Geography has always been held in high regard at Marden Vale CofE Academy. Topics are informed by the National Curriculum and are sensitive to children’s interests, as well as the context of the local area. The Geography curriculum at Marden Vale CofE Academy is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy. In line with the National Curriculum 2014, the curriculum at Marden Vale CofE Academy aims to ensure that all pupils:
- To enable children to gain knowledge and understanding of places in the world, including those of the local area;
- To increase children’s knowledge of other cultures and, in so doing, teach a respect and understanding of what it means to be a positive citizen in a multi-cultural country;
- To allow children to learn graphic skills, including how to use, draw and interpret maps;
- To enable children to know and understand environmental problems at a local, regional and global level;
- To encourage in children a commitment to sustainable development and an appreciation of what ‘global citizenship’ means;
- To develop a variety of other skills, including those of enquiry, problem solving, ICT, investigation and how to present their conclusions in the most appropriate way;
- To make children aware of the part that other people play in the making and shaping of environments around the world.
Geography is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children achieve depth in their learning. The key knowledge and skills that children acquire and develop throughout each block have been mapped to ensure progression between year groups throughout the school. Each topic is introduced with reference to previous topics (including those from previous years). Key knowledge is reviewed by the children and rigorously checked and consolidated by the teacher. By the end of year 6, children will have a secure understanding of British geography and that of other regions and countries of the world.
Cross curricular outcomes in Geography are specifically planned for and these are indicated on the school’s progression mapping. The school’s own context is also considered, with opportunities for visits to places of geographical interest and learning outside the classroom also identified and embedded in practice.
Planning is informed by and aligned with the National Curriculum. In addition, teachers, in some year groups, are trialling the ‘Collins Connected Geography’ enquiry based plans and resources. However, teachers’ lesson design is not limited by the scheme. Children are taught a range of geographical skills, including interpreting and reading maps, comparing, contrasting biomes and understanding their role as global citizens. Increasing mastery of the subject occurs as a result of a pupil combining the application of key subject skills, processes and subject vocabulary with the development of knowledge and understanding.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year.
Outcomes in topic books evidence a broad and balanced Geography curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning, Children are knowledgeable about the world and country in which they live county and country knowledge? The children are confident in discussing their increasing Geography understanding.