“At New Milton Infant School geography lessons provide children with skills, knowledge and understanding to allow them to gain an insight into the ever-changing world around them.”
Children are given the opportunity to not only gain knowledge about the world around them but to develop their understanding of it. The class teacher encourages children to gain an understanding of space and place by encouraging children to evaluate or compare and contrast the features of an environment. Changes to an environment are discussed as well as factors that may have caused the change such as weather patterns and ecological issues. Pupils that show high levels of understanding are prompted to make links within their geographical knowledge to explain why these changes happen.
An enquiry-based approach is at the centre of each geography lesson. The skill of forming and asking key questions about a place or topic is modelled by the class teacher and children progress to asking their own key questions in groups in Year 2. Children use fieldwork skills and a range of resources to gather the information they need to answer the key questions including atlases, photographs, books, people and ICT. This information allows them to develop their geographical knowledge.
Teachers gain an understanding of children’s prior knowledge and understanding through looking at previous assessment information or through observation and discussion, using this to inform their planning.
At New Milton Infant School the teaching of geography should inspire in children curiosity and fascination for the world around them.
In Key Stage 1, geography is taught during a topic and over a series of weekly lessons. Each unit of work covers at least three out of the four curriculum strands to allow children to continuously experience the knowledge and skills of the curriculum. Children also experience geography by monitoring the weather daily through a class weather chart and identifying seasonal patterns during their longitudinal study. In Year One the longitudinal study monitors the seasonal change of the trees in the school environment and in Year Two the children monitor how the amount and species of minibeast change during the school year. This continuous exposure to geography allows children to segment and consolidate their learning of the geography curriculum.
Geographical knowledge should be acquired in lessons using skills and vocabulary. Each unit of work should encourage children to use the five following fundamental skills:
By teaching and encouraging children to use these skills with the relevant geographical vocabulary, children deepen their geographical understanding.
A series of lessons should begin with a hook to inspire children and then a key question to frame their geographical enquiry. Children then investigate using a variety of practical resources including maps, globes, atlases and technology such as Google Maps. Children should be then given opportunities to connect with the information they have obtained by using the five fundamental skills. The unit of work is then concluded and the key question is answered.
Children will leave this school with a continued curiosity about the world around them.
Children will acquire the skills they need to become ‘young geographers’. They will ask questions about the world around them and know the tools they can use to answer their questions.
They will have a good understanding of the world and be able to identify places in a variety of different representations.