s knowledge of six BIG IDEAS or CONCEPTS, these are, interconnections, place, climate, scale and environmental impact. These concepts reflect both the NC and also the guidance from the Geographic Association.

 

Pupils study 3 geography units per year – Autumn Location knowledge, Spring Place Knowledge and Summer Term Aspects of Human and Physical Geography. Each strand is carefully sequenced to build on prior learning, for example the place knowledge strand often builds on the locational knowledge strand.

Many cross-curricular links have been planned into the geography curriculum so that learning is re-enforced in other subjects.

 

How to we teach Geography?

Geography is taught using imaginative and creative approaches.

  • Atlases, maps and globes are used when teaching about location and place.
  • Internet mapping sources are used such as Google Earth and digimaps.
  • Most geography suits include a short fieldtrip to see what has been taught in the classroom in a real place.
  • Each lesson will start with a recap so that children will remember key facts.

Field trips

All classes will complete at least one geography field trip per year, with some year groups doing more.

A field trip is a way of showing the children what they have learnt in class in a real situation. This always helps them remember the concepts they have learnt and deepens the concepts.

 The biggest field trip is in year 6 when the children go on an overnight (either 1 or 2 nights) trip to a different part of the UK. In the past this has been to Wales, Derbyshire or Cumbria. On this the children use Ordnance Survey maps to find their way around and study physical features of the landscape. This prepares them for the way geography is taught at high school.

 

 

Pictures of the Year 6 children practising their map skills can be found by following the link below.
Beach-combing
Looking at waves

Knowledge Organisers

During each unit that we teach, knowledge organisers are produced. These contain the key learning in each unit and these are used in class and at home to ensure new knowledge is retained in the long term memory.

What can parents do to help their children in geography?

  • let them use an online version of a map-google maps/bing maps. Bing maps is useful in that it lets you use OS maps as well as street views.
  • Let the children explore the world using Google Earth. This is a free to use program and is fascinating. for children and adults alike. 
  • Go for walks in the local area and point out geographical features. This could be as simple as looking at different types of shops(land use), spotting post boxes or knowing where the local park is. A great game to play is asking them to close their eyes and ask them to describe how to get somewhere familiar.
  • Have an atlas at home.
  • When you go on a journey, look at a map of the route beforehand.
  • If they are interested in football, find the location of the teams that their favourite team is playing. This can be extended to Europe, if you are lucky.
  • Look at food labels and find out where food comes from.
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