Our geography curriculum aims to inspire children with a profound sense of awe and wonder at the world, and develop a fascination, love and respect for both the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills will provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. Through learning about a diverse range of places and people, children will gain a deep understanding of the Earth’s natural and human environments and processes and the interactions between them. By developing their understanding of the interconnectivity of all that happens on Earth, children will be encouraged to serve the whole world, starting in Norwood Green.
Lessons are carefully sequenced to ensure children gain an increasingly deep understanding of locational and place knowledge, human and physical geography, and geographical skills and fieldwork. Teachers use challenging questions and variety of subject application to ensure interest, whilst providing opportunities to build on prior knowledge, revisit and consolidate skills, and ensure progress.
In Key Stage One, children learn to use maps, atlases and globes to identify the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom, and the continents and oceans of the wider world. Children use first-hand observation to enhance their locational awareness and practice fieldwork. In Year 2 children will begin to compare the similarities and differences of Norwood Green with places outside Europe. Children will also develop their understanding of seasonal and daily weather patterns in the UK, at the equator and at the poles; and they are given a thorough grounding in key geographical concepts and vocabulary.
In Key Stage Two, children will extend their knowledge and understanding of some of the United Kingdom and the world’s most significant human and physical features, including countries and major cities, mountains and rivers. They will learn more about human and physical geography and how they relate, such as settlements and the distribution of natural resources like food and minerals, with climate zones and volcanoes. They will compare and contrast the human and physical geography of London with a region of South America.
Throughout their time at St Mary’s, children have a range of opportunities to experience geography through practical, engaging activities beyond the classroom. In keeping with our environmental focus, children have learnt about the significance of farming at Iver Environmental Centre, and the rainforest through exploring the Palm House at Kew Gardens.
At the end of each unit, children are given the opportunity to write an essay demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of the key concepts they have been taught. The children’s learning in geography is assessed at the end of each unit by teachers, informed by contributions to class discussions, work in geography books and their final essay.