At West Rainton Primary School, we are proud to offer a varied geography curriculum to our pupils. From a young age, we ensure that our children are gaining the necessary geographical skills they will need for secondary school and beyond. Our children leave West Rainton with a good understanding of the world, as well as the ability to give their opinion on current geographical issues, such as trade and resourcing.
Leadership and intent of geography at West Rainton
At West Rainton Primary School, we are GEOGRAPHERS! It is our intent to inspire our children’s curiosity and interest to explore the world we live in and its people. We intend to equip our children with the necessary geographical skills for their future. Through our varied curriculum, we encourage our children to gain a greater understanding of the world through the development of their knowledge of places, people and environments. Our children are also taught aspects of geography in our local environment to instil a sense of belonging and pride in their area. We also teach the children about a range of other cultures which enables the children to develop a cultural understanding as well as valuing their own. We also want our pupils to have no limits to their ambitions and to grow up wanting to pursue future careers in geography.
As a class teacher at West Rainton Primary School and someone who is passionate about the world, I am extremely proud to lead geography in our school. I believe that it is essential that children earn about the different places and cultures of the world, as well as current geographical issues affecting us today.
Please see my mission statement as subject leader here:
Our subject map was created after consultations with staff to ensure that children’s learning in geography is progressive and varied. Staff are aware of previous and future topics to make sure children can use their previous learning and that it is continuously built upon. This whole school approach to planning is particularly important when planning for mixed age classes, to ensure complete coverage of all objectives. Full governing body training was also carried out in Autumn 2019 in line with new curriculum guidelines.
Below you will find the subject policy and curriculum mapping for geography:
How geography supports and promotes our overarching curriculum key drivers:
We want our pupils to be inspired by our provision, and to ignite strong aspirations and high expectations of themselves and their future. Promotion of strong attendance is fundamental in this. Through the use of visits, visitors and enriching experiences, we will build knowledge and understanding of career possibilities as well as a hunger to embrace new and exciting opportunities. We will ensure we plan regular opportunities for children to develop self-belief and to see the benefits of taking risks and overcoming challenge. Our pupils will be supported to light up future pathways to fulfilling lives of employment choices, prosperity and future happiness. In geography, this is achieved through the engaging and enriching opportunities on offer, such as exciting educational visits and opportunities for outdoor learning. Our geography units also lead to discussions about possible career pathways. Children in all key stages have the opportunity to interact with a range of geographical resources, including different types of maps.
Skills for learning and life
We want pupils to leave our school with a bank of knowledge and a skillset specific to each individual subject, whilst also making transferable connections across other areas of learning and life. Fundamental to this, is a curriculum rich in core skills of language, vocabulary, communication, literacy and numeracy. Our pupils will be taught to be inquisitive, follow a line of enquiry to reach answers, and to recall and present their learning in a vibrant range of ways. Opportunities to develop resilience, organisation, leadership, teamwork, adaptability, patience and initiative are all interwoven into our subjects and wider school life in order for our children to adjust to new learning situations. In geography, children gain a bank of vocabulary and geographical skills, including map reading and compass use. Skills in patience, resilience and organisation are fostered within geography, through opportunities for teamwork and leadership.
Equally as important to us is the development of the whole child. Feeling safe, happy and valued is a fundamental right of all pupils. Our inclusive-rich ethos provides the backdrop to our personal development and wellbeing provision which is skilfully interwoven into all that we do. All pupils are supported to develop a strong understanding of the importance of good physical and mental health, whilst also learning a whole range of factors and influences that can have a negative impact on us. Making, nurturing and maintaining healthy relationships, both on and offline, equips children with the strength and security to recognise what they want and need in life. We believe a strong understanding of e-safety forms a crucial part of being a healthy, well-rounded 21st century global citizen. In geography, our lessons support positive mental being through opportunities for outside learning. Our children also learn how to work together as part of a group and extent their understanding of e-safety when completing research tasks online.
Knowledge of the world
When our pupils leave us at the end of Y6, we want them to feel so proud of themselves as people that they have the personal strength and self-confidence to find their place as positive global citizens. Through our carefully-planned provision, our pupils will experience a diverse and inclusive-rich experience that allows them to bank cultural capital as well as developing a secure understanding of the importance of equality. As well as a secure knowledge of British values, our pupils will have their minds and horizons broadened through diverse social, moral, spiritual and cultural experiences. Pupils will be regularly encouraged to revisit and extend their world-view, fostering tolerance, sensitivity and empathy to interact positively with others. The history curriculum map and is carefully tailored so our children experience a diverse range of historical figures throughout the different topics. In geography, children explore a range of different cultures and countries. Our children also develop an awareness and understanding of the current global and environmental issues facing us today.
How geography is taught at West Rainton
Children at West Rainton Primary receive 60 minutes of geography teaching per week. For the duration of a half term, every class has a geography focused topic each term. Each topic begins with an enquiry question to focus the children’s learning and develop their curiosity for learning. We have also developed a progression of skills document, which enables pupils to develop and build on their skills each year. All children have a geography specific exercise book in which to complete their varied geography activities. Having a subject specific book ensures that the children are aware of the subject they are currently working on and they know which activities are relevant to this subject.
In EYFS, the foundations of geography are seen mainly through a wide range of vocabulary use and through the different topics covered. The children explore a wide range of books, which gives them an understanding of the environment and world around them. Our children in nursery are given opportunities to explore the foundations of geography through forest school and the outdoors, such as growing their own vegetables. They also explore the local village, which gives them an understanding of place. In our nursery and reception, children begin to think about their place in the world and notice changes in their local environment.
In KS1, the children will learn key places around the world and how geography affects the daily lives of people all around the world. Children in KS2 learn about the effects of geography (weather, trade) on places and people around the world. Our whole school approach to map use encourages the children to consistently develop their skills in a range of different ways. We have also included an environmental issue into our planning to better prepare our children for their future as world citizens.
At West Rainton Primary, we also plan for effective use of educational visits and visitors, to enhance and enrich our pupils’ learning and history curriculum. We also regularly take opportunities to further enhance our children’s learning by celebrating COP27 and Ocean’s Day to name a few. Recently, we have purchased a wide range of resources to be used in the classroom to enhance the teaching of geography in our school. For geography, we have purchased age appropriate globes and atlases to ensure that all of our children from nursery to year 6 can access our geography curriculum. Our children always enjoy using our geography resources!
As part of our provision on offer, pupils with special educational needs are planned for very carefully in school. This is an important part of the geography curriculum, as we strive to ensure that all of our pupils fully understand what they are being taught. This may involve greater explanations about the world around them, and simplified tasks to ensure that pupils with SEND gain as much as they can from the learning on offer. Our provision across the curriculum was highlighted when we were awarded the inclusive ‘Centre of Excellence’ award in late 2020. It is crucial for us that our pupils with SEND make progress, and move on from where they are in their learning journey. This provision may look very different to our other pupils, through differentiation and modification of the curriculum. Our decisions are made in consultation with the SENDCo, Mrs Firth, who advises and supports members of staff with their provision.
The impact of geography at West Rainton
At West Rainton, we believe that it is essential that our children know why we teach what we do, and how these subjects can help them progress in secondary school, further education and potential career paths.
We believe that the geographical skills that the children learn and an important part of future life. The children gain valuable experience with map reading, directions, compass use and knowledge of the world around them .
Particular careers where geography will be beneficial include: tourism sector, nature conservationist, surveyor, environmental consultant, local government, cartographer and town planner.