At Holy Family, we want our children to be fascinated by the world and the people in it. Our children should leave at the end of Year 6 knowing about the diversity of people, places and natural and human environments. They will also have a good understanding of the physical and human processes of our planet.
Essential characteristics of a Geographer at Holy Family:
• An excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like.
• An excellent understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected and how much human and physical environments are interrelated.
• An extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary.
• Fluency in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills and use effective analytical and presentational techniques.
• The ability to reach clear conclusions and develop a reasoned argument to explain findings.
• Significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity as shown in interpretations and representations of the subject matter.
• Highly developed and frequently utilised fieldwork and other geographical skills and techniques.
• A passion for and commitment to the subject, and a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there.
Our curriculum distinguishes between subject topics and threshold concepts. Subject topics are the specific aspects of subjects that are studied e.g. Rivers, Mountains etc. Threshold concepts tie together the subject topics into meaningful schema. The same concepts are explored in a wide breadth of topics. Through this ‘forwards-and-backwards engineering’ of the curriculum, pupils return to the same concepts over and over, and gradually build an understanding of them. The idea behind a concept-led, enquiry based curriculum helps to focus learning and ensure a knowledge rich education to avoid a broad overview with shallow engagement in knowledge and understanding. By learning specific things, children encounter a broad range of knowledge whilst amassing a specific body of knowledge. This is taught to be remembered, stored in long-term memory and built on.
The four threshold concepts in geography are:
Geography is an essential part of learning in EYFS as it is incorporated in everyday learning. The geographical aspects of the children’s work relate to the objectives set out in the early learning goals (ELGs). Early years' geography activities will involve children learning about the people and the places in the world we live in. They will be taught about their immediate local surroundings and community, understanding important locations close to them e.g. school grounds, shops, post office, police, or fire station. Maps and atlases will be used to investigate different places.
They will learn about their home country and other countries and be introduced to people who are not from their native origin.
In KS1, the children will begin by learning about their local environment and how place and space is used. They will be able to name and locate continents and oceans of the world as well as identifying the countries that make up the United Kingdom and their capital cities. Children in key stage one will also begin to identify human and physical locations by looking at natural and man-made items in their local area.
In KS2, children will develop locational and place knowledge by using maps, atlases and digital media such as google earth to name and locate counties, countries and cities around the world. They will use fieldwork and skills to collect and analyse data as well as looking closely at physical and human processes such as urbanisation, volcanoes, earthquakes and global warming.
We will use outdoor learning in our grounds, school trips, fieldwork, visitors and residentials to enhance the Geography learning experiences for all children.
Children at Holy Family will be able to know more and remember more about geography. They will be equipped with geographical enquiry skills, knowledge and concepts that will provide a broad knowledge of the world we live in. They will be excited by geographical enquiry and inspired to develop an enthusiasm to find out more about places that interest them. They will be knowledgeable about their local area and its place within a wider geographical context through classwork, fieldwork and school trips.