Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. At Upton we aim for our pupils to become 'Geographers' through their exploration of both the physical properties of Earth’s surface and the human societies spread across it. We want them to examine how human culture interacts with the natural environment and the way that locations and places can have an impact on people. Above all we want children to know more and remember more about the Geography of the planet they live in.
We aim to provide all pupils with opportunities to investigate and build geographical expertise from their local area to the wider world.
We believe Geographical learning to be an excellent way to interact with two of our curriculum drivers: Community and Diversity. Geography has the potential to develop and engender an appreciation of cultural diversity, leading to tolerance and mutual respect for those from differing countries and background. This is crucial in society today and something we are very keen to promote. We also believe it's very important for our pupils to know as much as they can about where they are from, and we aim to investigate our locality and community at every opportunity
A sequenced and coherent geography curriculum is essential to achieving these goals. At Upton we follow the National Curriculum, breaking down these end points into progressive learning across the four years pupils are with us. We aim to break curriculum content into component parts and draw from the breadth of concepts to give pupils the knowledge they need to appreciate the wider subject.We prioritise substantial knowledge and progress through these strands identified in the National Curriculum: locational knowledge, place knowledge, physical geography; human geography; and geography skills and fieldwork. We build on prior learning in a coherent and sequenced manner birth across the keystage, year group, topic and inside lessons themselves, covering the National Curriculum and adding our own specific content bespoke to our pupils.
To ensure that pupils understand how Geography impacts all aspects of society we include geography within the thematic aspect to our curriculum so that they can appreciate how geographical knowledge can be used. If pupils understand the topographical features of the land, they can explain why the great wall of China was built where it is. If they know how the Nile supports human life they can understand why the Ancient Egyptians lived alongside the river and built shadufs to collect water; if they understand how features of biomes then they can explain how particularly wildlife can thrive there. We want them to understand that Geography impacts decisions and areas outside the subject itself.
Fieldwork:Through fieldwork particularly we aim for pupils to learn the practice of geographers - the disciplinary knowledge. As pupils progress through the school they increasingly engage with fieldwork aspects that include data collection, analysis and presentation. The experience of fieldwork can draw together pupils’ locational knowledge and that of human and physical processes. It can also increase pupils’ capacity to recognise and ask geographical questions
This includes locational knowledge, understanding of human and physical features and geographical and fieldwork techniques.
Alongside these aims, we also want to raise an increasing awareness of environmental issues and the impact humans have on their society. We invite in guest speakers who work with environmental groups, we examine the impact of pollution, we investigate the effects of deforestation, and analyse the results of climate change. We hope to encourage pupils to become reflective members of society who will actively invest in protecting the planet.
Our curriculum processes are ever evolving. We aim to become more effective teachers through engaging with research into pedagogy and memory, particularly linked to cognitive load and prior knowledge, while also implementing effective geography processes from subject reviews.
Geography assessment takes the form of ongoing formative assessment. We don't assess for assessment’s sake but instead to identify gaps in knowledge and immediately aim to close these so that learning can continue onwards, building on this understanding. We ensure pupils have the opportunity to revisit the 'sticky' knowledge we intend for them to know
The impact of this will be the acquisition of key knowledge, an understanding of the world, and competence in this area of the curriculum. This allows pupils to transition effectively to the next stage of their education with a strong base on which to build further and an educated opinion on environmental issues.